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FCSLA In the Community

2014 Fraternalist of the Year - Bonnita C. Vavruska

Bonnita C. VavruskaThe First Catholic Slovak Ladies Association is proud to announce the selection of Bonnita C. Vavruska from Tabor, SD as our 2014 Fraternalist of the Year. FCSLA has sent her nomination to the American Fraternal Alliance to be considered for national recognition. The 2014 American Fraternal Alliance Fraternalist of the Year will be announced and honored at the 128th annual meeting to be held in Austin, TX in September.

Bonnita C. Vavruska (her friends call her Bonnie) is a proud member of her local FCSLA branch W-093. She has been a member for the past 32 years and continues to be involved at multiple levels. She has represented Branch W-093 at the national level and has been nominated as a delegate to the upcoming National Special Convention in October 2014. Currently she has graciously accepted the position as branch Treasurer.

Bonnie was also nominated for the South Dakota Fraternal Congress Fraternalist of the Year Award and we are very excited to report that she was awarded the 2014 South Dakota Fraternal Congress Fraternalist of the Year! FCLSA would like to congratulate her on this award as well.

Every year Branch W-093 enters a float in their community's Czech Days celebration. Bonnie is involved with creating the float and volunteers her time walking with the float throughout the parade promoting her heritage and FCSLA.

Bonnie also participates in the FCSLA SD District meetings and captures the branch and district gatherings, meeting events, celebrations, etc. with her photography. She is definitely an advocate for FCSLA at the local, district and national levels.

Caring and compassion for others is very important every day to Bonnie. Choosing the nursing profession and providing outreach to other communities shows the everyday caring she has for people of all ages. Growing up in a small community everyone is "family" and you have the honor and privilege of participating in this "family's" activities and traditions.

Czech Days is one of the yearly community celebrations in the small town of Tabor, SD. Bonnie puts in many hours of work from baking the dozens of kolache she donates, to cleaning, to helping organize the baseball game and fireworks which begins the Czech Days celebration, to volunteering her time serving the thousands of people that come to enjoy the towns' heritage and food. She also participates yearly in the Beseda Dance which involves over 200 people both young and old and is a great attraction to the celebration.

Throughout the year Bonnie extends her involvement and compassion to other communities by volunteering at different cancer fund raising events such as Walks and Zumbathons where the proceeds go to cancer patients in need. She does whatever is needed to make them a success.

Church, religious beliefs and faith is a significant part of Bonnie's life as is her family. Youth involvement and education is an essential part in most peoples' lives, but Bonnie tries to take it one step further. Bonnie is the Director of Religious education for her parish youth and has helped organize eight levels of education classes along with the Confirmation program. She is also helping shape the youths' religious lives by teaching 2nd grade religious education preparing them for two very important sacraments – First Confession & First Holy Communion.

Trying to find a way to keep our youth involved and interested in their religion is a challenge and because she is very organized and motivated she finds a way to incorporate several learning venues to keep their attention. Recently she has worked with their priest to help organize the alter server training program for the children of the parish.

October brings the parish's local bazaar / fall festival which involves organizing both youth and adults. She volunteers her time to work at the church bazaar and donates items both baked and purchased to the various booths to help support the church. Bonnie is also very involved with the Altar & Rosary Society. Volunteering her talents helping with serving funerals, organizing committees, helping plant and care for the church flowers and volunteers wherever she can. She not only volunteers outside of church but also during the mass as an Extraordinary Minister.

Bonnie's compassion and love for her family, church, community and FCSLA are displayed in all the multiple events she partakes in. Bonnie is always eager to lend a hand for any event for any age group. She is active on many levels in her community, church, FCSLA events and family. By volunteering in such a wide variety of events she is helping build the gap between all generations. She continues to help update programs to keep them moving forward and not letting them die. She truly cares and is very humble. As involved as she is she still has time to care for her husband, Joe and daughter. What an awesome role model she is for her daughter, Journey!

FCSLA congratulates Bonnie Vavruska for receiving this well deserved recognition. We are very proud to have Bonnie represent us as our 2014 Fraternalist of the Year.

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