Officers and members of Assembly 261, Wreath 155, the Slovak Catholic Sokol Home Association, and dignitaries, gathered on Sunday April 11th at 4:11pm to mark an important occasion in the history of the Reading Sokol’s – The groundbreaking for the new Sokol Hall
On the grounds at 411 Crestmont Street in Reading Pa, the site of the new Sokol Hall, officers and members who worked so hard for many years to see this project become reality gathered not only to break ground but also to celebrate the soon to be new Sokol Hall. Actual construction is expected to begin shortly after the groundbreaking and fully open by the beginning of the year in 2011.
In conjunction with the groundbreaking ceremony we also held our annual “MEMBERSHIP APPRECIATION DAY”. Food, refreshments and entertainment was enjoyed by all who attended as a sign of our gratitude for their support throughout the year. In keeping with our theme “Building a new Future” 5 new insurance policies were presented by Frank Macey and Frank and Rita Pompiano to Group 12 president Joseph A. Harak. The festive day continued with music entertainment by “Jimini”
The ceremony began at 3:45pm by J. Gregory Milanek our Honorary Supreme Officer who welcomed all those who were there and gave an explanation of our new Sokol Hall building plans. Brother Greg then introduced the person responsible for pursuing our long awaited dream for opening remarks, Honorary Supreme Officer Frank E. Macey. Brother Frank enlightened us with the history of the Reading Sokol Club from its beginning to the present day. After brother Frank’s remarks, Rev. Francis Straka was called upon to bestow his blessings and bless the ground. We were delighted to have Father Straka and thank him for traveling from his home parish in North Hampton Pa. to celebrate our groundbreaking. Also in attendance was local dignitary, State Representative Thomas Caltigirone who presented the building committee with a certificate from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Our very own member of Assembly 261, and State Senator Michael A. O’Pake was introduced, he congratulated us on our efforts for bringing our dreams to reality and spoke to us about our rich heritage and roots in the Reading community. Following Senator’s O’Pake’s remarks, the President of the Sokol Club Chris Antosy was called upon for his comments. Brother Chris thanked Frank Macey and Mike Waradzin who spearheaded the building committee and for their hard work and dedication to this project. Also in attendance and recognized was our architect Mike Kostival and the building contractor Randy Wingenroth. The next speaker introduced was the president of Wreath 155 and chairperson of the fundraising committee Kathi Smolkowicz. Sister Kathi explained the need for our fund raiser and how everyone could contribute. Today was the official kick off campaign for raising funds to improve the interior of our new Sokol Hall. By the end of the day it was announced that a total of $12,000.00 was pledged in less than 6 hours. We thank everyone who came out and pledged a donation. Then it was time for the official breaking of the ground. Brother Greg called upon Chris Antosy, Frank Macey, Mike Waradzin, Marty Boyer, Sen. Mike O’Pake, architect Mike Kostival, and the contractor Randy Wingenroth to man the shovels. Donned in their gold hard hats with their gold shovels, at precisely 4:11 pm., at 411 Crestmont Street, on 4/11/2010 the shovels broke the ground; fireworks were set into the air, marking our new beginning as we made way for our new SOKOL HALL and a new era of prosperity.