The month of October always reminds us that Mr. Edward J. Piszek, the successful businessman, humanitarian and great friend of Poland for the last 40 years, celebrates his birthday. This year it is his 85th and he is still very active in Poland and on behalf of Poland.
Ten years ago, it was his idea to publish a magazine in English to help all Polish students to learn English and to aid Polish teachers in teaching English. The World of English magazine started with a small readership in 1992. Today it has become Poland's leading magazine published in English with a readership of 50,000. Mr. Piszek's idea of bringing U.S. Peace Corps Volunteers to Poland was a big success, and the fruits of their labours are 30,000 Polish English teachers and more than 400,000 students who have been taught the universal language of English over the past 10 years. His dream that most young Poles would have a working knowledge of English by the end of the 20th century has become a reality.
More than 40 years ago, following his first visit to Poland, Mr. Piszek helped his ancestral homeland win its war on tuberculosis. He provided the Polish health service with a fleet of mobile X-ray units that were able to reach even the remotest rural
villages to examine their residents.
Project Pole was another great idea of Mr. Piszek's. It was a war on Polish jokes in America and the lack of knowledge about great Poles. Introduced to the American public were famous men and women of Poland like Copernicus, Chopin, Joseph Conrad, Madam Curie and Tadeusz Kościuszko, to mention but a few.
Mr. Piszek is known for his wonderful ideas and likes sharing them with as many Poles as possible. He encouraged the Little League Baseball Headquarters in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, USA to select Poland as its European Training Center, taking in African and Asian countries. In six years, the overgrown fields in Kutno, where Little League is located, have been turned into a theatre of dreams with training facilities, dormitories and baseball fields, one of which is named after Mr. Piszek. He and his son, Bill, also started a campaign to collect baseball gloves and other equipment for Polish youngsters, sending them from the States to Poland.
Mr. Piszek also supports the 4-H Foundation, which has been in Poland for some years now. The 4-H Foundation has over 400 clubs throughout Poland and helps some 6,000 farmers and youngsters who plan to be the future farmers of Poland. He also encouraged Penn State University's agriculture department in America to help 4-H clubs through its extension services in rural areas. Mr. Piszek has started donations of notill planters to young farmers in the Rzeszów area. He sponsors the annual Crystal Clover Award for young 4-H educators, as well as the Edward J. Piszek and Stan Musial Award for the best sports
Because of the range of his humanitarian activities for Poland, which are remarkably diversified, it is impossible to mention everything on this page. A new book, A Life of Purpose, has already been published in America and contains it all. We at The World of English look forward to reading it and learning more about our publisher.