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, three young women competed for the title of Miss National CSA. The competition, held at our annual
Get-Together in Cedar Rapids, IA featured contestants speaking and answering questions from judges.
Questions are devoted to lifestyle, education, hobbies, future goals, and other subjects of interest.
Sis. Hunter Rae Yurkovich of Lodge Groveton #4 was crowned Miss National CSA for 2019-20. Hunter is 21 years old
and resides in Coraopolis, PA. She is 5'4" tall with brown hair and green eyes. She is a CSA Scholarship
recipient and has participated in two previous Miss CSA Contests, where she was voted Miss Congeniality twice
among her peers. She takes classes at Carlow University where she is pursuing a degree in Nursing. Hunter attends
monthly lodge meetings and volunteers actively with other members. She was awarded the 2018 Kropik Scholarship
and participated in the 2018 Quadrennial Convention. Her future goal is to be a traveling pediatric nurse, as well
as travel internationally for leisure. Eventually she plans to return to school for her master's degree in Nursing
or in Education so she can teach. Hunter currently works at UPMC Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.
You can keep up with Hunter's activities and travels through her monthly Journal articles and on our Facebook page.
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. Jonathan Varga of Lodge Laurel #452 received the 2019 Best of Class Award of $4,000. Jonathan will be attending the
University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT where he plans to major in Manufacturing Engineering and Management.
CSA Scholarships are awarded for one year, provided the student earns a 3.0 or higher grade point average and meets
insurance and application requirements.
This $1,000 scholarship is funded by the Papuga/Kropik family and is awarded to a CSA member who has gone above and beyond
in coordination and participation in his or her lodge's charitable causes. Based on the student's record of volunteer work and
fraternal good works within our organization, her lodge, and her local community, Sis. Emily Nejdl of Lodge Prokop Velky #137
has won the 2019 Kropik Scholarship. An attendee of Iowa State University and an active CSA member, Emily is a role model for
our youth and is certainly deserving of recognition.
Fraternalist of the Year
Having started in 1985, this is the 34th year we honor a CSA member who has gone above and beyond to exhibit Equality,
Harmony, and Fraternity.
On Saturday evening, August 3, 2019, Sis. Anna Ramirez of Lodge Woodrow Wilson No. 377, was named the Fraternalist of the
Year from 2018-2019 at the Get-Together banquet in Cedar Rapids, IA. Our Fraternalist is a longtime member and has remained
active in both her Lodge and District level. Anna attends lodge meetings regularly, attends fraternal events such as Join
Hands Day, the Lidice Commemoration Day service in Crest Hill, Sokol Spirit Trivia Nights, and summertime Czech picnics. She
contributed generously to the lodge Holiday Toy Drive for children in need, the Share Food Share Love food pantry, and the
lodge holiday craft night, where the trinkets are donated to the Tabor Hills retirement community. She also volunteer for
Northern Illinois Greater Food Depository, Feed My Starving Children, and Mutual Ground, a domestic violence victim's shelter.
Additionally, she regularly contribute to the lodge's social media presence by documenting lodge activities on the group's
Facebook page, including photographs of CSA events attended. Anna has joined the Czech Genealogy Society and the Bohemian
Garden Club. She knows the importance of combining attendance of both youth and adults at events, enriching experiences for
all. She recently made a generous contribution to St. Baldrick's for curing childhood cancers.
A $100 gift will be donated to Anna's favorite charity in her name. This year, four total members were nominated for this
prestigious award. We thank all active members for their continued good work.
The 83rd Annual CSA Get-Together was held at the Cedar Rapids Marriott in Iowa from August 2-4, 2019. Approximately 150 members
and guests enjoyed a weekend of fraternal goodwill including a service project; a bus trip to downtown Cedar Rapids and the Czech
Village; our annual Miss National CSA Contest held at the CSA Hall in Vining, IA; and social activities. Outings and trips are
being planned for next year's 84th Annual Get-Together, which will be held in Clearwater Beach, FL. 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,
professional, or re-touched photos. Cash Prizes are awarded in various categories and rankings. This year's Best of Contest winner
is CSA member Alex Schulz of Lodge Rovnost #53. Congratulations, Alex!
A Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze Star certificate and monetary prize is rewarded to active
lodges who meet various requirements for the year. Members can win this award by holding
ethnic or youth activities, volunteering in various community programs, and attending educational
and social activities.
CSA SERVES is a lodge activity that encourages support for a local group or organization which fits the
criterion of a common topic. The CSA SERVES 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 and 75-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. Contact us for details.
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.