Polish Americans Prepare for Heritage Month Celebration and the Annual Pulaski Day Parade.
On Sunday, October 1st, Polish Americans will join in the line of march in the 73rd Annual Pulaski Day Parade on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Center City Philadelphia sponsored by the Polish American Congress, Eastern PA District.
The Grand Marshal of the Parade is Richard Klimek, who is the Program Supervisor of Polish American Social Services (PASS), and the Recording Secretary of the Polish American Congress, Eastern PA District, and is well known for his work in Polonia.
The Military Guest of this year's Pulaski Day Parade is Major John Nawoichyk, United States Army, from West Point Military Academy in New York.
During the month of October, Polish Americans also celebrate National Polish American Heritage Month and the Pulaski Day Parade is one of the opening events in the Philadelphia area. The parade will take place on Sunday, October 1, 2006, at 12:30 P.M. from 20th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway. The parade will proceed on the Parkway to 16th Street, at 16th Street makes a u-turn and proceed on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to the reviewing stand which is at 19th and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway (Logan Circle).
To begin this festive weekend, on Saturday evening, September 30, the Pulaski Dinner Dance will take place in the Associated Polish Home Ballroom, 9150 Academy Road in Northeast Philadelphia. On Sunday morning at 9:30 A.M., the Pulaski Observance Mass will take place in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter & Paul, 18th & Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Center City Philadelphia.
Everyone is invited to come out and view the Pulaski Day Parade Sunday, October 1st. For those unable to attend, the parade will be televised live on Channel 6 WPVI-TV beginning at 1:00 P.M.
2006 Parade Coordinator
Polish American Congress
Eastern Pennsylvania District
Pulaski Observance Committee
308 Walnut Street - Philadelphia, PA 19106
Tel. (215) 922-1700
Brief Biography of Richard A. Klimek
Richard Klimek is being honored as this year’s Pulaski Day Parade Marshal for his lifetime of dedication to Polonia. The son of Polish immigrants who settled in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia, Richard developed a deep appreciation for his Polish heritage, which was reinforced by attending St. Adalbert’s School and St. Adalbert’s Saturday Polish Language School, where he discovered his passion for Polish folk dancing and Polish history. Richard attended Northeast Catholic High School for Boys. In 1980, during his high school years, Richard founded the Polish Youth Organization (PYO), a local community organization for high school students.
While earning a B.S. in History and Political Science at Drexel University, Richard began his active involvement in the Polish Intercollegiate Club. Besides holding the offices of president of the P.K.M. Board for one year and director of the P.K.M. Polish Folk Dance Group for ten years, he also served on the Board of the Polish American Folk Dance Association of the Americas.
After graduating from Drexel, Richard joined the staff of Polish American Social Services. He later earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from Temple University. He is currently Program Supervisor for the agency and serves on the Board of Directors. An active member of the Polish American Congress, he is currently the Recording Secretary. He also serves on the Board of the Polish American Cultural Center and volunteers his time for the Museum Exhibit Hall. Richard is also a member of the Associated Polish Home, the Kosciuszko Foundation, the Polish American Association and the Polish National Alliance. For the past twenty-one years, Richard has portrayed General Thaddeus Kosciuszko at special events and particularly enjoys sharing the General’s life story with area school children.
Richard and his wife, Dorothy (Prusik), have three children, Andrew, Monica and Thomas.