The United Polish Club was celebrating its 50th Jubilee in 1963 with a big banquet scheduled for October. But the fun started much earlier than that.
A queen had to be selected to reign over the anniversary. Thus beginning in the summer, the Lorain Journal
featured photos of Polish beauties vying for the title.
The first photo (below
) ran in the Journal
on July 12, 1963.
As the article noted, “Applicants for the Polish Club’s 50th Jubilee queen began rolling in today."
“First to enter the contest was Barbara J. Sakowski, 20, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leo Sakowski, 1233 W. 38th Street. The second contestant is Judy Ann Kapron, 18, daughter of Carl Kapron, 1214 W. 20th Street.
“The contest is open to all girls of Polish descent who are 17 to 24 years of age, married or single,” noted the article. “Applications for the contest are available at Polish organizations in Lorain and Elyria and must be accompanied by a picture. Registration closes Aug. 10."
Another photo ran on August 12, and this time the newspaper included more information about the selection process, as well as the prizes. (Note: one of the young ladies in the photo below would eventually be a member of the Jubilee Queen’s court!)
The article noted, “Every girl entering the contest will be awarded a trophy. Winners will receive additional prizes including savings bonds, wrist watches, charm bracelets, photos and other prizes."
“The crown and trophies for the winner and runners-up are on display at the M. O’Neil Co.
“The girls will be judged at the UPC street dance on 17th St. between Long and Oakdale avenues on the evening of Aug. 30. The queen will be announced and crowned on Sept. 2 at the UPC annual picnic at Michael’s Locust Grove.”
The last batch of contestants featured in the Journal
appeared in the August 21st edition.
Finally, on August 30, 1963, United Polish Club began its big celebration. An article by Joanne Petticord in the Journal the next day noted, “More than 3,000 persons turned out Friday night to kick off the 50th Anniversary celebration of the United Polish Club at a street dance and to view the judging of the Jubilee Queen contest."
“Long Ave. and W. 17th Street was the scene jammed with cars and people as Polish music blared through the PA system for the first few hours of the celebration.”
Here’s the photo that ran with the article on the front page.
“Highlight of the evening was judging of the 17 contestants in the Jubilee Queen contest.
“Results of the judging were “locked” up for the night, and will be revealed at the Labor Day picnic of the UPC at Michael’s Locust Grove.
“However, it was announced that Miss Ohio, Bonnie Ann Gawronski of Toledo, will come to Lorain Labor Day to crown the Jubilee Queen and the two runners-up at the picnic.
“According to UPC officials, a Lincoln Continental, owned by Ralph Mitchell of the Merritt, Chapman and Scott corp will leave for Toledo Monday morning to drive Miss Ohio here. The car was donated by Mitchell.
“A “Parade of Cars” which will include Miss Ohio and UPC officials will leave for the picnic Monday at 2:30 from the UPC Club and will travel through Lorain.
“The entire 50th Anniversary celebration of the UPC will continue until Sept. 29, when Jubilee Week will begin.”
So who was crowned Queen? The Tuesday, Sept. 3, 1963 edition of the Journal revealed that Elaine Skolnicki, 21, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter J. Skolnicki, was the winner.
The front-page article written by Joanne Petticord noted, “Seventeen lovely girls in fresh summer smocks in a caravan of automobiles, led by the beautiful Miss Ohio, Bonnie Ann Gawronski of Toledo – this is the sight that greeted the 6,300 persons Labor Day at the 50th anniversary picnic of the United Polish Club.”
“But the highlight of the afternoon was the crowning of Elaine Skolnicki, 21, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Walter J. Skolnicki, 1114 W. 23rd Street.
“A senior at Ohio University, Miss Skolnicki, a charming blonde, is active in various university clubs and is majoring in home economics.
“As queen she will reign over all festivities of the UPC up to and including the banquet on Oct. 6.
“Runners-up in the contest were Cathy Muzilla, 21, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S. J. Muzilla, 4040 Broadway, a junior at Ohio State University, and Sharyll Kay Megyesy, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Megyesy, 910 N. Central Dr., an employee of Aldens Catalog Store Sales.
“The remaining 14 charming young ladies received trophies and pins from the UPC committee and will also reign as ladies-in-waiting to the queen and her court of two attendants.
“Mayor Woodrow Mathna presented the keys to the city to Miss Ohio and welcomed her and all the contestants to the picnic on behalf of Lorain."