Fraternal Benefit Society
CSA Fraternal Life is America's oldest fraternal benefit society, and was established to help those in need.
Formerly the Czechoslovak Society of America, CSA was founded in 1854 on the principles of equality, harmony
and fraternity. From our Home Office in Lombard, Illinois, we service our 24,000+ members spread throughout
64 lodges in 21 states.
When an individual buys an insurance or annuity product from CSA, they become a member, and are eligible for
all the fraternal benefits we provide. In addition there are many programs and activities on the local,
regional and national levels in which members can participate, many of which are described on this page.
Members belong to lodges and are encouraged to involve themselves in that core unit's organization and
functions, including charitable opportunities.
CSA encourages participation in lodge functions but it is completely voluntary. Our purpose includes these
to Foster fraternity, charity, and patriotism among its members;
to Promote the social, recreational and spiritual welfare of its members and mankind in general;
to Encourage its members to practice physical fitness and to cooperate with and support organizations promoting such programs;
to Encourage and support every effort to perpetuate the Czech and Slovak heritage, language, and customs;
to Promote and support all activities and principles as befits a fraternal society.
Miss National CSA Contest
This year nine young women competed for the title of Miss National CSA. The competition, held at our annual Get-Together,
featured contestants speaking and answering questions from judges. Questions are devoted to lifestyle, hobbies, likes,
dislikes and other subjects of interest.
Miss National CSA 2014-15 is Sis. Angela Raha Schreiner of Lodge Anton Cermak #99. Angelaâ€™s poise, appearance, and answers
to the judgesâ€™ questions were some of the factors that earned her the title. She is 21 years old and lives and attends college
in St. Augustine, Florida. She is majoring in Elementary Education with Reading Endorsements to become a second grade teacher.
Angela will be CSA's goodwill ambassador as she visits lodges for parties, activities and other fraternal events. You can keep
apprised on her activities and travels through her monthly Journal articles.
Student-members meeting requirements are awarded scholarships based on grade point average, college placement
scores, CSA and extracurricular activities, and essays. Scholarships also can be awarded to students seeking
a certification in a trade school or other professional program of study.
Awards for 2014 ranged from $2,000
to $750. Claire Chandler of Ada, Oklahoma, Lodge DuPage Pioneers/Edison #409, received the Best of Class Award
of $2,000. Grants are renewable for a second year provided student maintains a 3.0 grade point average.
CSA also offers scholarships to students seeking a Masters degree or post-graduate studies courtesy of the
Blanche and Violet Dvorak Endowment Scholarship Fund. Qualified applicants can be awarded a $2,000 grant
which is non-renewable.
To download 2014 Scholarship Program forms,
Fraternalist of the Year
Bro. Jerome (Jerry) Gaydusek, President of Lodge DuPage Pioneers/Edison #409 is CSA's 2014 Fraternalist of the Year.
Delegate to District Council #12, member of the Friends of Bohemian National Cemetery, Treasurer of DC 12's Cultural
Division and frequent volunteer at CSA events, Jerry devotes much of his time helping others. He is a regular volunteer
worker at the Bohemian National Cemetery where he has performed maintenance and repair work for many years. Along with
receiving a plaque honoring his achievement, a $100 donation will be sent to his favorite charity in his name. This award
is CSA's most prestigious recognition of a member who has gone above and beyond to exhibit Equality, Fraternity and Harmony.
This year, eleven members were nominated with the winner announced at the annual Get-Together.
The 78th Annual CSA Get-Together was held at the Westin Hotel in Lombard, IL, August 8-10, 2014. Over 150 members enjoyed
a weekend of fraternal good will including a service project, sampling delicious Czech food at the bountiful Hospitality
Suite, taking a tram ride through Mortonâ€™s Arboretum and youth spending the afternoon at a nearby water park. Friday and
Saturday evening banquets featured the Miss CSA Contest and Coronation. Guests were entertained by Bro. John Pritasil's
presentation on "Growing up Czech", music from Mario Mangello, and a rousing performance by the Blue Brothers during
Sunday morning's tasty brunch. The 2015 committee gave a brief overview on what members can expect as they travel to
historic and colorful New Orleans for next year's Get-Together. Wonderful outings and activities are in the works;
start making plans now to attend!
This youth activity is held on a Sunday morning in the spring, and run by local
districts in areas of high member concentration. Bowling at the same time in
several cities throughout the country, youth members, ages 5 to 17, compete
against each other in several categories for prizes, though all bowlers receive
Members are encouraged to enter photos in the annual Photo Contest. The photos must be those they have taken themselves;
no studio or professional photos are allowed. Cash Prizes are awarded in various categories: Best of Contest, and 1st,
2nd and 3rd place in each of four categories. The photo at right is this year's Best of Contest and appears on the cover
of the April 2014 Journal. The winner of our contest is Bro. Michael Albrecht of Finksburgh, MD and member of
Lodge Queensdale No. 422.
A Gold, Silver or Bronze Star, along with a monetary prize, is the reward of this program which recognizes
lodge participation in a variety of categories. Members can win this award by holding ethnic or youth
activities, volunteering in various community programs and attending educational and social activities.
The National Project is a lodge activity which encourages support for a local group or organization that fits the
criterion of a common topic. CSA's National Project for 2014 is "Choose Your Own." Lodges across the country have
the option of selecting one or more charities or community agencies to devote their time and/or monetary donations.
As has always been CSA's policy, any monetary donations made by a lodge are matched by 50% as well as $2.50 per
volunteer hour. In the past, lodges have chosen Food Pantries, Helping our Military, donating to and volunteering
at local schools and libraries, cleaning up parks, planting flowers, trees and many other good works benefiting
their neighborhoods, churches and schools. CSA is proud of the dedication of its members and equally proud to
partner with them in their efforts.
National Sports Tournaments
National adult member tournaments are held for bowling and golf in different
cities each year. Local committees make all arrangements while District Sports
committees handle registration. Prizes and souvenirs are awarded.
Join Hands Day
JOIN HANDS DAY, usually held in May of each year, is the only national volunteer day that specifically
targets and develops relationships between young people and adults through neighborhood volunteering.
Youths and adults work together on an equal basis to plan, organize and implement the day's activities.
Building relationships across generations restores confidence, trust and respect for each other and
creates a sense of community.
JOIN HANDS DAY is a program of the American Fraternal Alliance. The 124-year-old organization unites 70
not-for-profit fraternal benefit societies that operate in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
50-Year Pin Program
Long-term membership is recognized and often awarded in lodge-sponsored pin
ceremonies. Fifty and seventy-five year pins are available from the Home Office.
The CSA Journal is a free monthly magazine that keeps members up to date on
events within the Society. The Journal is also a forum to talk about new
products and features seasonal articles on ethnic traditions and other
activities. Many articles are submitted by lodge members. To see the current issue
of the Journal, click here.
The Czechoslovak Heritage Museum, located in CSA's former Home Office in Oak Brook, Illinois is now closed.
The Museum Board of Directors is working hard to find a permanent new home for the museum. Assistance with
genealogy questions and searches can be found at the Paul M. Nemecek Library housed in the historic Thomas G.
Masaryk School in Cicero, Illinois. This library has become a valuable resource for information on language,
customs, art, traditions and history.
For information on hours of operation or to make an appointment, call 630-906-8175.
Sharing a common bond
CSA Fraternal Life (formerly known as Czechoslovak Society of America) is America's oldest
Fraternal Benefit Society. Fraternal societies are defined by elements of purpose, harmony
and community. We add value to our products and services through membership in a lodge system
that encourages member benefits and programs focused on family values and community involvement.
With sincere appreciation for the dedication of our founding Czech and Slovak ancestors, our
obligation to fulfill this social responsibility and adhere to our business strategy includes a
commitment to service excellence, courtesy, compassion and professionalism. Steady growth in a
competitive insurance market is critical to our member benefits and programs - a loyalty that
supports our fraternal heritage and sense of volunteerism throughout our communities.
Founded as an 'Ethnic' fraternal society, our membership is open to all individuals of good
character that share a common value system and support our fraternal heritage. CSA Fraternal
Life embraces the opportunity to share our Czech and Slovak heritage with members of all ethnic
backgrounds to carry our message of equality, fraternity and harmony into the 21st century.
Our roots are deep; our fraternalism should have no limits or borders.
CSA Fraternal Life is proud of our commitment to equality, fraternity and harmony. To learn more, please call
us toll-free at 1-800-LIFE-CSA (543-3272) or contact a local CSA agent or representative.