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, five young women competed for the title of Miss National CSA. The competition, held at our annual
Get-Together in Memphis, featured contestants speaking and answering questions from judges. Questions are
devoted to lifestyle, hobbies, future goals, and other subjects of interest.
Sis. Kristin Payer of Lodge Mile-Hi Czechs No. 432 was crowned Miss National CSA 2016-17. Kristin is from
Thornton, Colorado, where she was very active in various school organizations. Upon high school graduation,
she enrolled at the University of Mississippi, where she is majoring in Political Science. She is a founding
member of Alpha Phi sorority at â€œOle Missâ€ She enjoys volunteering, hiking, reading, traveling, skiing, bowling,
and dancing. She hopes to one day give back to her community and write a book. You can keep up with Kristinâ€™s
activities and travels through her monthly Journal articles. She will be our traveling Good Will Ambassador
as she visits lodges, festivals, parties, and other fraternal activities.
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.
Bro. Andrew Vernetti of Lodge Yankee Jungmann #077 received the 2016 Best of Class Award of $2,000. Andrew will be
attending the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta where he plans to study Computer and Hardware Engineering.
Andrew hopes to turn his passion for technology into a career someday.
Grants are renewable for a second year provided student maintains a 3.0 grade point average. CSA also offers
scholarships to students seeking a Masterâ€™s degree or post-graduate studies courtesy of the Blanche and Violet Dvorak
Endowment Scholarship Fund. Qualified applicants can be awarded a one-time $2,000 grant.
To download 2016 Scholarship Program forms,
Fraternalist of the Year
Sis. Wendy Kurtz Lovell of Lodge Kruh Osvojenych-Zen A Panu No. 121 has been named CSA's 2015-16 Fraternalist of
the Year. As a 4th generation CSA member since birth, Wendy has followed in the footsteps of many faithful,
Wendy is an elementary school teacher and helps those students needing extra assistance in mathematics. As
President of Lodge #121 and Vice President of D.C. 9, she is dedicated to engaging members to stay active,
as well as mobilizing the youth and adults to work together to promote goodwill and volunteerism. Wendy has
participated in several Get-Togethers throughout her life, and she has been a delegate to quite a number of
Conventions, representing the state of Ohio.
Wendy has been faithfully writing for the CSA Journal each month, giving details and information about what
Lodge #121 members are up to. She has installed CSA signs at the various local ballfields to promote our
organization. She has organized a group of lodge members to maintain a flower garden and display in their
town; has attended and assisted in potluck picnics for D.C. 9; and has donated time and money to various
local churches. Wendy will provide transportation to infirm members needing to attend lodge meetings.
In 2015, she arranged for Lodge #121 and D.C. 9 to sign Christmas cards and letters of well-wishes to
patients of local care facilities, nursing home residents, and Ohio veterans. She also assists in organizing
the annual Bowl-o-Rama.
A $100 gift will be donated to Wendyâ€™s favorite charity in her name. This award is CSAâ€™s most prestigious
recognition of a member who has gone above and beyond to exhibit Equality, Harmony, and Fraternity. This year,
eleven total members were nominated. We thank all active members for their continued good work.
The 80th Annual CSA Get-Together was held at the Crowne Plaza in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee from August 5th-7th, 2016.
Over 130 members enjoyed a weekend of fraternal good will including a service project, a trip to Elvis Presley's Graceland,
our annual Miss National CSA Contest, and social activities. Outings and activities are in the works for next year's
81st Annual Get-Together, which will be held in Austin, TX. Start making plans 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 left is this year's Best of Contest and appears on the cover of the April 2015 Journal.
The winner of our contest is Sis. Cyndi Kourim-Schuette of Lodge Yankee-Jungmann No. 77.
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 allows lodges across the country 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.