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 

December 2020



Dear Friends, 

Your 2020 probably looked a lot different from your 2019 - and if you spent most of the year cooped up and sticking close to home, you're not alone.

2020 has been a year of unexpected challenges. It has, however, given us the time to reflect and appreciate the people we have in our lives.

Christmas is a great time to express our gratitude to those we care for. It is also the perfect opportunity to put that gratitude into practice.

Our best wishes to you and your family for health, happiness and mask-free socializing in the coming year. May your holidays be filled with love and peace that continues throughout the new year.

Merry Christmas!

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 November 15, 2020. Please review the list - you just might find someone you know. 

  • Kathleen Ford - Faquay-Varina, NC
  • Christen Justice, Charleston, WV
  • Natalia  Rudiak - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Bill Setnor - Mascoutah, IL
  • Mary and John Smaligo - Greensburg, PA
  • John Smaligo Jr - N Versailles, PA
  • Bill Their, Yakima, WA
  • Alexander Tranovich - Columbus, OH
  • Loretta Zilka - Clemont, FL

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. 


George Pawlush, C-RS member, is currently researching materials for a book that will feature athletes with Rusyn backgrounds who have reached the professional ranks of American sports.

A few years ago, late CR-S board member, John Shweich created a poster board display for the CR-S Cultural Center that highlighted seven major league baseball players and umpires with Rusyn ancestral roots. The group included five players – Joseph “Ducky” Medwick, Andy Seminick, Harry “Fritz” Dorish, Stan Musial, Steve Ridzik – and umpires George “Jim” Honochick and Nestor Chylak, a member of Major League Baseball’s Hall-of-fame at Cooperstown, NY.

Pawlush plans to expand his research beyond baseball and is searching for athletes with Rusyn backgrounds in all professional sports, including football, basketball, boxing, tennis, hockey, golf and Olympic Games participants as well.

He counts on support from the Rusyn community,” I know that there are many other people out there,” Pawlush said. “If CR-S members have any leads I would appreciate that they get in touch with me. If possible, it would be great to receive the athlete’s biographical information, photos, and location of their ancestral roots.

Your input is needed! Any leads or materials may be forwarded to Pawlush at 206 Taylor Ave., Cheshire, CT, 06410 or send by e-mail to

Pawlush, a former CR-S board member, has published or co-published three books on sports topics. His latest book, “Zeus and the Boys,” is about the Wilkes College (Wilkes-Barre, PA) football teams of the late 1960s, that posted a 37-3 record from 1965 to 1969. The five-year span included a 32-game winning streak, still the fifth longest in NCAA Division 2 football history.

Many of the players on those teams were first-generation college students, some the sons and grandsons of Anthracite coal miners who immigrated from Eastern Europe to Northeastern Pennsylvania in the early 1900s .

Two individuals profiled in the book with a Rusyn background include Jonah Goobic, who was an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Wilkes College from 1962 to 1971; and Joe DeMelfi, head coach at Wilkes from 1990 to 1995, who guided the Wilkes gridders to a Middle Atlantic Conference title and a trip to the 1993 NCAA Division 3 post-season playoffs. The book is available on


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


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 Eastern PA Chapter of the C-RS pays tribute to Margaret Curran. Margaret died on September 4, 2020. She will be remembered by our chapter as a contributor to our Conferences and her letters of encouragement. She always wanted to be there with us, but it was physically impossible. We should be inspired by members who support our events even when they are unable to attend.

A donation will be made to the C-RS in her memory.


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.

Saturday, December 19, 2020 2:00 PM Pacific

Halubki Workshop (Virtual)

A casual, social time, making holubki together while in our own separate kitchens.  

Zoom address will be sent day of. PNW Branch members only.

Registration closes the night before.

Saturday, January 9, 2021 1:00 pm Eastern (Virtual)

The Carpatho-Rusyn Society presents Czechoslovakia: Behind the Iron Curtain from 1 - 2:30 pm EST.  Pre-registration is required.  Free to current Carpatho-Rusyn Society members. For Non Carpatho-Rusyn Society members there is a $5.00 registration fee. This event is hosted by Bill Tarkulich.  

Please join us for a presentation by Dr. Zuzana Palovic co-author of the recently-published book by the same name about daily life under communism.  The book is a culmination of research by Dr. Palovic and her colleague, Dr. Gabriela Bereghazyova into the daily life of Czechoslovakia citizens.  We’ve heard the rhetoric, we’ve heard the political theory and western reports, now let’s hear what happened from those on the inside.  The presentation will describe the details of how the communist government went forth with converting the country into a perfect society overnight and how its citizens acquiesced, resisted, attempted to escape its grip and finally brought down the regime.

Drs. Palovic and Bereghazyova were born in Czechoslovakia, educated in… and now run a Bratislava-based non-profit organization “Global Slovakia” dedicated to the sharing Slovakia with the world. They are also the authors of “Slovakia, The legend of the Linden” and “The Great Return”.  In addition to books, they offer several educational opportunities worldwide.

Registration Instructions:

For C-RS Members -  they can register directly from the event announcement that they receive by clicking the the event title link. Or, log in to the C-RS website, , click on the  "Events" opinion, click on "Our Events" click on the "Register" button and follow the instructions.

For Non-Members - go to the C-RS website,, enter their email address as requested and follow instructions.


Copyright © 2020 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