Alex Storozynski Dinner, March 24, 2007
The Detroit Athlete Club – that venerable old institution on Madison – played host to Alex Storozynski, the celebrated journalist who helped the Daily News win a Pulitzer Prize in 1999.
The dinner, arranged by Virginia Skrzyniarz, executive director of the Piast Institute (a national institute for Polish and Polish American affairs), was to honor Storozynski’s new book on Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who has a place close to the heart of most of Polonia. Occasionally referred to as the “George Washington of Poland”, Kosciuszko is a Polish and Lithuanian national hero. He was a leader in the 1794 uprising against the Russian empire, having previously fought in the American Revolutionary War as a colonel in the Continental Army on the side of Washington.
Having grown up in a solid Polish household in New York, Storozynski confessed to a lifelong obsession with Kosciuszko. His wife, he jokes, became so tired to hearing of Kosciuszko’s under-appreciated contribution to American history that she urged him “Just write a book about him already and stop bugging me about it!”
So he did.
Beside Storozynski, attention focused on Bruno Nowicki, the local sculptor whose statue of Kosciuszko stands at Michigan and Third. Soon to celebrate his 100th birthday, Nowicki is still sharp as a chisel and spoke a few encouraging words on his personal Polish pride before the dinner.
Local media was well represented at the dinner and included Ron Dzwonkowski, Free Press editorial page editor and Michael A. Szymanski, editor of the Polish Daily News and Walter Wasacz of Metro D.