2020 Fall Newsletter
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Dear Minnesota Croatian Friends,

Well it appears that the Year 2020 is the one that keeps giving.  Between the pandemic, economic crises, George Floyd riots, environmental disasters, upcoming Presidential elections, international tensions and deaths of a family members and long time friends, it has been a tough year.  I personally and selfishly enjoyed the opportunity to relax at our cabin where my family and I could escape the pressures of the world.  I had hopes that the fall would bring more stability to my twin daughters who are starting their senior year of high school.

Sadly, most of our Croatian related events and plans for this year were cancelled.  We were fortunate enough to participate in the Balkan Festival, but of course missed out on the Croatian Night at the Timberwolves, the Festival of Nations and the new festival, the Slavic Festival.  Our plans to have a summer picnic in Duluth were also cancelled, along with a potential visit from Ambassador Pjer Šimunović.

On a good note, one activity that we were able to hold was a Paint Night in July and it was fun to connect with other Minnesota Croatians.  And our Facebook page hit a new milestone with 500 followers!  

Speaking of Minnesota Croatians, Max Woxland, one of our members, donated his time and energy to design our new web site for our organization, which can be found at  Please check it out, especially our list of Noteworthy Minnesota Croatians. We are very grateful for his knowledge and expertise with undertaking this project for us.

The Croatian Hall will be selling Take-Out Sarma on Saturday October 24th starting at noon until they sell out.  Their price for a carton of sarma is 6 for $18.  See below for additional details.

As we get closer to December, it appears to be unlikely that we will hold our Annual Christmas Party. The date is currently reserved for Saturday December 5th. The health and safety of the members of our community is the highest priority.  As an option, I wonder if people would attend a virtual Zoom event?  I created a survey below and I would appreciate your responses.  We would need to have at least 50 responses from our members to make this event happen.  I hear from many who say that they will not return to their companies until next year so assume it is unlikely we were able to gather together in person.

My best to all - stay healthy!

Andrea Novak Neumann
Christmas and Monthly Virtual Meeting Survey
Below is a survey to see if people would be interested in attending a Christmas party on December 5th via a virtual Zoom meeting with entertainment and speakers.  The cost of the program would probably just cover the cost of the entertainment.  We would need to have a minimum of at least 50 attendees.
The second survey is to see if there is any interest in having a monthly Saturday morning meeting at 9 am for an hour or two to get together and visit.  We could potentially have different speakers for each month or have conversations over coffee. Some ideas may be to have a cooking class or a have a Croatian author or artist talk to us about their works.  Since it is virtual, we may have more options available to us rather than just our local community.
Question 1: Would you attend a virtual Croatian Christmas party via Zoom with entertainment and speakers?  
 Depends on the cost

Question 2: Would you participate in a virtual monthly meeting on Saturday mornings at 9 am to connect with other Minnesota Croatians via a Zoom meeting?
 Depends on the activity
First Ever Croatian Paint Night

With a reprieve from Governor Walz with Bars and Restuarants re-opening, we quickly rescheduled the Dubrovnik Paint night for July 1st and had a nice turn out of about a dozen people.  It was a fun night with the ladies from the Croatian Community painting the port of Dubrovnik at the Croatian Hall in South St. Paul. We all agreed that it looked like what we had set out to paint!  And it was nice to get out of the house and socialize a bit and see familiar faces.  

Croatian Language Classes
We are sad that we cannot offer our in-person language class which has been canceled for this fall. We are recommending an alternative for those who would like to continue their learning. This free online course from the University of Zagreb is an excellent resource.  See link below

We are  will be offering informal monthly Zoom meetings to connect and visit with other Minnesota Croatians in the community one Wednesday night per month in October, November and December! 

Below are the dates for the Zoom meetings and in conjunction with the meetings, we recommend completing the following sessions prior to the meeting:

September 30th to October 20th - Units 1-5
October 21st to November 10th - Units 6-10
November 11th to December 1st - Units 11-15
December 2nd - Units 16-20

If interested in attending, please fill out this form to get the zoom link.
Vesna Kittelson:  Young Americans 
is on view in the Fisch Gallery through January 3, 2021
The Weisman Art Museum recently debuted a new series of portraits from Croatian American artist Vesna Kittelson. "Young Americans" is currently on display in the Fisch Gallery through January 3rd, 2021.
For More Information on Vesna Kittelson's Young Americans
Sarma Take-Out at the Croatian Hall
Selling starts at noon at the Croatian Hall in South St. Paul located at 445 2nd Avenue. First come, first serve.There will be a limited amount available so get there early.             
 A carton of 6 sarma sells for $18.
Check Out Our New Website!
We are very excited to announce that we have launched a brand new website! Please click the link below to check out the new site. Many thanks to Max Woxland who donated his time to create this new site. This new site is a modern and clean look for our organization. We couldn't have done it without him.  Hvala Max!

Please check out our list of Noteworthy Minnesota Croatians on our website.  We are always growing this list so make sure to submit candidates who you feel should make this list.
Minnesota Croatians Website
Virtual Tamburitzan Performance
Here is a virtual YouTube performance that you can watch of the Tamburitzans since they were not able to come here this year. The Croatian dance is the first dance. 
Thanks to Nick Temali and Donald La Course for sending us the link.
In Memoriam
Our sincere condolences to the families who lost family members this past year.  We send our condolences to Mark Tesija who lost his mother earlier this year while he was quarantined in Croatia.
Legendary Chisholm Basketball Coach and Proud Croat Bob McDonald dies at the age of 87.  He is shown here in with the 1000th win basketball in 2013.
Here is the obituary for Bob McDonald (with permission from the family to publish)

A public visitation will be held Sunday, October 18, 2020 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm, in St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Chisholm. Social distancing and masks are required. A private family Mass will take place at a later date. Interment will be in Chisholm Cemetery. Arrangements are entrusted to Rupp Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Chisholm.
Robert J. McDonald, 87, of Chisholm, died Wednesday, 14, 2020, at Fairview Range Medical Center in Hibbing. He was born June 25, 1933 in Buffalo NY, to Mary Perkovich. He was a Chisholm High School graduate class of 1951, and received an Associates degree with Hibbing Junior College and attained a Bachelor’s Degree in teaching at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Bob was united in marriage to Darlene Rosbacka August 6, 1955 in Cloquet, MN and Carol Tiburzi on June 17, 2000. Bob “Coach” McDonald, taught and coached McGregor, MN from 1955-1959 in Barnum, MN from 1959 to 1961, and Chisholm from 1962-2014. He was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. He was a member of the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association and was a former Chisholm Moose member. Bob also enjoyed oil painting, rabbit hunting with his beagles, traveling to Croatia, and spending time at his cabin on Big Sturgeon.
He is survived by his wife, Carol, children: Mike (Dayla) of Cambridge, MN, Paul (Tracy) of Ely, MN, Sue (Neil) Tesdahl of Crosby, MN, Tom (Kathy) of Ely, MN, Judy (Bob) Racek of Riverview, Fl., and Joel (Carrie) of Hibbing, MN; 17 grandchildren: Rhett, Eric, Tomi, Bryce, Blake, Kailee, Brock, Conner, Mariah, Megan, Mataya, Natalie, Kyle, Brady, Adam, Abbey, and Ayden; 4 great-grandchildren: Gannon, Dekker, Tatum, and Darlene, one sister, Darlene Anderson.
He is preceded in death by his mother, stepfathers: Ray McDonald and George Morgando first wife, Darlene and numerous aunts and uncles that were very special to him.
To sign the guest book online and leave a memorial message please visit:

Click on the Duluth News Tribune for more information about Bob and his legendary coaching career.
Read the Duluth Tribune Article here
Duluth’s Mark Sertich, ‘World’s Oldest Hockey Player,’ dies at 99
Read the Duluth Tribune Article here
Thinking of Travelling to Croatia. 
Check this site out below.

If you are thinking about traveling to Croatia, you can click on this link for the Croatian Ministry of the Interiror website below, as it is updated every day. This site contains frequently asked questions and answers regarding the conditions of entry into the Republic of Croatia considering the restrictions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  If you cannot find the answer to your question, you may contact them via a form in the link.

Croatian Travel Information
Mission Statement: The Croatian Cultural Society of Minnesota is a non-profit organization. The purpose of the Society is to further the culture of the Croatian people through the arts, cultural presentations and distribution of Croatian literature, music and folklore to libraries, universities, schools and museums.
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