Last updated: February 19. 2013 1:06AM - 154 Views

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Wilkes University‚??s Polish Room Committee presented two Wilkes University students with scholarships, which not only helped pay their tuition but also celebrated their Polish heritage.
Justin Balint, Drums, a senior pharmacy/Spanish major, and Lauren Para, Jenkins Township, a sophomore pharmacy major, were awarded two separate scholarships at the recent 62nd annual Kosciuszko Ball at the Woodlands Inn and Resort.
Balint was presented with a $3,000 scholarship from the committee and Para received a $1,000 Judianne Stanitski Scholarship, donated by Frank and Monica Stanitski. Both students have maintained perfect averages during their college careers and both have demonstrated financial need.
Nine applications were received for the scholarships and were reviewed by a panel of judges.
‚??It is an honor to consistently support students of Polish descent who attend Wilkes,‚?Ě said Bernadine Tarasek, president of the Polish Room Committee.
Tarasek said the committee works hard to keep the Polish heritage alive.
Tarasek said some members of the committee also worked hard on the dance floor while practicing for the Polonaise. She said the Woodlands was ‚??nice enough‚?Ě to lend them a room to practice the traditional Polish dance.
Every aspect of the event, including music provided by the George Tarasek Orchestra, the Polonaise dance and the presentation of the scholarships, highlighted the committee‚??s desire to preserve the Polish heritage in the local community.
The ball is a tribute to Gen. Thaddeus Kosciuszko, who fought for America in the Revolutionary War and was committed to democratic principles. He was granted American citizenship and was a national hero both in the United States and Poland.
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