Celebrate Women’s History Month at the Ethnic Heritage Museum

Patty Bachmann (left) and Jody Deery, Hispanic Gallery and Irish Gallery honorees, respectively, at Ethnic Heritage Museum's Women's History Month celebration March 7. Photo provided

From press release

There are amazing stories of women in history. This month, the Ethnic Heritage Museum, 1129 S. Main St., Rockford, recognizes local women who have an outstanding record of accomplishments in the community. These are Rockford women who epitomize volunteerism, citizenship and a strong cultural connection to the community.

Sunday, March 14, Polish Gallery, Serafina Vanek—Vanek is a survivor of World War II in Poland. She recently shared her stories at the museum with an oral history program. A member of St. Stanislaus, she has written two poetry books and a biography in her Polish language. The writings tell about her experiences during this time in Poland.

Time: 2-4 p.m. Community welcome! Donations accepted. Tasty treats are available.

Sunday, March 21, Italian Gallery, Circuit Judge Lisa Fabiano—Honorable Lisa Fabiano is a Rockford native and Guilford High School graduate. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1985 and went on to attend law school at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. After receiving her JD in law in 1992, she served from 1993-98 as law clerk for Judge Stanley J. Roszkowski, U.S. District Court for Northern District of Illinois. Fabiano has written articles for NIU School of Law’s The Law Review. She has also been in private practice for 11 years with the Fabiano law offices in Rockford. The Hon. Lisa Fabiano was elected circuit judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit in 2008. She volunteers on the board of the Greater Rockford Italian American Association (GRIAA) and the Advisory Board of the Ethnic Heritage Museum.

Time: 2-4 p.m. Community welcome! Donations accepted. Special Italian treats Fedeli style are available.

Sunday, March 28, Lithuanian Gallery, Joseph Valaitis—Carol Valaitis is a retired teacher of gifted students, former director of Speech Pathology at Mercy Hospital, and an active community volunteer serving in the area of Gifted Education (Illinois Association for the Gifted). A member of Holy Family Parish and Rockford Catholic Women’s Guild, she is involved in women’s issues and is president of the board of directors of Womanspace. She is married 40 years to Dr. Joseph Valaitis and is a Rockford resident of 33 years. Her adult children are 100-percent, fourth-generation Lithuanian Americans.

Program: Carol Valaitis will join with her friend, Martha Schapals from McHenry, Ill., to share their recent trip experiences in Lithuania. They will have artifacts on display from this trip and items of Lithuanian history collected through the years.

Time: 2-4 p.m. Community welcome! Donations accepted. Tasty treats are available.

In addition to these special Women’s History Honoree Celebrations, visitors can enjoy the African-American Gallery displays of African-American Life in the 1800s post-Civil War. A collection of Rockford College President Dr. and Mrs. Robert Head’s family artifacts from this time period are on exhibit.

Another stop is the Italian Gallery’s Carnevale display, which represents the beautiful Italian costumes worn during the 1800’s city-wide festivals. On display will be masks purchased in Venice, “Queen of the Adriatic.”

From the Mar. 10-16, 2010 issue

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