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Archive for August, 2014

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.

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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”

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