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.

Youth Picnic 2012

Ann Day from the Home Office baked a delicious football cake.

After months of preparation from the wfla Youth Committee (a group dedicated to coming up with ideas for getting young members involved), the youth picnic on August 11th was a success. There were two goals of the youth picnic. One is to allow members to mingle with one another and have a family fun day. The second is to grow the awareness of wfla and involve new and inactive members in a non-intimidating environment.

The face painter had a line for three HOURS!

With over 80 people, the picnic was buzzing. It started with the terrific face painter and bounce house setting up shop. Then, it was time to eat. Local Cedar Rapids lodges provided various foods, as well as providing a copious amount of desserts.

Member Jason Logan tosses balloon to a young member.

Linda Grove (Lodge 500) and Becky Kramer (Lodge 13) put on a few games to entertain the children at the picnic. The first, a water balloon toss, was a smash. However, it was mentioned that some of the balloons were “indestructible.” Smashing water balloons into the ground is a good way to test this theory, as many of the kids found out. The second game was a penny grab, when kids were able to dig through sand and get as many pennies as they could grab!

The face painter’s beautiful design.

Kids enjoying bouncing around in the bounce house.

Another success for the young members was the bounce house. The kids were more than happy to jump the day away in the inflated castle. It was a great way to burn the calories from all the desserts!

One of our bike winners Aidan Wolcott

The final activity at the picnic was the bike giveaway. It was a happy day for two lucky winners, they were ecstatic to win. In fact, the young man’s birthday was in two days, making the bike a perfect gift.

The Youth Committee is excited to get started on next year’s planning. If you have any ideas for the youth picnic, please share below!

If you were at the picnic, what was your favorite part?