Scholarship winners announced at annual picnic

Left to right: Elijah Wolter, Ashley Pudil, and Erika Serbousek. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Left to right: Elijah Wolter, Ashley Pudil, and Erika Serbousek. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The Czech Heritage Foundation awarded three $1,300 scholarships during the annual picnic on August 9 at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.

Erika Serbousek of Iowa State University, Ashley Pudil of Loras College and Elijah Wolter of the University of Chicago were all deserving recipients, said Lee Thornbloom, who chairs the scholarship committee.

Scholarship winners with CHF Scholarship Committee Chair Lee Thornbloom. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Scholarship winners with CHF Scholarship Committee Chair Lee Thornbloom. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

During the picnic, Bonnie Rohlena and Donna Gruntorad paid special recognition to Marj Nejdl, who so generously volunteered her time and talent to provide the exquisite artwork for the new Czech Heritage Foundation logo and the new Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant logo.

Czech Master Folk Artist Marj Nejdl, left, and Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Co-Director Bonnie Rohlena. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Czech Master Folk Artist Marj Nejdl, left, and Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Co-Director Bonnie Rohlena. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

 

New Czech Heritage Foundation logo by Master Czech Folk Artist Marj Nejdl.

New Miss-Czech Slovak Iowa Pageant logo by Master Czech Folk Artist Marj Nejdl.

New Miss-Czech Slovak Iowa Pageant logo by Master Czech Folk Artist Marj Nejdl.

Members of the Czech Royal Court were introduced at the picnic, as well. The picnic is an annual get-together for members of the Czech Heritage Foundation, their families and friends.

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(photo/Cindy Hadish)

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa earns top three at national pageant

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Ashley Pudil, left, of Iowa, won second runnerup; Michaela Steager of Nebraska was crowned queen and Anna O’Renick of Missouri was first runnerup in the Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. pageant on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2016, in Wilber, Neb. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Ashley Pudil, Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa, was awarded second runner-up during the 30th Annual Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. pageant on August 7 in Wilber, Nebraska. She also took home the Sokol Award for her Moravian folk dance in the talent portion of the event.  Ashley is the daughter of Kevin and Denise Pudil, and is pursuing her Bachelor of Arts degrees in English, Creative Writing, and Spanish at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Her Czech heritage comes from both sides of her family, who originally lived in Brumov, a village in Southern Moravia and Southern Bohemia.

Left to right: Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Co-Director Bonnie Rohlena, Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Ashley Pudil, and Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Co-Director Donna Gruntorad. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Left to right: Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Co-Director Bonnie Rohlena, Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa 2015/2016 Ashley Pudil, and Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Co-Director Donna Gruntorad. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa is sponsored by the Czech Heritage Foundation. See more photos from the pageant and the Wilber Czech Festival here.

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa 2015/2016 and Miss Czech-Slovak US 2nd Runner Up Ashley Pudil. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa 2015/2016 and Miss Czech-Slovak US 2nd Runner Up 2016-2017 Ashley Pudil. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Celebrating the 4th of July with the Royal Court

The Czech Royal Court participated in the July 2 Freedom Festival Parade, where the Czech Heritage Foundation float won an award, and in the Belle Plaine parade on July 4, where Bonnie (Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant Co-Director) and Marvin Rohlena’s red wagon was well-received. Our thanks to float-maker Tim Pfeifer for another great entry at the Freedom Festival!  (photos/Cindy Hadish)

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parade groupparade by museumparade lindaparade bp courtparade bp bonnie

Czech Heritage Foundation announces new Royal Court

The 2016-2017 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court.

Article and photos by Cindy Hadish

The Czech Heritage Foundation’s Royal Court continues to grow, with new members and positions announced during Houby Days, including a new Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa.

Linda Babinat, the daughter of Leo and Lisa Babinat of Clutier, was named the 2016-2017 Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa, following a pageant at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. Runner-up was Lindsay Hottovy, the daughter of Thomas and Susan Hottovy of Adams, Neb. Both Linda and Lindsay attend Loras College in Dubuque.

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Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa 2016-2017, Linda Babinat.

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Runner-Up, Lindsay Hottovy.

Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Runner-Up, Lindsay Hottovy.

Two Czech princes and two Czech princesses also were named for the coming year. Branden Knight, the son of Tom and Karen Knight of Hiawatha, and Drake Ainsworth, the son of Mike Ainesworth and Heidi Hromidko of Cedar Rapids, will share the duties of Czech Prince. The Czech princesses will be Rachael Brandon, the daughter of Jeremy and Jennifer Wills and Jason and Andrea Brandon of Cedar Rapids and Victoria Knight, the daughter of Tom and Karen Knight of Hiawatha.

Ingrid and Lars Landa, the daughter and son of Craig and Christine Landa of Toddville, are returning to the Royal Court as Czech Little Sister and Czech Little Brother. Joining them will be MyAh Morgan, the daughter of J.C. and Tiffany Morgan of Cedar Rapids, and FayLyn Franks, the daughter of Taylor Dillon and Daren Franks of Hiawatha, as Czech Little Sisters, and Davis Robe, the son of John and Holly Robe of Cedar Rapids, as Czech Little Brother.

In a new role, two out-of-state brothers will serve as Czech Royal Court attendants. Frank and Jonathan Kime, sons of Matthew and Jarmila Kime of Missouri, have grown up in both the Czech Republic and the United States. They were represented at the crowning ceremony in Czech Village by their grandparents, Jon and Donna Kime, and great-grandmother, Noreen Kime, all of Cedar Rapids.

The 2016-2017 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court.

The 2015-2016 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court

Ashley Pudil, the daughter of Kevin and Denise Pudil of Cedar Rapids, is finishing her reign as 2015-2016 Miss Czech Slovak-Iowa and will represent the state of Iowa during the national pageant in Wilber, Neb., in August. This year marked the 15th anniversary of the queen pageant in Iowa, with several past queens attending Houby Days activities and the pageant banquet, along with out-of-state Czech queens and the reigning Miss Czech-Slovak U.S. Meagan Kurmel of Nebraska.

Young women ages 18-25 compete for the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa title, with competition in interviews, modeling Czech costumes, called kroje, and talent categories. Boys and girls between the ages of 12 and 18 compete for the title of Czech Prince or Princess by researching their Czech heritage, writing an essay and being interviewed by a panel of judges. Little Sisters and Little Brothers are between the ages of 6 and 12. All applicants must be of Czech or Slovak descent.

Visiting Queens at the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa pageant.

Visiting Queens with Iowa Queen Ashley Pudil at the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa pageant.

Members of the Czech Royal Court serve as young ambassadors by representing the Czech community in parades, festivals and other events throughout the year.

The 2015-2016 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court.

The 2015-2016 Czech Heritage Foundation Royal Court, along with past Iowa queens and visiting queens