Western Fraternal Life :: Zare Zapadu No. 44

Zare Zapadu No. 44

Hayward, MN

November 2018

Veteran’s Day was a special one at the Bohemian National Cemetery. At 4:30 p.m., there was a dedication ceremony of a life-sized silhouette of the Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima. Attending was a WWII veteran of that battle, Ernest (Ernie) Benesh. Ernie, 92, was born and raised in Freeborn County, MN and enlisted in the Marine Corps from there. He served in the Pacific theatre and fought in all but one day of the bloody Battle of Iwo Jima. He saw the first flag raised on Mount Suribachi, but it was small, so the larger one was raised and has become an iconic image. Marine Commandant Holland Smith said “Iwo Jima was the most savage and the most costly battle in the history of the Marine Corps.”

In 2012, Ernie and his two cousins, Milo Belshan and Emil Prantner, (members of No. 44) established a veterans’ memorial at the Bohemian National Cemetery. The names are printed of veterans buried there to honor all who served our country. Emil served in Europe with Patton’s Army troops, landing at a Normandy beach in the D-Day assault and in the Battle of the Bulge. Milo fought in the Pacific with the Army as part of McArthur’s return to the Philippines.

With help and fundraising from family, the Glenville Area Women of Today, No. 44, the Glenville American Legion, local businesses, and community members, plus a $10,000 grant from the National Daughters of the American Revolution, the memorial was built in the summer of 2013 and dedicated on November 9, 2013. Following the ceremony, we served lunch and kolache at the Brick Hall. There were displays and memorabilia of each of the combat cousins and pictures of the monument construction from inception to finish. Ernie and Emil were proudly in attendance. Milo helped design it and knew the memorial would be built, but died before the ceremony.

While Milo’s son, Dan Belshan was in Geneva, MN he saw a metal silhouette of the Iwo Jima flag raising in their cemetery. Knowing there were some unused memorial funds, he took pictures and asked the Bohemian National Cemetery Board if they would like a flag raising metalwork as an addition to the memorial. After contacting the artisan, Dan and Kevin installed the silhouette on November 7, just in time for Veteran’s Day. Dan, Vice President of No. 44, and Commander Bob Knutson from Glenville American Legion Post 264 assisted in the dedication ceremony at the cemetery. Ernie gave a brief talk about the battle at the annual veterans’ dinner. Sadly, Emil passed away earlier this year.

For more information, including how to add a veteran’s name to the memorial, contact Dan and Bonnie Belshan, 85486 157th ST, Glenville, MN 56036.

October 2018

Members met at the Brick Hall on October 2 for a potluck and 90th birthday celebration for Alton Krikava and a pin celebration. President Rayman opened the meeting with a moment of silence for deceased and ill members.

We discussed our successful Czech Fest and received ideas for next year. Thanks to all who helped, donated, and worked to make it a wonderful event. Children’s activities were new this year and much appreciated.

Susan Cherney contacted historical societies and a fabric conservator and presented ideas for the stage curtains.
We received thank-you notes from Norman Luksik and Glenville-Emmons schools.

Donations were made to Glenville-Emmons Girls Athletics and the Western Fraternal Life Scholarship Fund.
Members made plans to help at the Trunk-or-Treat in Glenville.

Items were collected for Glenville-Emmons School and the Ronald McDonald House. Anne Estes gave out the fall wish lists for those organizations.

We finalized our 2019 meeting calendar.

Members had a meeting on November 6 at the Brick Hall.

September 2018

On September 4, members met for a potluck anniversary/meeting under threat of tornado and severe thunderstorms. We opened access to the basement but never had to evacuate the hall.


We received a thank-you note from the Ronald McDonald House for our in-kind donations, and a note from 75-year member Norman Luksik. Frances Kycek-Swenson sent sympathy and anniversary cards. We made final plans for our Czech Fest with committee assignments.

Our September 8 and 9 Czech Fest was a success. The weather was perfect. The music, food, silent auction, and children’s activities were all a hit. The Sunday service with Pastor Jim Krikava and Czech meal were well attended. Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic in Minneapolis, MN, Marit Lee Kucera, was the special speaker.

We recognize 50-year member William Raatz and 75-year members Garnys Nelson, Norman Luksik, Barbara Prantner, and Lois Stotts. Mike Krikava was recognized for legal work donation.

August 2018

We had a potluck and meeting on August 7 at the Brick Hall. Before the potluck, members put Western stickers on collected items and in-kind donations for the Ronald McDonald House and Glenville-Emmons Schools.

Members put Western stickers on donated items.

There was a moment of silence for deceased and ill members. We received a thank-you note from the boy’s bike winner, Caleb Mattson.
A donation came from Bev Prantner and the family of Emil Prantner. Our sympathies to the family of Roger Prantner, who died on July 28.
Money came from Czech Fest sponsors and advanced ticket sales. We discussed fundraising and future repairs.
Joan Krikava will be our secretary with help from Sue Cherney when Joan is absent.
We held our September 8-9 Czech Fest featuring Mollie B. and the Jim Busta Band. Pastor Jim Krikava, head of MXLC Missions in Europe and Asia, came from Prague.
We thanked and recognize Ann Estes for all her help filling in as secretary. We voted to plant a tree in memory of Emil Prantner.
Evelyn Swenson was presented with a certificate of Honorary Membership.

President Dan Rayman presents Evelyn Swenson a certificate of Honorary Membership.

A donation was made to Freeborn County Agricultural Society.


June 2018

On June 5, we greeted guests John Chrz, his son, and their relative from Prague, Czech Republic, Ludek Slaby for a tour of our hall and a potluck meal with us. Mr. Slaby spoke at our meeting and complimented us on our beautiful hall and history. He was most pleased and surprised that our potluck included his favorite foods--dumplings, pork, and sauerkraut!

President Rayman opened our meeting at 6:30 p.m. with a moment of silence for deceased and ill members. We discussed our successful May open house.

We hosted a June 15 memorial afternoon for Marie Krikava’s family and friends. On June 16, we took part in the Glenville parade and Western bike giveaway.

There are still repairs needed on the hall and garage.

We discussed distributing Honorary Membership certificates and inviting inactive members to our meetings.
Members made more plans for September 8 and 9 Czech Fest. We donated money to Glenville-Emmons Girls’ Athletics.

A thank-you note from MN American Legion Commander for our donation toward transportation at the Preston Vets’ Cemetery was read.

May 2018

On February 11, we celebrated WWII veteran Emil Prantner’s 99th birthday. Sara Aeikens had a column about Western and our lodge published in the Albert Lea Tribune. We mourn the untimely loss of Secretary Karen Nyenhuis, and extend sympathy to her family. Anne Estes will fill in as correspondent.

On April 22 our YELL! group helped us in celebrating Marie Krikava’s birthday.

We received a thank-you note from Rochester Ronald McDonald House.

On May Day, we cleaned our 109-year-old hall, which was closed for the winter. Several repairs have been made. Meetings will be held at the hall the first Tuesday of each month now through November.

On May 20, we had our community open house with kroje costumed Czech dancers from St. Paul Sokol Hall, refreshments, and kolache.

We discussed Czech Fest on September 8 and 9 featuring Mollie B. and the Jim Busta Band, kids’ activities, a silent auction with Czech items from the Krikava collection, speaker Pastor Jim Krikava (Director of LCMS missions in Eurasia), and a Czech meal. Everyone is welcome!

KSMQ-TV Off 90 programs featuring our Czech Fest, lodge members, and hall aired May 27, June 7, and June 9.
We discussed scholarship fundraising, the points system, upcoming cleaning and repairs, Join Hands Day, Memorial Day activities, and community uses of our hall. Officers will research heritage displays on the property.
Monetary donations were made to Freeborn County Snowmobile Club, MN American Legion toward transportation at the Preston Vet's Cemetery, and Glenville Legion Post 264.

Our condolences also go out to Alton and the family of Marie Krikava, (kolache lady) and staunch supporter of our lodge for decades, who passed on May 10.

April 2018

Members met on February 11 at the Glenville American Legion. We are collecting items: can tabs, milk caps, box tops, and school supplies, for the Glenville-Emmons schools and Ronald McDonald House.

The men’s bathroom is finished at the hall with new siding and a new door.

The TV show, Off 90, aired a recording of the Czech Fest from 2017 during the month of April.

We will discuss changes in the lodge rental agreement and planting trees at a later date.

Mollie B. will be at our Czech Fest in September, more details to follow. There will be a silent auction at the Czech Fest as well.

Our lodge Facebook page is up and running thanks to Susan.

The pancake breakfast was held March 18. Over 800 kolache were donated to sell. All tables were full as our guests enjoyed pancakes, eggs, and sausage. Agent Ken Cafourek donated a prize for the breakfast from pre-sale Czech Fest tickets. The money earned supported donations to a local youth group. Members worked together to make this event successful.

Pancake breakfast volunteers.

After breakfast, members held a meeting. There was discussion about the point system.

The District Meeting was held on April 29 with the Austin lodge hosting.

It was decided that monthly meetings will be held the first Tuesday of the month at the Brick Hall. There was discussion about having the lawn mowed at the hall as well.

This year, we hope to be able to accept credit card sales for Czech Fest tickets.

We are planning an open-house to honor the 100th anniversary of the formation of Czechoslovakia after WWI. It will be held at the Brick Hall on May 20 from 1-4 p.m. The Czech and Slovak Folk Dancers from St. Paul will perform. We will serve kolache and have a presentation on Czech history by Susan Cherney. All are invited to this free celebration. We feel it is important to educate our community on Czech history and culture.

Marie Krikava celebrated her 87th birthday in April.

January 2018

Members met on January 7 at the Glenville American Legion. Our thoughts and prayers are with people as they face hardships.

The men’s bathroom and the shed are completed with new siding at the hall. Thanks to Edward Chrz for loaning us his tractor and digger when we re-leveled the new property.

This year, collections are for the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester and various school supplies for Glenville-Emmons Schools. Every meeting, tubs will be provided for members to drop items off.

Our Facebook page is up and running, so be sure to “Like” it and “Share” it with your friends and family! Thank you, Susan, for taking the time to do this, it is greatly appreciated.

Czech Fest is still being worked out, be sure to look at the Fraternal Herald for more details, as well as our Facebook page.

Our pancake breakfast is on March 18 at the Glenville American Legion from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Please plan to attend. A meeting will follow afterwards.

We discussed how to get inactive members more involved with the hall. Our agent, Ken Cafourek, will talk to the Home Office for ideas.

November - December 2017

Members met on November 19 at the Glenville American Legion. We held a moment of silence for our departed members and those who are ill. A thank-you card was received from those who attended the bus tour.
The siding on the out building is finished and the doors will be fixed soon.
Members donated the pop and water leftover from Czech Fest to the Glenville Fire Department.
Susan Cherney volunteered to create a Facebook page for the Brick Hall.
For the upcoming Czech Fest, we might be able to take credit card sales; we will know more later. There was discussion about attracting a younger crowd by having another band on Saturday night, as well as different food.
We assembled and delivered goodie plates for shut-in members.

Members met on December 10 at the Glenville American Legion. We held a moment of silence for departed members and those who might be ill. We had a thank-you card from someone who received a goodie plate.
New officers were installed as follows: President Dan Rayman, Vice President Dan Belshan, Treasurers Susan Cherney and Marcella Nelson, Secretary Karen Nyenhuis, and Correspondent Elise Nyenhuis. Thanks to everyone who has either been an officer or is currently an officer, it is greatly appreciated. Bonnie Belshan installed the officers. We also appointed a new Trustee, Leland Estes.
Our new property has been re-leveled and seeded. Thanks to all who helped. The 2018 Czech Fest will be held on September 8 and 9. We will have more information to come.
The pancake breakfast is on March 18 at the Glenville City Hall, please plan to attend!
Ann Estes talked about on-going projects our lodge could participate in. Starting in January, members can bring in various school supplies for the Glenville-Emmons schools and non-perishable items for the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester. We collected items for the Salvation Army and the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester. We also discussed the rental agreement.

Our next meeting will be on January 7 at the Glenville American Legion. If the weather is bad, the meeting will be held on January 21. We will focus on ways to advertise better for Czech Fest.

October 2017

Members met on October 10 at the Bohemian Brick Hall. Emil and Bev Prantner celebrated 72-years of marriage. We had a moment of silence for Don Kral, who passed away recently; a celebration of his life was held at the Bohemian Brick Hall.

We hosted a bus tour of 100 people on September 28. There were comments on how beautiful and well-kept our hall is. Thanks to all who helped make the event successful, it is appreciated. Also, thanks to those who helped or attended Czech Fest. It was a success and could not have been done without you.

Our new tables arrived and are a nice addition to the hall.

Starting in November, our meetings will be on Sunday afternoons at the Glenville American Legion. Dates are still being determined.

On Halloween, members served hotdogs and potato chips to children who came to the Glenville American Legion.
Join us for a meeting at 1 p.m. on November 19 at the Glenville American Legion. Members will assemble gift plates for shut-ins at this meeting.

We made plans for the upcoming pancake breakfast in March of 2018.

September 2017

Members met on September 5. For the month of August, a get-well card was sent out.

There was much discussion on the upcoming Czech Fest held on September 9 and 10. At the meeting, we had 17 sponsors for Mollie B. The KSMQ television show, Off 90, came to the Brick Hall to film part of Czech Fest, as well as interview various members about the history of the Brick Hall. Members wore their Western t-shirts for the event. Various job duties for Czech Fest were assigned and we awarded three 75-year membership pins.

August 2017

Members met on August 8 at the Bohemian Brick Hall for a potluck supper. Cheryl Brech donated a beautiful wall hanging that member Janet Svoboda handcrafted. She also donated Christmas decorations to be sold at our upcoming Czech Fest.

We donated 450 pounds of can tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, with more to be donated in the future.

Our roof was recently fixed by Glenville resident Robert Nesset. The lodge plans on purchasing new tables for the hall.

On September 28, we are hosting a bus tour of 100 people and will be serving bratwurst, sauerkraut, potato salad, and kolache. We will also provide them with a history of the Brick Hall and music.

Czech Fest posters were distributed to members to pass out to various businesses in the surrounding communities. There was much discussion about what needs to be done to ensure we have another successful Czech Fest. We hope to see you all there!

Agent Ken Cafourek donated Western merchandise for prizes. Correspondent Elise Nyenhuis provided members with an overview of the MN State Meeting in Hutchinson, MN. Members who attended sold tickets for the Czech glassware. The money will go towards the MN State WFLA Scholarship Fund.

Members Leland and Ann Estes were awarded the Family Benefit through Western. We are honored to have Leland and Ann as members, they are exceptional people and are always there to help wherever it is needed.

July 2017

Members met on July 11 at the Bohemian Brick Hall for a potluck/meeting. We held a moment of silence for departed members and those with health problems. Since the last meeting, there were three Get-Well cards mailed out to members.

Our new well has been put in, and a new hydrant will be put in soon. The Bohemian Brick Hall will be doing more improvements in the near future regarding the outside appearance.

We purchased a handwashing station for use during various events, such as the Czech Fest. We will also be donating several pounds of can tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester, as well as eye glasses, milk caps, and empty pill bottles.

June 2017

Members met at the Bohemian Brick Hall on May 16. We had a moment of silence for departed members.
This year, we hosted the District Meeting. Afterward, members from No. 44, 38, and 127 made 150 May Day baskets.

Duane Jirik presented lodges with the Outstanding Leadership Award, and explained the point system and answered questions.

On April 22, members attended the Taste of Heritage at the Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea.

We figured out activities for the year at the May meeting. On May 20, members and the Glenville Fire Department went to the Greenwood Cemetery to place flags on graves. The Bohemian Cemetery had their Memorial Day dinner at the Brick Hall, so members volunteered.

At our June meeting, Joan Sedlacek from St. Paul gave a presentation.

In September, the Brick Hall will be very busy preparing for the Czech Fest. Joan Krikava will be in charge of the food, with members helping where needed. We will have a silent auction at Czech Fest this year.

Marcella Nelson and Janet Svoboda did a wonderful job decorating the hall for our District Meeting.

Brady Nyenhuis was congratulated for receiving a National Scholarship, and Ken Cafourek was recognized for his award through Western.

We met on June 6 at the Bohemian Brick Hall. After a potluck, we had a moment of silence for those who are ill or passed away. On June 10, members and the YELL! group participated in the Glenville Days parade. We also gave away two bicycles.

Joan Sedlacek, St. Paul lodge, gave a presentation on Lidice.

There was a great amount of discussion regarding our upcoming Czech Fest. There is a lot of good food, music, and great fellowship!

Agent Ken Cafourek has graciously donated merchandise for door prizes after every meeting. Thank you, Ken.
We decided to purchase a lighter table for the hall.

April 2017

Members met on April 2 at the Glenville American Legion. The meeting began after a potluck dinner. We had a moment of silence for our deceased and sick members.

Dan Rayman has talked to contractors regarding the leak from the roof. The sign that is in front of the Brick Hall is back and will be put into place sometime in the near future.

On April 8, members, the YELL! group, and the Glenville-Emmons Softball Team and Band Boosters met to clean the Brick Hall and its grounds. We are still discussing what type of tree we will be planting.

On April 22, we had a booth for the Heritage Fest at the Northbridge Mall in Albert Lea. We talked about Czech heritage in southern Minnesota.

On April 30, our lodge hosted the District 4 Meeting.

Our next meeting will be on May 16 at the Brick Hall.

February 2017

Members met on February 5 at the Glenville American Legion. Members had a moment of silence for those departed, as well as those who are ill. We sang Happy Birthday to Emil Prantner and Dan Belshan.

We received thank-you notes from Connie Haroldson and Dan Litchfield.

Our Czech Fest will be on September 9 and 10, with Mollie B. performing. Please keep the dates open and look at the Fraternal Herald for more information.

We had our annual pancake breakfast on March 12 at the Glenville American Legion. We also had a bake sale and sold Czech Fest tickets. Ten percent of the proceeds go towards a food shelf in our community.

The District 4 Meeting will be held on April 30, and we are hosting. Look in the Fraternal Herald for further information.

January 2017

Members met on January 3 at the Glenville American Legion. We had a moment of silence for our brothers and sisters who are either sick or have passed away.

We talked briefly about our upcoming pancake breakfast on March 5 at the Glenville American Legion from 7 a.m. until noon. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Afterwards, we had a representative from Invenergy, Dan Litchfield, speak at our meeting. He discussed wind mills and the future of them.

Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.