Cecilia Dolgan - American Slovenian Polka Foundation

Cecilia Dolgan retires as
President of the American Slovenian Polka Foundation

Cecilia Dolgan, President of the American Slovenian Polka Foundation, has retired from the position at the April meeting of the Board of Trustees. She will continue on as a trustee of the organization, which operates the National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum. She has held the position since 2000. The Board voted unanimously for founding trustee Joe Valencic to take her place as President.

Cecilia took the reins at a very important time. She was the officer in charge of planning and implementing the move of the Museum to its current location in the historic former Euclid City Hall building. As President, she was the chairperson for raising $10,000 for the remodeling of the City Hall suites for the Museum and Gift Shop.

Cecilia came up with the idea for the High Note Society and Just Because Club memberships to acknowledge donors with a permanent display at the Museum. Other events she coordinated were Polkas on the Lawn, for the opening of the Museum at the new location, and Polkas at the Rock, with 101 accordionists performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Together with brother and founding Trustee Joe Valencic, she suggested the annual Slovenian Sausage Festival as a fund-raiser for the Polka Hall of Fame. The popular polka event celebrates its ninth year on Wednesday, September 14, 2012, at SNPJ Farm in Kirtland, Ohio.

For the past thirteen annual Crystal Awards Shows, she served as the producer of the Show and musical entertainment coordinator. Under Cecilia's leadership, the current weekly raffle was established with her guidelines.

"Cecilia has had a tremendous, positive impact on the Slovenian and polka music scenes," said radio personality Tony Petkovsek, who also retired as Chairman of the Board. "She touched off a new era for the Polka Hall of Fame and turned it into an international attraction with events throughout the year to celebrate Cleveland-Style polka music." Tony will continue as Chairman Emeritus.

Cecilia Dolgan

Cecilia Dolgan

Cecilia set up the Museum's archival system to record, store and preserve all recordings and artifacts in the collections. She also initiated the computerization of the archives. Under her supervision, hundreds of VHS videotapes have been transferred to digital formats, including all of the Award Show videos.

With a dozen albums in her credits, Cilka, as she is known in Slovenian, has been the best-known woman and one of the top vocalists and lyricists on the Cleveland-Style polka scene. For forty years she directed the Slovenian Junior Chorus and has produced the Super Button Box Bash since 1982. She held leadership positions in many Slovenian-American organizations. She is a reporter for the Lake County New Herald and has edited several publications. In her continued role as Trustee, Cecilia will carry on her work in preserving Slovenian and Cleveland-Style polka recordings and developing events for the Polka Hall of Fame.

The National Cleveland-Style Polka Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates the dance music that emerged from the city's Slovenian neighborhoods a century ago and first became a national sensation in the decade after World War II. The museum features audio exhibits, historic photographs and original instruments. Polka Hall of Fame members nominate and vote for polka performers and recordings in various categories. This year's annual Thanksgiving weekend polka festival is highlighted by an awards ceremony on Saturday, November 24, 2012, at Euclid Auditorium.

The Polka Hall of Fame is located in the historic former Euclid City Hall at 605 East 222nd Street in Euclid, Ohio. Admission is free. Hours for the Museum and Polka Shop are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 5:00, and Saturdays, 10:00 to 3:00. For more information, check the website at or call (216) 621- FAME.

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