By Larry Skvir
Last January 2017 after St. Stephen’s OCF, Chapter 82, was wrapping up the 80th Novogodny Ball, our long time Ball Chairman, Paul Fedoronko, announced that 80, being a nice round number, would be his final Ball as Chairman. Unless someone was willing to step up to assume the chairmanship, it was likely that this would be the final Ball, ending a wonderful event that was attended by thousands of people over its eight-decade lifespan.
At our subsequent chapter meeting, with the hotel deadline quickly approaching and the fate of the Ball up in the air, Andre and Alex Cox, the two youngest members of Chapter 82, volunteered to step up to assume responsibility for the 81st Ball. As anyone who attended this year will attest, with the usual help of all the chapter members, Andre and Alex did a great job and the Ball went off without a hitch. Thank you, Andre and Alex!
A cold but precipitation-free weekend of January 13 and 14 greeted our guests from five states. Some of the members of the Colonial District Board of Trustees who attended the District Board meeting on Saturday, January 13, also attended divine liturgy at St. Stephen’s Cathedral on the morning of the Ball.
The venue for the Ball was the Radisson Hotel Philadelphia Northeast in Trevose, PA. Following a delicious sit-down dinner (a GREAT value if you’ve never participated in it) which was enjoyed by some of our guests, the talented Kauriga Orchestra opened the evening with the first of many lively dance tunes. More than 200 guests, including a large number of teens and young adults, filled the spacious dance floor for the entire evening.
During the first intermission, Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk, Dean of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, thanked everyone for attending the Ball, which has always supported Orthodox and other deserving charities. Paul Fedoronko introduced Andre and Alex Cox to recognize and thank them for keeping the Ball alive in 2018 and, we hope, future years. During subsequent intermissions, there were line dance and contemporary music for the younger crowd, door prize giveaways, and a 50-50 raffle.
At 11:00 PM (not everyone has a Martin Luther King Day off) we rang in the New Year with the balloon drop and kids scrambling to find the balloon prizes. The assembled crowd then gathered around to cheer the traditional HOPAK circle. A great time was had by all.
St. Stephen’s has always appreciated the support of the Ball by F.O.C.A members and we were pleased to have Marge Kovach, National F.O.C.A. President, Nick Ressetar, OC Journal Editor, and Walter Alesevich, Colonial District Governor, with us again this year. Please mark your calendars for Sunday, January 20, 2019 and make plans to bring your friends and join us for the 82nd Novogodny Ball!