2015 Event Calendar

The event calendar has been updated for 2015. A copy of the calendar may also be downloaded by clicking here.

Please click the image to enlarge.

By a unanimous vote of the Board of the Czech and Slovak Club of Greater Kansas City, our annual $500 scholarship has been renamed the Jirina Lavine Memorial Scholarship, as a tribute to our recently departed friend and long-time, foundational member, Jirina Lavine.

Jirina was an exemplar of accomplishment, fortitude, and determination to contribute to her community, qualities which the Czech and Slovak Club would certainly hope to see emulated in our scholarship recipients, as well as her dedication to preserving the Czech and Slovak heritage for future generations.

The Jirina Lavine Memorial Scholarship is a $500 award offered to children, step-children, or grandchildren of active members of the Club. High school seniors or full-time undergraduate students at accredited colleges who are interested in applying for the scholarship may find complete eligibility requirements at https://csclubkc.wordpress.com/scholarships/czech-and-slovak-club-scholarship-criteria. The deadline for applications is July 1, the money to be paid to the winning student’s school of choice by August 1. An application form is available at https://csclubkc.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/csscholarshipword.doc.

Any club member with a college or college-bound student in the family is strongly encouraged to bring this scholarship to his or her attention. What an honor it would be to receive the first Club scholarship that bears Jirina’s name!

-Carol Jacobson

On August 2nd, Honorary Consul (Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma) for the Slovak Republic, Ross Marine and his wife Barbara along with Honorary Midwest Consul for the Czech Republic, Sharon Valasek, participated in the 53rd annual Czech Festival in Wilber, Nebraska. Mike Kalny, Czech & Slovak Club 4th Vice-President and club representative on the Kansas City, Missouri Ethnic Commission along with his wife Marya also attended the event.

Please click on the image to see the rest of the gallery.

Morgan McMichen, 24, is a Master’s student of Foreign Languages and Literatures at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She is set to graduate in December of 2014 with plans to begin her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology in New York after her reign as Miss Czech-Slovak US is completed.

Morgan not only was awarded queen but also Authentic Kroj and Oratory Award. She said “I am humbled by all the wonderful supporters of the Miss Czech-Slovak US organization. I am excited to represent our great culture.” Morgan will also enjoy the traditional Miss Czech​-Slovak Queen Trip and a $250 educational scholarship awarded by Dr. Cecilia Rokusek, Slovak Honory Consul of Florida in memory of her parents John and Alice “Fiala” Rokusek. In total, Morgan was award $5500 in cash scholarships.

​Morgan, daughter of Theresa and James McMichen grew up in Independence, Missouri. After High School she pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Cultural Anthropology. Upon graduating in December of 2012, she began her current degree in Granada, Spain and was able to travel across Europe and even to Africa. Morgan has always had a love for culture, language, and heritage. She began asking questions at a very young age about her own. Her grandmother was her biggest advocate in teaching her about her Czech ancestors. She would recite poems and folktales in Czech for Morgan and tell her about family traditions. Her first Czech relatives, Jan and Anna Pecenka of Litomyšl, Pardubice (Czech Republic) arrived in the United States in the midst of the American Civil War. Escaping the Austro-Hungarian war, they wondered if “the grass was greener” on the other side. Needless to say, the decided to make the new land their home. They settled in Marysville, KS where there is still the Pecenka Family Cemetery. She is excited to visit the Czech Republic and Slovakia and to see the place where her ancestors once resided in addition to many other historical sites. Morgan is extremely proud of her rich heritage. She recognizes that the Czech/Slovak peoples have endured many adversities over time and yet they have kept a tight hold on their dignity and unique customs. For this reason, she is adamant to keep the precious traditions alive.

As the national queen, she will strive to increase youth involvement in the festivals and the pageant, as she believes it is the key to the preservation of the culture. She would like to thank her sponsors, the Miss Czech-Slovak MO pageant, her family and loved ones, and the Wilber Czechs. She is excited to see what this upcoming year will bring, and as a true Czech, she is determined to give it her all.

Morgan McMichen
Miss Czech-Slovak US 2014

“Co je české, to je krásný”

Club News

The Sugar Creek Slavic Festival will be held this year on Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 7. Please check their website (www.slavicfest.com) for all the details but our club will once again have a booth. We hope to sell popcorn, some Czech and Slovak cultural items, as well as provide information to those people exploring their Czech and Slovak heritage. We are in need of volunteers, so please contact Jana Magnuson by email (Magnusonj@hotmail.com) or phone (816 519-1437) if you would be willing to donate an hour or two of your time. Our goal is to have at least 2 volunteers for each shift and the shift times are listed below.

Friday, June 6
5:00-7:00 pm
7:00-9:00 pm

Saturday, June 7
3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Our club has at least 4 members joining in the dance group this year and several are helping with the Missouri Czech/Slovak Queen Pageant. The Queen pageant includes two contestants that have ties to club members, so please come out and support our candidates. The Queen pageant also needs volunteers, so please contact Terry Smitka if you have time to help with that part of the program.

As a member of the Kansas City Ethnic Enrichment Commission, our club will be participating in their annual festival beginning Friday, August 15, through Sunday, August 17. It is held in Swope Park and details on times and events can be found at their website (www.eeckc.org). This is an event where we are actually paid something by the festival for volunteering, so it is one of our larger fundraisers. In addition to helping at the beer garden or at the gate, the club will also have our own booth so that our heritage can be represented. Mike Kalny and Jana Magnuson are our Ethnic Enrichment Commission representatives and they would like to hear from you if you could volunteer. Mike can be contacted at 913 962-2145 (mikekalny@aol.com) and Jana can be contacted at Magnusonj@hotmail.com. A reminder will also be sent out for this event but please contact Mike or Jana as soon as possible to schedule a time that fits your schedule.


View or download the above information as a Word document:

Annual Meeting 2014

Annual Club Meeting on March 30th

Please mark the date for our club’s annual meeting on Sunday, March 30, 2014. We have changed venues this year and it will be held at the Matt Ross Community Center in Overland Park. It will be potluck and we ask that members and guests bring food based on the guidelines mentioned below. The club will provide the setups and drinks. The program this year will be an encore showing of the 47 minute film Accidental Army: The Amazing True Story of the Czechoslovak Legion. Our club sponsored this movie at the WWI museum in 2009 and is planning to show it again this year as the museum commemorates the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Great War. The business part of our meeting will include the current financial status of the club, upcoming programs, and the election of officers. You can mail your ballot to the address on the newsletter or bring it to the meeting.

Please RSVP to Terry Smitka if you are planning to attend the meeting. Terry can be contacted at tsmitka@rwbaird.com or 816 217-9487.

Club Meeting:
Sunday, March 30, 2014 – 2:00 PM-4:30PM
2:00 social – 2:15 meal – 3:00 meeting – 3:15 – Program featuring the movie Accidental Army – 4:15 PM cleanup

Matt Ross Community Center
8101 Marty St
Overland Park, KS 66204

A – F = salad/vegetable
G – L = dessert/appetizer
M – Z = meat/main dish


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