GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For the first time since it started in 1973, Pulaski Days in Grand Rapids will not take place this year. It has been canceled due to concerns about spreading coronavirus.
The festival is the largest fundraiser for the 14 Polish halls around Grand Rapids. Without the annual event, which was supposed to be held Oct. 2 through Oct. 4, many are in danger of having to close their doors.
“This is what we call our Black Friday. And without it, we most of us will not survive. Please come on down support all the clubs that are open,” said John Theisen, the lead trustee at Polish Falcons.
This year, Polish halls around Grand Rapids will offer up takeout Polish food in hopes of raising some money to survive.
“I have clubs pulling together saying let’s do curbside service. Let’s do food, so there are available and people can get any part of their polish food. Because we can’t open our doors, we are going to make a point to say come get your Polish food,” said Michelle Kershner, chairwomen of Pulaksi Days.
Each location has a different menu and some halls will allow you to order ahead of time.
“We really need the support. We are saying if go to Pulaski days and you usually spend a hundred dollars could you make that donation,” Kershner said.
“Our hope is for everyone to remember that the Polish community is proud, and we want to be involved still. All the Polish clubs are desperate they need that money to survive for the whole year without it some of them could fail,” Theisen said.
There are other ways you can help the halls survive. Pulaski Days has a donation tab on their website, you can go to Credit Union One on Walker Ave to donate and there will be donation boxes at all the halls this weekend. “We definitely need the income. Luckily, our club, we have a great team of people a great board of directors. We’re surviving but there are other clubs that are in desperate need and with save the clubs we’re trying to help everyone out by getting us all involved and making us all survive because if one goes down we all can kind of go down,” Theisen said.