The Kosciuszko Foundation Expands Its Work in Poland

WARSAW & NEW YORK: President and Executive Director of The Kosciuszko Foundation, Alex Storozynski today announced that the foundation has legally registered in Poland as: “Fundacja Kosciuszkowska Polska.”  Mr. Storozynski will discuss details of this expansion at a press conference on Wednesday, 16 March 2011, at 11:30 a.m. in room 176 of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, ulica Wiejska 6 in Warsaw. Following that, an exhibit about the history of the Kosciuszko Foundation will be on display in the Polish Senate for two weeks. The exhibit will also tour Poland. 

Founded in New York in 1925, the Kosciuszko Foundation promotes closer ties between Poland and the United States through educational, scientific and cultural exchanges. It awards up to $1 million annually in fellowships and grants to graduate students, scholars, scientists, artists and professionals, and promotes Polish culture in America.  The Foundation has awarded scholarships and provided a forum to Poles who have changed world history.

Mr. Storozynski said, “The Kosciuszko Foundation has awarded scholarships and grants to people such as Leszek Balcerowicz, Norman Davies, Juliusz Jan Machulski, General Ed Rowny, Magdalena Abakanowicz, Senator Marek Ziolkowski, Franciszek Starowieyski and many others. It has also provided a forum in New York for Polish dignitaries such as Cardinal Karol Wojtyla before he became Pope, Czeslaw Milosz, Jan Karski, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Maria Kaczynska, and many others to meet with Americans in New York.”

Recently, the Kosciuszko Foundation has received attention for its international Katyn conference held last year at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C., and its campaign asking American newspapers to stop using the phrase “Polish concentration camps.”  More than 220,000 people have signed the Foundation’s petition on this issue, and so far, The Wall Street Journal and The San Francisco Chronicle have agreed to stop using this phrase.

Mr. Storozynski said, “For decades, the Kosciuszko Foundation has educated Polonia’s leaders and promoted Polish issues in America. Each year we give away money for scholarships, so we must continue to our mission. The Kosciuszko Foundation Poland allows Polish taxpayers to get tax credits for supporting higher education and to improve Poland’s standing in the United States.”  

Initially the Kosciuszko Foundation was established by donations from American businessmen, members of Polonia, and even black teenagers who sent their spare change to the Foundation after they read that Tadeusz Kosciuszko donated his salary as a General in the American Revolution to purchase and free slaves. Today’s Kosciuszko Foundation is supported by donors big and small, including members who contribute $50 per year, and those who bequeath their estates to the Foundation to establish educational endowments in their name.

United States citizens who donate money to the Foundation receive tax deductions from their American taxes, and now, Polish citizens who donate to The Kosciuszko Foundation Poland can receive tax deductions as well.

Individual and corporate donors that are Polish tax residents can now deduct from earned income donations given to The Kosciuszko Foundation Poland up to a total amount not exceeding 10 percent of their yearly income for corporate entities and 6 percent for individual taxpayers respectively.  The Kosciuszko Foundation Poland will also undertake efforts to obtain public benefit organization status which will give it further tax benefits under Polish law, including the possibility to collect 1 percent of the personal income tax transferred by tax authorities upon the request of individual taxpayers expressed in their annual tax return.

Storozynski said, “We have to thank the international law firm White & Case, which has been doing pro bono work for the Foundation for many years. It advised and assisted the Foundation every step of the way in becoming a registered Polish foundation. Their work is very important for Polonia.”

Following the press conference all are invited attend the opening of an exhibition on the Kosciuszko Foundation which begins at twelve noon. The exhibit: Fundacja Kosciuszkowska -Amerykanskie Centrum Polskiej Kultury, will be displayed until the end of the month in the Senate hallway on the first floor next to the Senate chamber. The exhibition is under the patronage of Senator Andrzej Person, Chairman of the Committee for Emigration Affairs and Contacts with Poles Abroad.

For further information on how you can help the Foundation’s mission in the United States, call 212 734 2130.

In Poland, please contact: Joseph A. Herter, the Kosciuszko Foundation Inc. Representative in Poland and the President of the The Kosciuszko Foundation Poland-Fundacja Kosciuszkowska Polska.

(22) 621-7067; kosciuszko@send.pl.   

The Kosciuszko Foundation: The American Center of Polish Culture

New York City Office: 15 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10065-6501 ? Tel. (212) 734-2130 Fax: (212) 628-4552

Washington, D.C. Office: 2025 O Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036-5913 (202) 785-2320 Fax: (202) 785 2159

Warsaw, Poland, Office: ul. Nowy Swiat 4, Room 118, 00-497 Warsaw, Poland ? Tel./Fax:011-48-22-621-7067

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