On December 3rd, 2023, members of the Chicago District Senior Branches and their guests celebrated the return of the annual Senior Branches Christmas Luncheon. Members and guests met at Camelot Banquets in Hickory Hills for a festive afternoon filled with great food, great fellowship and great fun.
This event was cancelled for two years due to the pandemic, and guests appreciated being able to get together again to catch up with old friends and begin new friendships. Over 260 members and guests attended this event, including very special guests National FCSLA Life President/CEO Cynthia Maleski and National Fraternal and Youth Director Katherine Bowes from Home Office, and the Honorable Rosemary Macko WIsnowsky, Honorary Consul of Slovakia.
The proceedings opened with greetings from Chicago District President Lorraine Gibas, followed by remarks from The Honorary Consul, and then a prayer before lunch from Sr. Bernarda from the Missionary Sisters of St. Benedict. A delicious Slavic style lunch was enjoyed. Oplatky was provided on the table for each guest coordinated by Branch S225.
Following lunch, other special guests were introduced including guests from the Indiana District, and Chicago District and Branch Officers were thanked for helping to plan and coordinate this wonderful afternoon. National President Maleski took the podium following introductions. Her remarks were inspiring to all. Following President Maleski’s remarks, Chicago District President Gibas joined her in presenting checks totalling over $1200 to Sr. Bernarda and Sr. Stella, representing the District matching funds project conducted in November. To add to the festivities, a split the pot cash raffle was conducted to benefit the Crisis Center for South Suburbia headquartered in Tinley Park. Guests were also encouraged to bring in gift cards and new sleep items to benefit this group. Several extra-large containers were filled with items, and over $1400 was raised by donations and the split the pot raffle. Many thanks to the Home Office Matching Funds program for their generosity in approving this event as matching funds.
The afternoon concluded with the traditional cash raffle of over 100 beautifully wrapped prizes. Many thanks to all who worked to make this afternoon so special and to all who attended the revival of this wonderful annual event.