Denmark 108

This entry is a reproduction of a Kelsey’s Korner article that was first published in the June 2013 Fraternal Herald.

Here is something interesting to think about: wfla’s long history (116 years and counting!) means that right now is not the first time we have run into generational differences. This is a quote from one of our Presidents, “We need to make greater progress in reviving all lodge activities so that greater numbers of members will attend our meetings where in a friendly atmosphere they may enjoy proper social contact with their fellowmen.” What decade do you think that sentence was written? If you said 1950, you would be correct. President John Rompotl said this in his annual address to the members in the Fraternal Herald in January 1956.

It is clear that getting new members and maintaining the lodge system is something wfla has always strived to do, even 60 years ago. The dedication of our members and agents is what has made this organization survive and thrive for so many years. Because of our members, we have survived! Those who are in leadership positions now, many in their 70’s, 80’s, or even 90’s, were young in the 1950’s when the article was written. Something drove those members to come to the meetings. It was the commonality, the bonds of community and the fraternalism we have always provided. Today, we can offer the same thing, but we need to package it differently to appeal to different generations. Looking to offer family fun, community involvement, and leadership opportunities are the same values as before, but using words the younger generations ‘get.’ If you need more ideas about how to get young members involved, contact Kelsey Logan at

2013 Fraternalist of the year

Marie Krikava, Fraternalist of the Year

Marie Krikava, Fraternalist of the Year

Western Fraternal Life Association (wfla) honored Hayward Lodge 44 Secretary Marie Krikava, of Glenville, MN, as the “WFLA Fraternalist of the Year” at the MN State Meeting in Alexandria, MN, on June 22, 2013.  She was chosen from members in 121 lodges in 17 states for her strong ability to get members involved, her community service, and her work with youth. The award was presented by Director Duane Jirik of New Prague, MN.

Marie has been the Lodge 44 secretary for 18 years. She served as a 2011 delegate to the National Convention in Frankenmuth, MI.  With her help, the lodge has received the top lodge award (Level I) for many years. Marie organizes a social gathering once or twice a month, as a get together at the local American Legion. She also organizes Saturday morning coffee and rolls at a local restaurant for anyone interested. Both activities help the lodge remain active, bring lodge participation, and bring in new members. Having provided membership referrals since the referral program began nine years ago, many of her referrals become members.

Always preserving her heritage, she has chaired and organized many lodge activities such as the Czech Festival at the Brick Hall in Hayward for maintenance of the hall, which brought in over 1,000 people. Well known for her kolaches, she made over 2,500 kolaches for the festival, hundreds for an annual pancake and bake sale for the MN Scholarship fund and for the Sunday worship after the festival. She shares her heritage by showing others how to make kolaches from a recipe she has perfected.

Marie’s dedication for maintaining the heritage of the Brick Hall has driven her to submitting grants for the funding of the hall. Grants have included the Jannsen Family Charitable Trust, the MN Historical Society, the Freeborn Mower Co-op Service, and Diamond Joe’s.

As an active member of her community, Marie helps organize a float and bike giveaway for Glenville Day annually. She also held an open house at the Brick Hall for Albert Lea/Freeborn magazine for modeling and to share heritage information.  In addition, she organized relief funds for the West, TX fertilizer plant disaster.

Marie has helped build bridges between youth and adults. She coordinated lodge members and the Glenville Emmons softball team to place flags on veterans’ graves in five cemeteries for Memorial Day. Dressed in traditional Czech “kroj,” she featured a display of Czech items and explained Czech clothing and articles with the help of two youth for the Taste of Heritage at two area malls, providing 350 mini kolaches.  Marie also organizes Halloween candy treats for youth and the community.

Marie Krikava is very dedicated to her lodge and community and is a truly generous person.