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 Oak Brook, 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.
Student-members are awarded scholarships based on class rank, grade point average,
college placement scores, extracurricular activities including CSA 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 2013 ranged from
$1,750 to $1,000 with Darren Jacks of Lodge Central Star #411 receiving a Best of
Class Award of $2,000. Grants are renewable for a second year provided student
maintains a 3.0 grade point average. To download scholarship allocations forms,
CSA also offers scholarships to students seeking a Masters degree or post-graduate
studies courtesy of the Blanche and Violet Dvorak Endowment Scholarship Fund.
Awarded grants are not renewable. Applications are now available and can be
down-loaded from this site, click here.
Miss National CSA Contest
The 2012 Miss National CSA pageant was held at CSA's 76th Annual Get-Together in St. Louis, Missouri the first weekend in August.
Participating in the contest were young women members between the ages of 18 and 23. They appeared before an independent panel
of judges and the winner received a monetary award and the opportunity to represent CSA at events throughout the year.
A Miss Activities and Miss Congeniality were chosen and all contestants participated
in a community service project which took place during the Get-Together.
Pictured is Miss National CSA for 2012, Sis. Alix Wilt, who represented Lodge R. T. Crane, Jr. #7 of District #12.
Fraternalist of the Year
The Fraternalist of the Year is our official entry to a nationwide State and National competition held in conjunction
with the American Fraternal Alliance (AFA) each year. Lodges nominate outstanding candidates from among their members,
and the winner is announced at the annual Get-Together. Pictured is Sis. Yarmilla Zaruba, 2012's Fraternalist of the Year.
Yarmilla is a member of Lodge Estlian #404 in Fairview Heights, IL.
The Get-Together is a social gathering of members from lodges across the United States,
hosted by a lodge or district council usually in their hometown. The Get-Together begins
with a Hospitality Suite featuring ethnic foods where attendees renew old friendships and
meet new folks. The 2013 Get-Together will be held at the Double Tree Hilton in Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania August 2-4. The weekend offers a service project for attendees, guest speakers,
the award for Fraternalist of the Year, entertainment, organized day trips for adults and
youth and the Coronation Ceremony on Saturday of Miss National CSA. The Get-Together closes
with Sunday Brunch and the announcement of the location for the following yearâ€™s Get-Together.
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 the 2012
Best of Contest and appears on the cover of the March 2013 Journal. This beautiful scenic photo was taken
by Sis. Georgia Ann Meadows of Lodge Bellaire #310 in St. Clairsville, Ohio.
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 2013 is "Feeding America." Hunger in America
continues to be a problem with more and more citizens at risk. Of special concern are the elderly and
children. Lodges will be volunteering at or donating to their local food pantry, food bank, or soup kitchen
with the purpose of supplying food or feeding the hungry in their community. As always CSA will provide a
50% match to any monetary donations, or the value of the food donated, made by lodges supporting this effort.
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.
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.
The Czechoslovak Heritage Museum, which houses a library and archives, has become a valuable
resource for information on language, customs, art, traditions and history. The museum, which
is funded in part by CSA, includes a variety of historical items, books dated back to 1630 and
beautiful artifacts such as colorful folk costumes, paintings and hand cut crystal that focus
on the culture and heritage of what became the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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.