PABPA, Inc. Celebrated its 100th ANNIVERSARY : 1912 - 2012
The Polish Businessmen's Association was founded in 1912, although, there was discussion regarding the need for such an organization in 1908-09. Leon Bojnowski, Anthony Cieszynski, T.H. Grabowski, A.S. Andrulewicz and John Mizia were members of a committee instructed to write a constitution in 1909 for an Association of Polish businessmen, whose aims were to encourage Polish settlers and youths to enter business and to roganize Polish companies. One of the most active and helpful individuals to the organization was the late Rev. Msgr. Lucjan Bojnowski, pastor of Sacred Heart Church. The First World War focused most activities toward the war effort. However, the 1920s saw a more active organization especially among the grocers in the community. In the 1930s, the group was active in supporting many activities by donating or providing financial assistance to various organizations. In 1938, the association was incorporated under the laws of the State of Connecticut.
The Second World War again interrupted activites as members again directed their attention to the war effort. In 1948, the Association granted the first of many scholarships to students going on to college. In 1954, the Association held the first in a series of annual picnics which attracted thousands of people and raised funds for the group's scholarship and philanthropic efforts. The mid 1950s saw new strength and vitality in the organization under the direction of President Mitchell Filipek. In 1957 the name of the organization was officially changed to the Polish-American Business and Professional Association.
The organization was very active in the 1960s and 1970s in sponsoring many activites to raise funds for the Scholarship Fund and during that time a Scholarship Trust was established and approved by the IRS as a charitable trust for tax deductions. Over its history, the organization has granted approximately $100,000 in scholarships.
The Association hosted many "Man of the Year" testimonial dinners during the 1970s and 1980s which supported the Scholarship Fund.