Inside the 44th International Polonaise Ball with President Lech Walesa and Lady Blanka Rosenstiel

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The American Institute of Polish Culture definitely knows how to organize an elegant and joyful event, infusing centuries-old traditions with a glamorous and modern vibe, as evident from this year’s 44th Anniversary of the iconic International Polonaise Ball.

The International Polonaise Ball
The International Polonaise Ball

The Founder and President of the Institute, the very impressive Lady Blanka Rosenstiel, has been hosting the black tie International Polonaise Ball in Miami for over four decades, with this year’s celebration held at the Eden Roc in Miami Beach. Every year there is a special theme, usually honoring another country’s culture and its mutual collaboration with Poland and Polish contributions, and this year was no exception with its charming theme of “Enchanted with Ancient China.”

The evening MC, Mr. Alex Storozynski, conferring the Kosciuszko Award of Excellence on President Lech Walesa
The evening MC, Mr. Alex Storozynski, conferring the Kosciuszko Award of Excellence on President Lech Walesa

The Ball’s dynamic emcee was Mr. Alex Storozynski, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author, who welcomed guests to the podium throughout the evening. Lady Blanka, His Excellency Ambassador Ryszard Schnepf of the Republic of Poland, and Nobel Peace Prize winner and legendary hero, Solidarity leader President Lech Walesa all spoke. Throughout the evening, each also bestowed awards on worthy recipients in the arts, education, government and media fields, all who are united by their passion and dedication for spreading the message of coexistence, cooperation and freedom throughout the world.

Ms. Ana M. Brajnovic accepting a Special Recognition for all the work she does with young women throughout Poland from Lady Blanka Rosenstiel
Ms. Ana M. Brajnovic accepting a Special Recognition for all the work she does with young women throughout Poland from Lady Blanka Rosenstiel

Awards and recipients of the year were the Gold Medal to Mr. Jerzy Kedziora for his outstanding achievements in promoting Polish art in the world, the Amicus Poloniae to Mayor Tomas Regalado for outstanding efforts in promoting cooperation between the Republic of Poland and the U.S., the Lech Walesa Media Award to Ms. Cynthia Hudson for her dedication to the cause of democracy and featuring Poland’s history and news in mainstream media, and a Special Recognition to Ms. Ana J. Brajnovic for teaching young Polish girls values, respect and empowerment.

A traditional Chinese fan dance performed by the New Century Dance Company of Miami
A traditional Chinese fan dance performed by the New Century Dance Company of Miami

After an invocation by Miami’s Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Lady Blanka and President Walesa led the regal and grand Polonaise Dance of special guests and dignitaries. Guests enjoyed delicious food with a touch of Asian spices, an endless flow of wine, and the lovely ballroom melodies and favorite jazz arrangements of the Frank Hubbell Orchestra. A wonderful artistic program of traditional Chinese performances was presented by the New Century Dance Company. They topped off their performances with two colorful and exuberant Chinese lions bobbing and rolling on the dance floor. The American Institute of Polish Culture toasted to another successful event and looks forward to many more decades of the beautiful ball hosted in Miami.

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