CSL Br. 23 of Welland celebrated their annual Christmas luncheon on Dec 8, 2019 at the Croatian National Home, with an excellent turnout of members and guests. A delicious meal was prepared with salad, buns, chicken, cabbage rolls, roasted potatoes and vegetables. Dessert was a krémeš cake, followed by tea and coffee.
Several presentations were made. A scholarship was presented to Robert Carriero for his outstanding achievements. Congratulations and best wishes were extended for his future studies in university. Robert’s brother, Nicholas, accepted the award for him. An acknowledgement was made to Delhys Diz Gonzalez, a long-time branch member, who had also recently received the Welland’s Woman of the Year award at the Welland Heritage Council International Women’s Day event in March. She told us some of her experiences of when she came from Cuba to Canada and how difficult it was for her to learn the language and customs. Overcoming these barriers has enabled her to work with new immigrants and help them adjust to a new life. We were also happy to welcome several members of her family who were here as visitors. A final acknowledgement was made to another long-time member, Maria Dinga. Maria is currently serving her 4th year as secretary on the Canadian Slovak League Board of Directors and has worked as a manager of the Welland Indoor Tennis Club for 25 years. This past year, Maria participated in the International Tennis Federation Tournament in Mont Tremblant, Quebec where she won a gold medal in ladies singles and silver medal in ladies doubles. She also plays doubles with her daughter, Kristine Atamanyk, who is also a member of our branch and an auditor on the CSL Board of Directors. Over the years, Maria has won over 120 open singles and doubles tennis titles in the Niagara area and is on the Welland Sports Wall of Fame. In 2020, Maria will represent Ontario in the Canadian Games in Kamloops, BC in August. Congratulations to all! It is always a pleasure to pay tribute to, and recognize, our members who have accomplished great successes in their lives.
Santa visited the children and was enjoyed by all. Pictures were taken by Br 23 members, Mike Dinga and Rick Vyrostko. Thank you everyone for coming out and making our day a special one. On behalf of the Br 23 executive committee, we would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year!
Christine Dzugan, President