Chicago Society

of the Polish National Alliance

The mission of the Society is to share a leadership role in the improvement of life of Polonia institutions, groups, and individuals; promote public awareness, especially among youth, of Polish and Polonia history and culture; and support and nurture the business and civic endeavors of its members.

Background

About the Foundation

Constitution

Grants

Guidelines

Presidents

The Chicago Society, PNA, sold its clubhouse at 2222 N. Kedzie Ave., Chicago, over 30 years ago. The funds were set aside for the purchase of a new clubhouse under the administration of the Chicago Society Building Corporation.

 

When it became clear that a new building would not be purchased in the foreseeable future, the thought arose that the funds being held by the Building Corporation should be put to use for the good of Polonia. As a result, a Foundation to handle the funds was suggested by Arthur Siemion, who was then Financial Secretary of the Chicago Society.

 

The movement gained popularity in 1998 and was supported by the Chicago Society's Board of Directors. Finally, after considerable debate and study, the concept was approved at a meeting of the general membership. By October, 1999, the Chicago Society Foundation was chartered as a Not-For-Profit Corporation by the State of Illinois. It has obtained status as a private charitable organization under the rules and regulations of the Internal Revenue Service.

 

The Chicago Society Building Corporation was dissolved and the Chicago Society Foundation (CSF) became the successor to its assets.

 

A constitution was constructed by the end of 1999 and made effective on January 1, 2000, when T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert, who had vigorously supported adoption of the CSF and authored its constitution, became its first President and Chairman of the Board. Jasinski-Herbert was reelected to serve for 2001 and then again for 2002.

 

Romuald E. Matuszczak became the second President of the CSF in January, 2003. Richard W. Ciesla became the third President in 2005. Donald A. Gutowski, Walter M. Piecewicz, Stanley Sawa and Charles  A. Komosa followed as Presidents.

 

The CSF consists of a Board of Directors composed of all living former Presidents and the current President of the Chicago Society. The Board's officers are elected in January of each year.

 

Donations to the CSF may be sent to the

Chicago Society Foundation

6348 N. Milwaukee Ave. #360

Chicago, IL 60646.

 

Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible as provided by law

 

Although reports are presented regularly at Chicago Society General Membership Meetings regarding the ongoing activities of the Chicago Society Foundation, it may be helpful to newer members, and a refresher to longer-standing members, to re-acquaint all of us as to the history and purpose of the Foundation.

 

The Foundation is a private charitable organization affiliated with, but separate from, the Chicago Society. It is the successor organization to the Chicago Society Building Corporation, which originally held and then sold, the Society's clubhouse because of changing neighborhood and building management circumstances. The new Foundation was created for tax-advantage reasons to permit donors to obtain charitable deductions, and for flexibility in managing philanthropic causes. Its constitution requires it to provide philanthropic and charitable assistance specifically and only to individuals and organizations dedicated to the Polish American community.

 

Mindful of that purpose, the Foundation’s directors, consisting of all former Presidents and the current serving President of the Society, have made grants to an array of organizations and causes consistent with service to the Polish American community. These have included, to name a few, The Polish Museum, the Irena Krzyzanowska Sendler film (televised on PBS in the Spring of 2011 with credits to the Chicago Society Foundation and a number of Society members,) the Chicago Society scholarship winners, Polish dance groups, and a biography of Casimir Pulaski for placement in many Chicago Public libraries. All Chicago Society members should be proud of the work the Foundation has done throughout its existence to carefully evaluate and identify only the most worthy recipients of support.

 

In addition to its initial seed funding from the Building Corporation, the Foundation has worked to enhance its funds by various means over the years, most notably its Casino Night sponsorship. Leaders in the Foundation have guided the Society to successfully sponsor its own Casino Nights to the benefit of its treasury. Importantly, the Foundation maintains a Finance Committee consisting of experienced individuals who have invested the Foundation’s funds prudently and conservatively. In the face of the recent economic downturn, the Foundation’s investments have actually increased in value at a time many "professional" managers and other nonprofit organizations have suffered disheartening financial losses, compromising their missions. Rest assured there is no investment gun-slinging at the Foundation.

 

The Foundation meets quarterly, carefully invests its funds to remain a viable source of grants for years to come, welcomes qualifying grant requests from worthy Polish American organizations and causes for consideration, and will continue to serve its mission.

 

ARTICLE I

The CHICAGO SOCIETY FOUNDATION is a charitable and philanthropic organization. The Chicago Society Foundation is a corporation and is governed by the Illinois General Not-for-Profit Act of 1986, as it may be from time to time amended. It was founded by the membership of the Chicago Society, which is also known as Lodge 1450 of the Polish National Alliance of the United States of North America.

ARTICLE II

PURPOSES

The purpose of this corporation is to provide philanthropic and charitable assistance to meet the needs of individuals primarily of Polish heritage and organizations primarily dedicated to the Polish American or Polish community within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue law.

ARTICLE III

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Chicago Society Foundation is to improve the well-being of the Polish American and Polish communities by supporting cultural, historical and educational projects of qualified individuals and organizations.

 

ARTICLE IV

NON-DISCRIMINATION

This corporation shall not discriminate against any person for reason of race, gender, age, national origin, handicap, religious conviction, marital status, veteran status or sexual preference.

 

ARTICLE V

OFFICES

Section 1. Principal Office

The principal office of the Chicago Society Foundation shall be in the State of Illinois and City of Chicago at such place as may be designated by the Board of Directors from time to time.

 

Section 2. Registered Office

The corporation shall have and continuously maintain in the State of Illinois a registered office and a registered agent whose address is identical to the registered office. The registered office may be, but need not be, identical to the principal office. The address of the registered office may be changed from time to time by the Board of Directors.

 

ARTICLE VI

MEMBERS

Section 1. Classes Members are those individuals or organizations who contribute financially to and support the purposes and goals of the Chicago Society Foundation. There may be classes of members of the corporation as determined by the Board of Directors.

 

Section 2. Designation Designation as a member does not confer any voting rights or authority in the management or activity of the corporation.

 

ARTICLE VII

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Section 1. Composition and Tenure

     a. Directors

   The Board of Directors shall consist of all living former presidents and current president of the Chicago Society of the Polish National Alliance (referred to herein as the Chicago Society PNA) all of whom are in good standing in that corporation. In the event, however, that there are not at least three living former presidents and the current president who is and are qualified to serve, the number of Directors shall be increased by the addition of one or more former Executive Vice Presidents, beginning with the most recent former Executive Vice President and going back therefrom in time, until there are at least three members of the Board of Directors.

     b. Tenure

     Former presidents of the Chicago Society shall serve from the conclusion of his term as President of the Chicago Society, which for these purposes shall be December 31 of the year in which he was officially inaugurated as President, until he is no longer a member in good standing of the Chicago Society PNA, he resigns from the Chicago Society Foundation in writing, or he is found unable to perform his duties as a Director of the Foundation.  The current President of the Chicago Society shall serve during his present term.

    c. Removal from Office

    A Director may be removed from the Board of Directors of the Chicago Society Foundation by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Directors present at a regular or special meeting of the Board, if he resigns, or if he is unable to perform his duties as a Director, or if he absents himself from three successive Board meetings.

     d. Reinstatement

    A former Director of the Chicago Society Foundation may be reinstated as a Director if he has regained good standing in the Chicago Society PNA, requests reinstatement after having resigned, or is found  now able to perform his duties as a Director, each or any of which causes for reinstatement must be accepted by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the Directors present at a regular or special meeting of the Board of Directors.

 

Section 2. Duties and Meetings

     a. Duties

    The business and property of the corporation shall be managed and controlled by a Board of Directors. The specific duties of the Board of Directors are to: carry out the goals and objectives of the corporation; make such grants of funds as it deems appropriate; determine classes of membership; approve and evaluate all programs; develop programs and activities that promote the purpose of the corporation; purchase or sell personal property or real estate; review and approve committee reports; hire such personnel as it may deem necessary and evaluate the performance of such personnel; approve an annual budget; monitor finances; insure that adequate resources are available to the corporation; and authorize the execution of legal documents.

     b. Regular Meetings

   Regular meetings of the Board of Directors shall be held at least quarterly throughout the year and upon ten (10) days written notice. Notice of any regular meeting of the board of directors may be waived in writing signed by the person or persons entitled to the notice either before or after the time of the meeting. The attendance of a director at any meeting shall constitute a waiver of notice, except where a director attends a meeting for the express purpose of objecting to the transaction of any business because the meeting is not lawfully called or convened.

     c. Special Meetings

     Special meetings of the Board of Directors may be called at the request of the President or upon the request of at least 25% of the directors of the board. The President or the directors calling the meeting shall designate the time, date and place for holding any special meeting of the board and the agenda for any special meeting. Notice of any special meeting of the board of directors shall be given to each director who was a member of the board at the time of the last regular board meeting at least ten (10) days previously thereto by written notice to each director at the address shown by the records of the corporation. If mailed, such notice shall be deemed to be delivered when deposited in the United States mail in a sealed envelope so addressed, with postage thereon prepaid. If notice be sent by special delivery service, such notice shall be deemed to be delivered when the special delivery letter is picked up.

     d. Quorum

     A majority of the Board of Directors shall be necessary at all meetings to constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.

 

ARTICLE VIII

OFFICERS

 

Section 1. Officers and Elections

The officers of the Chicago Society Foundation shall be President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. The officers shall be elected by the Board of Directors at the first meeting of the Board of Directors after the formation of this corporation and shall serve until the next Annual Meeting of the Board, and thereafter elections for said offices shall be held at each Annual Meeting and the officers thus elected shall serve until the next annual meeting and until their successors have been duly elected and qualified.

 

Section 2. Executive Committee

The officers of the Chicago Society foundation shall constitute the Executive Committee.

 

Section 3. President

    a. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board; he shall have general and active management of the business of the Corporation; shall see that all orders and resolutions of the Board are carried into effect; shall execute bonds, mortgages and other contracts requiring a seal, under the Seal of the Corporation; and when authorized by the Board, affix the Seal to any instrument requiring the same and the Seal when so affixed shall be attested by the signature of the Secretary or the Treasurer.

      b. The President shall have general superintendence and direction of all the other Officers of the Corporation, and shall see that their duties are properly performed; and he shall report to the Board of Directors in regard thereto.

     c. At the meeting immediately following the close of the corporation's fiscal year, the President shall submit a report of the operations of the Corporation for the preceding fiscal year to the Directors of this corporation. Whenever called for by the Chicago Society PNA, and from time to time on his own initiative, he shall report all matters within his knowledge, which the interests of the Corporation and the Chicago Society PNA may require to be brought to their notice.

      d. The President shall be ex-officio a member of all committees, and shall have the general powers and duties of supervision and management usually vested in the office of the president of a corporation.

     e. The President shall create such committees as are required for the orderly conduct of the Corporation's business and shall appoint members to serve therein. He shall also appoint members to such committees as are formed by vote of the Board of Directors.

 

Section 4. Vice President

The Vice-President shall be vested with all the powers, and required to perform all the duties of the President in his absence, and such other duties as may be prescribed by the Directors.

 

Section 5. Treasurer

     a. The Treasurer shall keep full and accurate accounts of receipts and disbursements in books belonging to the Corporation, and shall deposit all moneys and other valuable effects in the name and to the credit of the Corporation, in such depositories as may be designated by the Board of Directors.

     b. He shall disburse the funds of the Corporation as ordered by the Board, taking proper vouchers for such disbursements and shall render to the President and Directors, at the regular meetings of the Board, or whenever they may require it, an account of all his transactions as Treasurer and of the financial condition of the Corporation.

     c. He shall be required to give the Corporation a bond in a sum, and with one or more sureties satisfactory to the Board for the faithful performance of the duties of Ms office, and the restoration to the Corporation, in case of his death, resignation or removal from office, of all books, papers, vouchers, money or other property of whatever kind in his possession belonging to the Corporation.

 

Section 6. Secretary

The Secretary shall keep full minutes of all meetings of the Board of Directors and shall be ex-officio Secretary of the Board; he shall attend all sessions of the Board, shall act as clerk thereof, and record all votes and the minutes of all proceedings in a book kept for that purpose; and shall perform like duties for the Advisory Board and Standing Committees. He shall give, or cause to be given, notices for all meetings of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board; and he shall perform such other duties as may be prescribed by the Board of Directors or President under whose supervision he shall be. The Secretary shall keep in safe custody the Seal of the Corporation.

 

ARTICLE IX

ADVISORY BOARD

 

Article IX [as formerly constituted regarding an Advisory Board] is hereby deleted in its entirety and stricken from the Constitution and By-Laws.

 

ARTICLE X

SPECIAL AUTHORITIES

 

Section 1. Loans and Collection of Funds

The Board of Directors shall have the right from time to time to make loans, solicit, and collect funds, issue bonds, or take such other steps as may be necessary to obtain financing for purchase, maintenance, improvement or enlargement of the property owned by the Corporation. Any such action must first be approved by two thirds of the entire Board of Directors.

 

Section 2. Official Instruments

Any bond, note or other instrument issued for finance purposes shall be signed by the President and Secretary and bear the Seal of the Corporation.

 

ARTICLE XI

INSPECTION OF BOOKS AND ACCOUNTS

 

The books, accounts and records of the Corporation shall be open to inspection by any member of the Board of Directors at all times. In addition, the Chicago Society PNA shall have the right to inspect the records and books of account of the Corporation at all reasonable times by its advocate or another attorney, who shall be appointed in writing by the Board of Directors of the Chicago Society, PNA.

 

ARTICLE XII

FISCAL YEAR

 

The fiscal year of the Corporation shall begin the first day of January and end the thirty-first day of December of that year.

 

ARTICLE XIII

SPECIAL SERVICES

 

 

 

Section 1. Legal Services

The President at the Annual Meeting shall appoint an attorney with the approval by majority vote of the Board of Directors to serve for one year as an advisor to the Board on such legal matters that may be brought forth and shall be present at all Board meetings.  This attorney shall not be a Director nor have a vote but shall be a member of the Chicago Society.

 

Should it be necessary for the Corporation to employ legal counsel, the Board of Directors shall employ an attorney with the experience that the legal matter may require, and such attorney may be a member of the Corporation or the Chicago Society. Fees for legal services performed by such attorney, if any, shall be referred to the Board for disposition and payment.

 

Section 2. Accountancy

The President shall appoint at the Annual Meeting and the Board of Directors shall approve, by majority vote, an Accountant, who may be a member in good standing of the Corporation or the Chicago Society and, if possible, be a Certified Public Accountant. It shall be the duty of the Accountant to be represented at the meetings of the Board of Directors and to advise on request in regards to matters pertaining to finances, auditing and accounting. Compensation for services, if any, shall be handled by the Board of Directors in the same manner as is set forth for legal services.

 

ARTICLE XIV

EARNINGS AND DISSOLUTION

 

Section 1. Earnings

No part of the net earnings of the Corporation shall inure as dividends to the benefit of or be distributed to, its members, Directors, Officers, or other private persons, except that the Corporation shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth above.

 

Section 2. Dissolution

Upon dissolution of the Corporation, the Board of Directors shall, after paying or making provision for the payment of all the liabilities of the Corporation, dispose of all of the assets of the Corporation exclusively by paying all of such assets to a charitable or philanthropic organization or organizations qualifying for tax treatment in a manner at least equal to that of this Corporation.

 

ARTICLE XV

AMENDMENTS

 

This Constitution may be amended by a vote of two-thirds of the Board of Directors in attendance at a duly called meeting of this Corporation, provided that the proposed amendment has been presented to all members of the Board of Directors by mail or fax transmission at least 14 days prior to the date of said meeting and to the Board of Directors of the Chicago Society at a monthly meeting preceding the vote on the amendment by this Corporation. The amendment shall be effective immediately upon an affirmative vote thereon or at such other date as is specified in the amendment itself.

 

ARTICLE XVI

EFFECTIVE DATE

 

Two-thirds of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Society Building Corporation, predecessor to the Chicago Society Foundation, having voted in the affirmative, this Constitution shall be effective on the 4th day of November, 1999.

 

Signed:   T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert, President

Attested: Richard W. Ciesla, Secretary

 

Witnessed by: Frank M. Gondela, Romuald E. Matuszczak, Joseph M. Bauerle, William C. Folak, Matt J. Kutza, Dennis Birch, James F. Kulze, Edmund A. Nowak, Stanley W. Sawa, Victor Kay, Arthur Siemion, Chet Hajduk, John Teschky, William H. Powell

 

2000

$5,000 - Adler Planetarium of Chicago

$2,400 - American Council for Polish Culture

$3,000 - Copernicus Foundation in Chicago

$3,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

2001

$1,500 - Cantores Minores Choir for US tour

$1,000 - Chicago Intercollegiate Council

$3,000 - Copernicus Foundation in Chicago

$1,000 - Polish Council for Polish Culture

$8,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

2002

$1,000 - Americans of Polish Descent, Inc.

$1,000 - Lira Singers "ZaprasZamy"

$1,500 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

2003

$2,500 - Copernicus Foundation in Chicago

$1,500 - Lira Singers "ZaprasZamy"

$1,000 - Polish Museum of America

2004

$3,000 - Copernicus Foundation in Chicago

$2,500 - Northwest Center of Polish Dance

$5,000 - Polish American Association

$2,000 - Lajkonik Song & Dance Ensemble

$1,000 - Chicago Intercollegiate Council

$5,000 - Northern Indiana Arts Association

2005

$1,000 - Franciscan Immigrant Job Program

$1,000 - Lajkonik Song and Dance Ensemble

$2,000 - Polish Museum of America

$1,000 - Franciscan Immigrant Job Program

$2,000 - Holy Trinity Polish Mission Church

$3,000 - Northwest Center of Polish Dance

2006

$2,000 - Northwest Center of Polish Dance

$1,000 - Polish Museum of America

$5,000 - Parkway Foundation
               (Abakanowicz Statues in Grant Park)

 

2007

$3,000 - Northwest Center of Polish Dance

$2,500 - Lechici Dance Group

$2,000 - Polish Museum of America

$5,000 - Irena Sendler Documentary

$500 - Polish Center of Wisconsin

2008

$8,000 - Gift from the Heart [Dar Serca]

$1,000 - Americans of Polish Descent

$4,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

$3,000 - Lira Singers Ensemble

 

2009

$6,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

$5,000 - Polish Museum of America

$1,000 - Mercy Home for Boys and Girls

$5,000 - Polish American Association

$1,000 - Lira Singers Ensemble

$500 - Northeastern Illinois University

2010

 

$5,000 - Chicago Society Foundation Endowment

              at Northeastern Illinois University

$1,000 - St. Albert the Great R.C. Church

$3,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

$1,000 - Katyn Families Documentary

$500 - Life in a Jar Foundation

2011

$5,000 - Chicago Society Foundation Endowment

              at Northeastern Illinois University

$1,000 - Polish Arts Club of Chicago

$500 - Polish Home Army (Armia Krajowa)

$600 - Per Amore Choir of St. Albert the Great

$3,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

$1,000 - Smolensk Tragedy Monument Fund

$1,000 - Polish Museum of America

$1,000 - Lira  Ensemble

2012

$3,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

$1,000 - Chopin Monument Foundation

$1,000 - CIC "Quo Vadis Chicago 2012"

$5,000 - Polish American Association

$1,000 - Chopin Monument Foundation

              (Matching)

2013

$6,000 - Polish American Association

$750    - Fr. Podrazda Polish School

$1,000 - Jan Kochanowski Polish School

$5,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

$750    - Life in a Jar Foundation Exhibit

$5,656 - Polish Museum of America

$1,000 - Wisconsin PAC - Traveling Exhibit

2014

$5,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

$5,000 - Polish American Association

$5,000 - Polonia Ensemble

$1,000 - Polish Fishing & Hunting Club

$3,500 - Ralph Modjeski Documentary

$1,000 - The Newberry Consort

2015

$3,000 - Chicago Society Scholarship Fund

$5,000 - Polish American Association

$1,000 - "The Wall Speaks" Exhibition

$1,000 - Patria Foundation

$5,000 - Pope John Paul II Polish Center

 

GRANT REQUEST GUIDELINES

 

Requests for grants from the Chicago Society Foundation must comply with the following guidelines.

 

 1. Grant requests must be in accord with the applicable provisions of the Foundation Constitution.

 

     a. “The purpose of the corporation is to provide philanthropic and charitable assistance to meet the needs of individuals primarily of Polish heritage and organizations primarily dedicated to the Polish-American or Polish community within the meaning of Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 as amended or the corresponding provisions of any future United States Internal Revenue law.”

 

     b. “The mission of the Foundation is to improve the well-being of the Polish-America and Polish communities by supporting cultural, historical and educational projects of qualified individuals and organizations.”

 

Grants for construction, renovation or remodeling are not generally considered to be within the mission of the Chicago Society Foundation.

 

 2. The Foundation Board meets only four times a year, on the fourth Monday in the months of January, April, July and October. It is suggested that all requests for grants be submitted by U.S  mail postmarked by December 15, March 15, June 15, or September 15. Please mail all requests to Chicago Society Foundation, 6348 Milwaukee Avenue #360, Chicago, IL 60646.

 

 3. All requests shall include the following information:

 

     a. All requests shall be in writing signed by the requesting individual or the chief executive officer of the organization. All requests should contain the information of the benefiting person or  organization. Please provide a specific name and contact information, including a phone number and email address.

 

     b. Outline the reasons for the request in detail and the intended use of the grant.

 

      c. A business plan or budget as applicable to the type of request must be submitted. Include a  detailed budget of expenses. Requests by individuals should include a statement of time and  expense contribution anticipated by the applicant.

 

     d. Indicate the amount requested. If the request is for an amount exceeding $1,000.00 the financial statement or tax return must be submitted. (Such statement or return may also be required for lower amounts if requested by the Board of Directors).

 

     e. Indicate other sources of community support. Names of individual contributors are not required but a total dollar amount should be indicated.

 

     f. Notification of the Foundation’s response to the request will be forwarded to the applicant in writing within 30 days of the Foundation Board meeting

 

PRESIDENTS OF THE

CHICAGO SOCIETY FOUNDATION

 

2000-2002   T. Ron Jasinski-Herbert

 

2003-2004   Romuald E. Matuszczak

 

2005-2006   Richard W. Ciesla

 

2007-2009  Donald A. Gutowski

 

2010-2011  Walter M. Piecewicz

 

2012-2013   Stanley W. Sawa

 

2014-2015   Charles A. Komosa

 

2015-2017   Mark Orwat

 

Celebrating our second century of Brotherhood and Service.

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