Bio: Niedzwiecki Family (Reunion - 2012)
Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon
Surnames: Niedzwiecki, Nied, Griffin, Firehammer, Chudy, Singley, McElroy, Hadzima
----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 7/11/2012
Niedzwiecki Family (Reunion - 16 June 2012)
On the afternoon of June 16th, 2012, the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren of Petronella and Jacob Niedzwiecki and their families joined together at the Thorp Yellowstone Trail North Park pavilion to celebrate the history, longevity and prosperity of the Thorp, Wisconsin Niedzwiecki family. One hundred and nine people attended, enjoying a picnic lunch of Polish sausage & sauerkraut (sausage from Nolechek’s), chicken (from the SuperValu deli), hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw, potato salad, chips & dip, cheese curds (from LaGrander’s) and veggie trays. Some of the family’s best cooks prepared the food, with everyone pitching in on potluck desserts and bring you own drinks.
Tom Niedzwiecki was the Master of Ceremonies and led the group in solemn prayer and tribute to the family to begin the day. The Young Old Timers Band from Stanley, WI played a medley of polka and Polish music, while Katie Nied and Katy (Nied) Griffin led the children’s crafts and activities. The pavilion was graced with a banner announcing the reunion and made by April Niedzwiecki.
Highlights of the day included a Silent Auction featuring the craftsmanship and collectibles of family members; over 60 items were displayed for bid with several “bidding wars” going on all afternoon. Mary Ann (Chudy) Firehammer expertly arranged and organized the auction.
Another popular event was the “Photo Booth and Photo Gallery” set up and ably produced by Peter and Marcie Nied. The photographers took over 200 photos of family groups and individuals complete with props such as hats, mustaches, funny glasses and picture frames (to ‘frame’ the photo.) The pictures were then posted to a website featuring the family reunion, along with many other family snapshots from the day.
Roger Chudy, the family’s volunteer historian, provided a table-long copy of the family tree and distributed copies of a DVD compilation of historical family pictures and recipes. Roger is currently on a trip to Poland to gather more family history.
Door prizes were donated by Laura Nied and included Wisconsin maple syrup, and local sausages and cheese. The hardworking reunion committee of Mary Ann Firehammer (daughter of Mary Niedzwiecki), Christine Niedzwiecki (spouse of Mike Niedzwiecki and Pauline Singley (daughter of Phil Nied/Niedzwiecki) were also honored with thank you gifts.
The reunion came to a close with two Masses said in honor and in memory of the family at St. Bernard-St. Hedwig Catholic Church, one on Saturday featuring the Polish Choir and the other on the following Sunday with members of the family taking up the offertory.
As a result of a very successful silent auction and the generosity of the family, the reunion was able to make four donations to the following groups: the Thorp Catholic School, the Thorp Food Pantry, Father Sebastian’s Casa Hogar Mission in Peru, and Our Lady of Czestochowa Parish.
Family members came from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, Alabama, Texas, Vermont, Colorado, Georgia and Australia. The children of Jacob and Petronella were represented by Frank Niedzwiecki, who was honored it h a special hand-made quilt featuring bears in tribute to the Niedzwiecki family name, “Niedzwiecki” coming from the Polish word, “Niedwied,” meaning “bear.” The quilt was made by Patty (Kowieski) McElroy. The other surviving child, Leona Hadzima, was represented by her daughter-in-law, Karen Hadzima (Spouse of Jerry.) Twenty-eight grandchildren, forty great-grandchildren, and ten great-great-grandchildren attended along with their families.
Memories were made, history was recalled and everyone felt blessed to be part of this great Niedzwiecki family.
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