A busy spring for Czech Heritage Foundation’s Royal Court

dance group

(photo/Cindy Hadish)

March has been a busy month for the Czech Heritage Foundation’s Royal Court.

Members have participated in the Czech School Chili Supper; the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in downtown Cedar Rapids; St. Joseph’s Day Parade through New Bohemia and Czech Village and the St. Joseph’s Day Dance at the Ponderosa Ballroom in Walford.

Ashley Pudil, Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa, along with Czech Little Brother, Lars Landa, and his sister, Ingrid Landa, one of the court’s Czech Little Sisters, also were guests on on radio station Z102.9 to promote the events.

The group will have a well-deserved rest before Houby Days in May, when the new Czech Royal Court will be crowned.

-Cindy Hadish, Czech Heritage Foundation Czech Prince & Princess Program Director

dance duo

(photo/Cindy Hadish)

z trio

(photo/Cindy Hadish)

z lars at mike

(photo/Cindy Hadish)

joe flowers

(photo/Cindy Hadish)

St. Joseph’s Day Dance 2016

dance10Save the date!

The Czech Heritage Foundation is preparing for the upcoming annual St. Joseph’s Day Dance! This event is a fundraiser to support the Czech Heritage youth programs, including the Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant, the Prince and Princess program, opportunities for students to travel abroad, and college scholarships.

When: Sunday, March 20, 2016 from 2:00pm – 6:00pm
Where: The Ponderosa Ballroom, 195 First Street South, Walford, Iowa 

Barefoot Becky & the Ivanhoe Dutchmen
Door prizes
Silent auction
Bake sale
Raffle prizes!

Tickets are available at the door and are only $10 per person!

CHF Youth Engage in Winter Events

svaty1The Czech Royal Court participated in holiday events in Cedar Rapids this December. Members attended the Svaty Mikulas celebration and tree-lighting ceremony in Czech Village, as well as the Old World Christmas Market at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. The Royal Court assisted in selling raffle tickets for the Czech Heritage Foundation’s wreath raffle during the market. The event is one of the annual fundraisers for the foundation, which supports our youth programs.

2015 Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant Returns to the Houby Days Festival

The 14th Annual Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa Pageant was held on May 16th in conjunction with the Houby Day Festival held in Czech Village, Cedar Rapids, IA.   This is a change from the previous year when the pageant was held with the St. Joseph’s Day Dance in March.   The pageant kicked off with a parade at 10:00 AM with nine convertibles carrying Miss Czech-Slovak queens and contestants.

NCSML PicTwo excellent contestants vied for the crown of Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa.   Ashley Pudil is the daughter of Kevin and Denise Pudil of Cedar Rapids, IA.  She is a student at Loras College at Dubuque, IA, declaring a major in English-Creative Writing as well as Spanish.  Ashley is preserving her family’s heritage by serving as Czech School administrator this summer. She performed an ethnic dance that was performed by the Omladina Dancers at the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society Conference in St Louis, MO.  Hannah Van Deusen is the daughter of Ray and Terri Van Deusen  of Cedar Rapids, IA.   She is a student at Coe College, planning to major in music education   She is also taking Suzuki teacher training to be a better qualified Suzuki violin/viola teacher. For her talent, she performed a violin piece composed by Miloslav Gajdos, called Zingaresca. Continue reading

Czech Heritage Foundation Announces New Czech Royal Court

h full courtThe Czech Heritage Foundation’s Royal Court has doubled in size, with the announcement of a new position and dual titles.  Two young men and two young women will share the duties of Czech prince and Czech princess in the coming year, and for the first time ever, a “Little Brother” will serve on the Czech Royal Court.  “As one of the judges, I know what a difficult decision this was,” said Janna Waters, Miss Czech-Slovak Iowa 2014-2015, who served on the Czech prince and princess judging panel.  Waters said both candidates for Czech prince and both for Czech princess did an excellent job of researching their ancestry, writing essays and answering questions about Czech culture and traditions in front of the panel of judges.  “Because it was such a tough choice, the Czech Heritage Foundation voted to expand this year’s Royal Court,” she announced during the crowning ceremony May 17 at Houby Days in Czech Village.

The new Czech princes for the coming year are: Branden Knight, the son of Tom and h welcome signKaren Knight of Hiawatha, and Bryce Buresh, the son of John and Jennifer Buresh of Ely.  Branden, 14, an eighth-grader at Harding Middle School, served during the past year as Mladší Princ, which translates to ”younger prince.”  Bryce, 17, an 11th-grader at College Community Schools, wore the kroj (ethnic folk costume) that his father wore as Czech Prince from 1986 to 1987.

The new Czech princesses are Hannah Emrich, the daughter of Tiffany Morgan and Michael Becker of Cedar Rapids, and Rachael Brandon, the daughter of Jeremy and Jennifer Wills and Jason and Andrea Brandon of Cedar Rapids.  Hannah, 13, is a seventh-grader at Prairie Point, and Rachael, 13, is a seventh-grader at Oak Ridge Middle School.

h little sistersThe new Little Sisters also were announced during the ceremony.  Victoria Knight, 11, the daughter of Tom and Karen Knight of Hiawatha, will serve her third year as Little Sister. She is a fifth-grader at Pierce Elementary.  Aislin Andrews, 8, the daughter of Chad and Danielle Andrews of Lisbon, and Ingrid Landa, 7, the daughter of Craig and Christine Landa of Toddville, are the new Little Sisters.  Aislin is a second-grader at Lisbon Elementary and Ingrid is a first-grader at Alburnett Elementary School.

h little brotherFor the first time, the Czech Royal Court has a “Little Brother,” bestowing the title on Lars Landa at the crowning ceremony. Lars, 9, is the son of Craig and Christine Landa and is a third-grader at Alburnett.

Outgoing Czech Prince, Sam Uthoff, and Czech Princess, Ashley Pudil, assisted at the crowning ceremony.  Janna Waters also was recognized at the ceremony for serving as a role model for the younger members of the Royal Court, and for giving her time and talents on countless occasions during the past year to spread the message about the program.

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.  The winners serve as young ambassadors by representing their Czech heritage and the Cedar Rapids area in parades, festivals and other events throughout the year.  Little Sisters and Little Brothers are between the ages of 6 and 12. Applicants for all of the positions must be of Czech or Slovak descent.