The C-RS Connection is a monthly e-newsletter providing information about upcoming events, membership announcements, new member introductions, volunteer profiles and more! 

C-RS Connection 

March 2021



Dear Friends, 

In today’s world Social Media is an inherently dynamic environment. Dr. Bob Hanich predicted this a few years back and felt that our Society lacked presence in that field. In March of 2020, we created an Education Media Committee of which Bob Hanich became a chair. The Education Committee met every two weeks till September 2020. They were responsible for creating our new Facebook group page, Instagram, and producing compelling video programs:

Thanks to the Committee’s tireless effort, it was recognized that in order to provide a high level of C-RS visibility, we needed to identify the optimal delivery of methods for varying levels of message content. The result was the need to separate two tasks that had been done by one team (content creation and content) into two teams. The content creation activity will now be the responsibility of the Education Committee. The Social Media Committee will distribute content to all appropriate social media platforms in a manner tailored to each platform. This manner of distribution will allow other programs to leverage their resources at little additional effort. The Committee is chaired by Starik Pollock and strives to ensure that each message will:

  • Build C-RS awareness worldwide
  • Reinforce the reputation of C-RS as an authoritative resource of Rusyn information
  • Promote C-RS events and news
  • Collaborate with like-minded organizations
  • Attract members of all ages
  • Attract donor support by highlighting the active contributions we make

On February 19, 2018, the Greek Catholic Union (GCU) sent the C-RS a letter stating that it “recognizes the importance of preserving our Carpatho-Rusyn heritage and the role the Center plays in this effort. With that said, the Board of Directors of the GCU has pledged a $100,000 donation to the Center that will be paid over a four-year period that is to be used strictly for the Center’s continued renovation.” In early February 2021, we received their third installment of $25,000. In the report made to the GCU, we described the following improvements:

  • Waterproofed the entire basement
  • Insulated the basement walls
  • Removed extraneous non-weight bearing walls
  • Installed climate control in the future archive room
  • Finished the Multimedia Room

We are gathering photos of the renovation progress made and will have it available for everyone to view.

We are deeply grateful to the GCU Board for their commitment to the renovation of our Center.

Maryann Sivak

C-RS National President


Welcome to our newest C-RS members. The following list of names reflects new members who have joined (or have been reinstated) since February 15, 2021. Please review the list - you just might find someone you know! 

  • Dora Balyint Sword- Wadsworth,OH
  • Stephanie Borellis – Buffalo, NY
  • Helen Boyer – Corrales, NM
  • Joseph Bukovac – Leesburg,VA
  • Art Farash - North Bend, WA
  • Elisabeth Farrell - South Berwick, ME
  • Robert Grip - Mobile, AL
  • Gary Grysiak – Monroeville, PA
  • Donald Hoke – Dallas, TX
  • Jennifer Hoper - Penfield, NY
  • Susan Jaycox - Central Islip, NY
  • Thomas, Jevcak - Tampa, FL
  • Matthew Kallis - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Joseph Kozak - West Leisenring - PA
  • Byron Levkulich - Denver, CO
  • Helen Lewis - Jefferson City, MT
  • Nicole Lyon - Oakland, CA
  • Bertha Morrison - Kila, MT
  • Robyn Pliuta – Rochester, NY
  • Jay Reinfeld – Miami, FL
  • Paul Sabol, Blue BellL, PA
  • Elaine Sirak - Summerfield, FL
  • Gary Smetana  - Brookline, NH
  • Kathleen Stickane - Trumansburg, NY
  • William Their- Vancouver, WA
  • Barbara Trebisovsky - Minneapolis, MN
  • Shelley Wygant - Carnegie, PA
  • Richard Zaremba - Fort Mill, SC


The following members were lapsed in their membership dues for the November and December 2020 billing cycles. These members will, unfortunately, be archived from the active membership rolls of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society. If a member is archived and eventually does pay their dues, their membership record will be reinstated. If you know of anyone listed here, please reach out to them and ask that they consider renewing.

November 2020 Billing Cycle – Note members were archived 15 February 2021

  • Christopher John Bilcheck - Palm Springs, CA
  • Mary Ann Bubonic - New Port Beach, CA
  • Zachary Crawford - Coal City, IL
  • Nancy Ellis – Hammond, IN
  • Basil & Olga Farbanish – Randolph, NJ
  • Ivana Goliasova - Scottsdale, AZ
  • John Kendrick - Shelburne Falls, MA
  • William Krynicky - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
  • Brian McHugh - Collingswood, NJ
  • William Perlow - Westmont, IL
  • Elena Spontak - Portland, OR
  • Nina Spontak – Honolulu, HI
  • Betty Staniulis – Darien, CT
  • Christopher Staurovsky-Smith - El Cajon, CA
  • December 2020 Billing Cycle – Members to be archived 15 March 2020
  • Robert Baranik - Monrovia, CA
  • Linda Benini – Charleroi, PA
  • John Nalesnik – Whippany, NJ
  • Lauren Risley – Antioch, IL
  • Cindy Rost - Charleroi, PA
  • Geraldine Sandor – Lorain, OH
  • John & Alice Sutko - Burbank, IL
  • John Withka - Wharton, NJ 

Again, we welcome these new members and look forward to a lasting relationship.  We hope they become involved by bringing their talents and skills to the C-RS. 


Dear Carpatho-Rusyn Society Member:

The 2021 Nominating Committee is currently seeking names of members in good standing whom 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 (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 home page 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. Please also note that any individual who meets the above requirements may nominate himself for a position. Several members have done so in the past and have won the position.

  • 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; provide 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 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


During 2020, a new member survey was sent to members who joined the Carpatho-Rusyn Society during the year.  Two basic questions were asked and sent to members with an email address.  The following is a summary of the survey results. 

  • 165 surveys were sent to new members with an emails address 
  • Of the 165, 79 (49%) opened the survey email
  • Of the 79, 42 (53%) responded to the survey

The two questions asked and results:

1. How did you find out about the Carpatho-Rusyn Society (C-RS)? (select top 3)

  • Found the C-RS Website, while surfing the web = 24
  • Social media, i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. = 15
  • From a family member = 7
  • Referred by a C-RS member = 6
  • Read about it in a publication i.e. C-RS publication, genealogy, etc. = 4
  • Was a member many years ago. = 2
  • C-RS display table at a community sponsored event/festival = 2
  • Attended a C-RS sponsored event (national and/or chapter/branch) = 0
  • Carpatho-Rusyn Heritage Radio Program = 0
  • Other:
    • Genealogy research = 1
    • Slovak American Society of Wash DC = 1
    • Church/general knowledge = 1

2. Why did you join the Carpatho-Rusyn Society (C-RS)? (select top 3)

  • Acquire a better understanding of the family’s heritage = 41
  • To learn about the Rusyn culture and traditions = 34
  • Genealogy assistance in researching my family = 22
  • To meet fellow Rusyns and share information = 11
  • C-RS Website provided value information that helped in my decision = 5
  • Rusyn related topics on social media; i.e. YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc. = 4
  • C-RS Publication(s) stimulated my interest in the C-RS = 2
  • Get involved, contribute to the C-RS = 2
  • Attended a C-RS sponsored events (national and/or chapter/branch) = 0
  • Other:
  • Find out more about cantors = 1

Note: Other reflects comments made by participants.



What a response! Thanks for your feedback.In less than three months I’m happy to share that I‘ve received the names of 41 athletes with probable Carpatho Rusyn roots.

These individuals have achieved the top rung of their professional sports that include major league baseball (MLB). National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), PGA golf, boxing, weightlifting.

Of this group, there are nine individuals, listed below, where I need details to confirm their Carpatho Rusyn ancestry. If you can supply information on these athletes, please contact me at or at 206 Taylor Ave., Cheshire, CT 06410.

Here is the list of the 41 athletes submitted, as of March 13:

  • Nestor Chylak, MLB umpire (1922-1982)
  • Steve Ridzik, MLB pitcher (1929-2008)
  • Jim Honochick, MLB umpire (1917-1994)
  • Ed (Lopatynski) Lopat, MLB pitcher (1918-1992)
  • Mike Goliat, MLB 2B (1921-2004)
  • Stan Musial, MLB 1B (1920-2013)
  • Harry Dorish, MLB pitcher (1921-2000)
  • Mike Ditka, NFL player (1939-present)
  • Jack Hamm, NFL player (1948-present)
  • John Pyecha, MLB pitcher (1931-present)
  • Paul (Stenko) Stenn, NFL player (1918-2003)
  • Mike Souchak, PGA golfer (1927-2008)
  • Andy Seminick, MLB catcher (1921-2004)
  • George Toma, MLB and Super Bowl groundskeeper (1929-present)
  • Harry Fanok, MLB pitcher (1940-present)
  • Tom Yewcik, MLB catcher and NFL player (1932-2020)
  • Scott Zolak, NFL player (1967-present)
  • Greg Manusky, NFL player (1966-present)
  • John Terpak, weight lifting champion (1912-1993)
  • Danny Kravitz, MLB catcher (1930-2013)
  • George Shuba, MLB of (1924-2014)
  • Steve Halaiko, boxing (1908-2001)
  • John Jadick, boxing (1908-1970)
  • Thomas Poholsky, MLB pitcher (1929-2001)
  • Jennifer Derevjanik, WNBA (1982-present)
  • Ralph “Rube” Novotney, MLB pitcher (1924-87)
  • Mike Gazella, MLB SS (1896-1978)
  • Pete Duranko, NFL player (1943-2011)
  • Pete Latzo, boxing (1902-1968)
  • John Kucab, MLB pitcher (1919-1977)
  • Spike Merena, MLB pitcher (1909-1977)
  • Michael Basca, NFL player (1917-1944)

Still need to identify ancestral home

  • Norm Larker, MLB 1b (1930-2007). (mother Susan Zaleznock)
  • Steve Swetonic, MLB pitcher (1903-1974)
  • Bernie Kosar, NFL player (1963-present)
  • John Halama, MLB pitcher( 1972-present)
  • Andy Uram, NFL player (1915-1984)
  • Joe “Ducky” Medwick, MLB player (1911-1975)
  • John Kundla, NBA coach (1916-2017)
  • Sam Havrilak, NFL player (1947-present)
  • Bill Malinchak, NFL player (1944-present)


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. 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


Join us on April 14th -  Chris Black will present a short zoom presentation on DNA Methods and Insights followed by an open period of  your questions and answers. Be present and engage in what promises to be a rich discussion on a contemporary topic in genealogy! 

See our "Save the Dates" section below for more information.  

Chris Black Bio (Presenting on April 14th)

Chris Babilya Black grew up in the Anthracite Region of Pennsylvania to Rusyn parents, Nicholas and Veronica Koroly(Karoly) Babilya. Chris' grandparents emigrated  from what was then the Austrian/Hungarian Empire in the early 1900s. Their villages AlsoDomonya and Borhalom are now Domanyntsi and Bobovysche, Ukraine.

Chris has been doing genealogy research for over 10 years. It began when she was relating a family story and her son  stated he had no idea who she was talking about. She felt it was necessary to educate all her immediate family including her first cousins, which numbered over 50, and their families about the families originated.

In doing DNA research, she also wanted to find out about siblings of her grandparents and great grandparents to connect with her DNA matches.

Through this research she has been able to make contact with relatives in Ukraine who are helping to fill in the gaps in her brick wall.

She has volunteered at a Family History Center where she has learned much to pass along to others in their quest to find their own family history. As well as being a C-RS member for many years, Chris is also a member of the Florida Genealogic Society of Tampa.

As Chris keeps finding out information, she realizes the more she knows the more she needs to find out. Chris is willing to help anyone with learning how to research their own families.

Barb Popovich Bio (Presenting on June 9)

Barb has been investigating her family's history for over 30 years, and has seen an enormous change in records available online. Barb has found ship manifests for almost all her immigrant ancestors, which was a time-consuming affair.  It took tremendous patience to watch pages fill in line by line. 

From there, she found records for her husband's Hungarian ancestors that involved identifying records on, a trip to a Family History Center, the use of a microfilm machine and translating Latin and Hungarian records.  This past summer, Barb found records for her Lemko relatives on the Polish Archives website.  Barb comments that she "enjoys the puzzle-solving aspects of doing genealogy research and the exhilaration of a find giving me a view into a life when grandparents, great-grandparents were infants or young adults beginning a life with a new family or despairing over the loss of a child." Barb is always looking for new sources of information that will give her a better understanding of those who have gone before.

Through the C-RS, Barb hopes to share the knowledge she has gained over the years to help others in their search for their families.

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


Jun  9

Barb Popovich

Poland Research

Aug 11

Chris Black

Ukraine Research

Sep 8

Sharon Jarrow

Travel in Ukraine

Nov  10



May  12, 2022

Mary Osborne

I’m a Boyko!


As you may know, the Carpatho-Rusyn Society Heritage Program is now part of the family. is an internet based Rusyn radio station in Slovakia.

The broadcast is under the main title of ГОЛОСЫ РУСИНІВ АМЕРИКЫ / HOLOSŶ RUSYNIV AMERYKŶ / VOICE OF RUSYNS IN AMERICA, but is still known as The Carpatho-Rusyn Society Heritage Program.

The program can be heard on Sunday afternoons at 3:30 pm Eastern Time. can be accessed through any computer with internet access or as a smartphone application.

To listen, visit To listen live at broadcast time, please click:
To listen to any of the archives, please visit our media page:


The Who are the Rusyns? DVD was released in 2019 for the 25th Anniversary of the Carpatho-Rusyn Society.

It is professionally presented by John Righetti explaining the complicated history of the Rusyn people. This “hard copy” should be in every Rusyn home simply because it will be referred to often and hopefully shared with others. One realizes how close the Rusyns were to becoming extinct and gives great hope for the future as we are now recognized as an ethnic minority by many countries.

The DVD can be purchased for $25, which includes postage and handling. Please include the name and address of the recipient and mail your check made payable to Carpatho-Rusyn Society to Bonnie Burke, 1101 Tanner Crossing Lane, Indian Land, SC 29707. 

Orders will be processed immediately upon receipt.


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 for additional information.

March 21-28, 2021

A Multi-Cultural Celebration of Spring

Sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Nationality Rooms and hosted by the Pitt Global Hub

The festival is a family-oriented event welcoming the coming of Spring in many ethnic traditions. Celebrate the ethnic customs of India, Romania, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia with games for all ages. Rusyn videos will be used in this virtual event. 

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 (Virtual)

7:30-9:00PM Eastern Time

Let's Talk Rusyn Genealogy Chat and Learn

DNA - What are the basics? Featuring host Chris Black

Chris Black will be answering your questions about DNA. 

  • What is it all about?
  • Will the DNA test tell me if I am Rusyn?
  • What type of testing is there and why are they different?
  • Who should test? 
  • What companies are there to do each of the tests? 
  • Am I limited to just one company or can I share results?
  • Where can I find more information?

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.  The Zoom link will be provided the day of the event.  

Expect your questions on DNA to be answered! 

To review event and your registration details online, log in at with your email and password and go to the event page at


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