Descendants of Peter and Sophie Szukala recently gathered for their annual family reunion at Point Gratiot in Dunkirk. This year's theme was a "Country and Western Jamboree," hosted by Alan Szukala and girlfriend Julie from Muskegon, Mich. Family and guests were greeted wearing blue jeans and cowboy hats in conjunction with the theme. Remaining children of Peter and Sophie in attendance were Robert Szukala, Dolores Abramowicz and Alice Daigel. Henry Szukala was unable to attend.
A continental breakfast was served for early birds, and a pot luck lunch featuring a family favorite tradition of duck soup followed. A supper time menu including fried chicken and roast beef with all the trimmings was shared by all in attendance.
The day was spent socializing and re-acquainting with family who attended from the local area as well as Olean, Albany, Michigan, West Virginia and Illinois. The usual games of cards and children's games as well as the annual egg toss were played throughout the afternoon. A highlight of this year's festivities was a "mechanical bull," constructed by Paul Fancher of Olean. Many of the young broncos took turns showing off their riding skills on the fierce bull. The pinata, which has also become a tradition that the children look forward to, was a cowboy filled with toys and candy.
A family raffle, which consisted of gifts bought as an entry fee by those in attendance, was held after supper to help defray costs for the next reunion.
A newsletter, updating the family events of the past year was complied and distributed by Darlyn Andrews, who also shared family photos from past reunions. Three deaths since the last reunion were documented: Jeremy Asbell, Peter Szukala Jr. and Donald Skelly. Several births were noted including: son Carrington to Adam Szukala, Paxton to Amanda and Justin Zielinski; Tim Jr. to Cody and Tim Coon; Jack Oliver to Amanda and Scott Benson; Paige Madison to Kristen and Kenny Hooghouse and Lydia Patricia to Jen and Aaron Witruke. Newlyweds to be congratulated were Tim and Cody Zielinski Coon, Kenny and Kristen Skelly Hooghouse and Matt and Jen Szukala. Of special note was the retirement of Dick Krzyzanowicz on July 13.
The next reunion is scheduled for the last Saturday of July 2013 at Point Gratiot and will be hosted by Lorrie Ecchevarria.