C-RS Connection 

June 2021



As we celebrate Father’s Day, let us recall how it began.

The first known Father’s Day service occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908, thanks to the efforts of Grace Golden Clayton. The service was to honor all fathers, especially those who were killed during a devastating mine explosion in Monongah, West Virginia, the previous year. The observance, however, did not become an annual event and was not promoted. Very few outside the local area knew about it.

In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, also was inspired to create a holiday honoring fathers. William Jackson Smart, her father was a farmer and Civil War veteran who raised Sonora and her five younger brothers by himself after his wife, Ellen died in 1898 giving birth to their youngest child. While attending a Mother’s Day church service in 1909, Sonora, then 27, came up with the idea.

Sonora convinced the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA to set aside a Sunday in June to celebrate fathers. She proposed June 5, her father’s birthday, but the ministers chose the third Sunday in June so that they would have more time after Mother’s Day (the second Sunday in May), to prepare their sermons. On June 19, 1910, Sonora delivered presents to handicapped fathers, boys from the YMCA decorated their lapels with fresh-cut roses (red for living father, white for the deceased), and the city’s ministers devoted their homilies to fatherhood.

The widely publicized event in Spokane struck a chord that reached all the way to Washington, D.C., and Sonora’s celebration started on its path to becoming a national holiday. In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson and is family personally observed the day. Eight years later, President Calvin Coolidge signed a resolution in favor of Father’s day “to establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.” President Richard Nixon designated Father’s Day as a national holiday in 1972.

Happy Father’s Day to all men who are working diligently to be good fathers, whether they are biological fathers, stepfathers or spiritual fathers.

Maryann Sivak

C-RS National President


Our newest C-RS members who have joined us since May 15, 2021 will be listed in the July edition of the C-RS Connection.  


Dear Carpatho-Rusyn Society Member:

The 2021 Nominating Committee is currently seeking names of members in good standing who you feel could lead our organization as members of the National Board of Directors. When nominating a candidate, please include 3-4 sentences about what this member would bring to the nominated position; i.e. skills, talent, etc. All nominated members will be contacted by the committee regarding their interest in being placed on the ballot as a candidate. Please note: with the availability of various media sources, nominees can now live anywhere in the United States or Canada.



Nominations may be submitted to the nominations committee by;

  • Email at membership@c-rs.org (preferred), or
  • Postal mail to - Carpatho-Rusyn Society, Attn: Nominations Committee, 915 Dickson Street, Munhall, PA 15120-1929
  • Please account for delivery time when submitting through postal mail, so it is received by the deadline. For email submissions, please use BOD Nomination in the subject line.

Nominees for the Board must:

  • Be current in their dues payment; 
  • Be able to participate in monthly board meetings via teleconferencing or other media sources;
  • Have internet access and be comfortable communicating via email, teleconferencing, or other media sources;
  • Be able to actively participate on assigned committee(s),
  • Be able to fulfill their fiduciary duties to the organization;
  • Be able to participate in any fundraising for the organization, and
  • Be familiar with and comply with the C-RS by-laws. (A link to the by-laws can be found on the homepage of the C-RS website.)

Nominations can be made for the following Board positions. Note, a nominee may be nominated for more than one position, and that nominee can confirm what position he/she may be interested when contacted by the committee.

  • President: Chief executive officer of the organization, shall preside at all BOD meetings, represent the society as appropriate and have general supervision of and general management of the affairs of the organization.
  • Vice-President: Exercises the powers and duties of the President when called on to do so.
  • Recording Secretary: Takes official minutes of all meetings; maintains all corporate documents including meeting minutes, records and reports; provides notices and documentation as required by the by-laws or the Board.
  • Chief Financial Officer: Generates and maintains financial records; oversees budgeting, accounting, and investments; pays bills and invoices; responsible for filing taxes; custodian of contracts and business records.
  • Chief Financial Administrator: Deposits financial vehicles and non-financial valuable effects of the organization; maintains depository records; reports regularly to the board.
  • Chief Information Officer: Oversees electronic membership records; supervises general mailings; helps the organization with its information technology needs.
  • Trustee (six positions): Actively participates in day-to-day business of C-RS through fundraising and actively serves on board committees; audits the financial books annually.

For further details or with any questions please contact the committee at membership@c-rs.org or phone 412-567-3077 and leave a message. You will receive a response as soon as possible.

Yours in Rusyn Unity,

C-RS Nominations Committee


The Anna Donson Memorial Scholarship, in its fifth year, will be once again offering a $1000.00 scholarship. The committee consists of Dr. Paula Donson, Paul Lohin, Pamela Hemzik, Sarah Latanyshyn, Dr. Dolores Fidishun, Elizabeth Diles, Cathie McAdams, and Sharon Jarrow .

The aim of the scholarship is to assist students who themselves are members of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society, or who would advance the Carpatho-Rusyn culture, language, or tenets of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society. The purpose of this $1000.00 scholarship is to recognize and provide financial assistance to an outstanding student enrolled in a higher education program (2 or 4-year duration or graduate program) or any accredited institution that offers certified academic, professional, technical, or vocational training.

The scholarship wishes to encourage and highlight the excellent contributions that our Rusyn people are making to their communities and beyond. The scholarship also intends to accelerate the advancement of our young Carpatho-Rusyn population, expanding the development of our Carpatho-Rusyn citizens, within their community and state through higher education, advanced learning, and professional academic or vocational work.

The Anna Donson Memorial Scholarship application form and criteria are available online at the Carpatho-Rusyn Society website: www.c-rs.org Go to HIGHLIGHTS on the home page, click on the 2021 Donson Scholarship button from the The Anna Donson Memorial Scholarship, scroll to the bottom of page, and click on the application button to print the application form (also posted is the Scholarship Description and Criteria).

Dr. Paula Donson


Scholarship deadline is June 30th



Calling all genealogists! 

Research on our Carpatho Rusyn athlete project is progressing as our list is rapidly approaching 50 athletes. Some of these nominees still need to be vetted (fact checked) as to insure that their ancestral home towns listed are located in the recognized Carpatho-Rusyn homeland. We are continuing to search for more definitive information about the six nominees below. If you can help, please contact me at George.pawlush@wilkes.edu.

Norm Larker, MLB baseball

He was born in Beaver Meadows (Hazleton), PA in 1930. His mother’s name was Susan Zeleznock, who was born in the USA. Her parents, Michael and John Zeleznock, came from Slovakia. Larker played with the Dodgers and Giants from 1958 to 1963.

Steve Swetonic, MLB baseball

Born in Mt. Pleasant, PA (1903), he died in Canonsburg, PA (1970). His father, John Swetonic Sr, and mother, Susan Bushick, were both born in Austria, 1862 and 1864 respectively. Steve Jr. played with the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1929 to 1935.

Bernie Kosar, NFL football

He was born in Youngstown, OH. His parents attended St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church. He played for the Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, and Miami Dolphins from 1985 to 1996.

Andy Uram, NFL Football

Was a star football player at the University of Minnesota and later with the Green Bay Packers from 1938 to 1943. He was born 1915 in Minneapolis. His parents, Andrew Uram Morin and Mary Uram Morin, came from Austria-Hungary

Johnny Logan, MLB baseball

Johnny grew up in Endicott, NY. His mother was Anna Senko (1896-1997) He played in MLB from 1951 to 1963, mostly for the Milwaukee Braves.

Ed Vargo, MLB umpire

He was a major league umpire from 1960 to 1983. Vargo (1929 to 2008) was born and died in Canonsburg, PA. His maternal grandfather, Michael Hunka, and grandmother, Pearl Palan/Paluha were both born in Austria. They married in Feinstein Sambour, Galicia in 1899.


Do you have questions about where your Baba came from? Where to find records in Europe? Or stateside information about your family here in America? Where to begin? Where to find resources?

Let us be one of those resources! A team of genealogy research experts can be found at the C-RS genealogy forum. 

To access the Forum:

  • From the C-RS website. www.c-rs.org home page, scroll down to the “Genealogy” icon (link) and click.
  • You will be directed to the “Genealogy” page, please read the terms & conditions.
  • Scroll down to the “Join Genealogy Discussion Form” button at the bottom of the page and click.
  • You will be asked to log in with your email address and password, the discussion form and the recent forum update page will appear.
  • You have the option to either reply to an existing topic or create a new topic. 
    • For new topics click on the “Topic” button and enter the subject and topic content (body). Note: To prevent spam you will be asked “I’m not a robot”, respond accordingly.
    • To reply to an existing post, click on the topic title from the list, and then click on the “Reply” button to enter your response.
  • Then click the “Post” button.

Attachments can be included as part of the reply or topic, i.e. pictures and/or documents. To insert an attachment:

  • Click on the “Choose files” button at the bottom of the page.
  • Select the file(s) to be attached. Up to 20 files can be uploaded. Each file should be less than 20 MB.
  • When complete, click on the “Post” button
C-RS Genealogy Forum


All C-RS members, friends and family are cordially invited to attend the C-RS virtual series “Let's Talk Rusyn Genealogy" Chat and Learn on July 10th from 7:30 - 9 PM EST. 

Tom Peters will return to answer all those provocative questions.

At our May chat, there were so many questions we could not get to answer them all. At your request, we set this chat up to come back with answers.

Zoom - Registration Required to receive the links to the program

To Register visit the C-RS website and login with your email and password.  Click on "Events" from the menu bar then click "Our Events" from the drop down menu.     

A zoom link will be sent closer to the event.       

2021 Genealogy LEARN AND CHAT Sessions


2nd Wed of Month.  1.5 hours 7:30-9PM

15-minute Speaker



Zuzana Palovic

Behind the Iron Curtain

February (members only)

Bill Tarkulich

State of Slovakia Research

April 14

Chris Black


June 15

Barb Popovich

Poland Research

August 11

Chris Black

Ukraine Research

September 8

Sharon Jarrow

Travel in Ukraine

November 10



May 12, 2022

Mary Osborne

I’m a Boyko!


The Southeastern States Branch has been significantly growing. Therefore, it has become necessary to divide the Southeastern Branch into the Georgia Branch, Florida Branch and Carolinas (N&S) Branch on our website. If you have any friends or relatives who might be interested, please let them know. Have them visit our website under "Chapters" and they just need to click “join email list.” Contact Bonnie at bb@c-rs.org for additional information.

On Saturday, June 26, Doors Open Pittsburgh will explore the exciting transformation happening in the Homestead neighborhood.  We have been invited to participate by opening our Carpatho-Rusyn Cultural and Educational Center to the community for a unique and behind-the scenes experience!

Visitors will enjoy seeing traditional Rusyn craft demonstrations.  Attendees will experience Rusyn pysanky (egg) decorating, Rusyn cross stitching of Easter basket covers, and wool spinning.  In addition, we will have an art exhibit and a DJ to entertain us.  Refreshments will be available.

We invite you to experience the warmth of our Rusyn hospitality and learn about our Rusyn immigrants and how they enriched American culture.   

Get Tickets

The Dallas Chapter is returning to live events this July!

We are pleased to welcome Anna Tombazzi, Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. for an in-person, public event on July 17, 2021. She will be with visiting us for a weekend of festivities in her honor. We are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of this fine young woman of Rusyn descent!

I am attaching links to our Eventbrite page and our Facebook event for you to share with everyone. Please let me know if you have any problems with these links.

Thank you,

Lee Ann /Dallas Chapter

Carpatho-Rusyn Society Heritage Program

Hosted by: Dean Poloka

Sundays 3:30 - 4:00 p.m.  (Eastern U.S. time)

Host Dean Poloka is a master choreographer and ethnic researcher of traditional Carpatho-Rusyn music, song and dance.

For more information:  https://c-rsmedia.org/radio-site/ 

Listen Live

Copyright © 2021 Carpatho-Rusyn Society. All rights reserved.
915 Dickson St.
Munhall, PA 15120
(412) 567-3077

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society (C-RS) is a national 501(C)(3) organization founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 1994. As stated in our mission statement, the C-RS is dedicated to manifesting Carpatho-Rusyn culture in the United States and supporting Rusyn culture in the homeland in east central Europe. Information about joining C-RS and a membership application may be obtained on the C-RS membership website at https://carpathorusynsociety.wildapricot.org.