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, four young women competed for the title of Miss National CSA. The competition, held at our annual
Get-Together in Countryside, IL featured contestants speaking and answering questions from judges. Questions
are devoted to lifestyle, education, hobbies, future goals, and other subjects of interest.
Sis. Cassandra Stone of Lodge Brookfield #475 was crowned Miss National CSA for 2018-19. Cassandra is
19 years old and resides in Chicago, IL. She is 5'1" tall with brown hair and brown eyes. She comes from a culturally
blended family and knows both English and Spanish. They are a family of long-time CSA members, and she has a sister,
Marilyn, who has also competed in past Miss CSA Contests. She is a member of the National Honor Society, was voted
Secretary of her senior class, and was her high school's Prom Queen. Cassandra is attending Saint Xavier University,
and her goal is to pursue a career as a Pediatric Registered Nurse. Cassandra is a CSA Scholarship recipient. You can
keep up with Cassandra'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.
Sis. Marianna Schrack of Lodge Christa #479 received the 2018 Best of Class Award of $4,000. Marianna will be attending Roberts
Wesleyan College in Rochester, NY where she plans to double major in Social Work and International Business and minor in English
for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Her dream is to help victims of human trafficking and increase awareness of this global
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.
Fraternalist of the Year
Having started in 1985, this is the 33rd year we honor a CSA member who has gone above and beyond to exhibit Equality, Harmony, and Fraternity.
On Saturday evening, August 4, 2018, Sis. Jennifer Zeman on Lodge Washington #30, was named the Fraternalist of the Year from 2017-2018
at the Get-Together banquet in Countryside, IL. Our Fraternalist, a fourth-generation CSA member since birth, has remained active in
both their Lodge and District level. In the fall of 2017, Jennifer took the time out of her busy schedule to make several fleece blankets
by hand to benefit a deserving nonprofit organization that helps ill children in need. She will also bake generous amounts of goodies
that are sold to raise funds for her lodge's CSA Serves Project. You can see the love she has for her heritage when looking at the various
Czech and Moravian displays she's shown in a local educational center - all of which taking a lot of time, research, and creativity to
put together. When a lodge member passes away, a local nonprofit organization needs a centerpiece, or a benefit event is in need of
corsages and boutonnieres, this member goes out of her way to design and create the flower spreads. For CSA youth, Jennifer has arranged
gift exchanges, game nights, baseball outings, brunch, and other events. Last but not least, she takes any opportunity they can to model
their authentic Moravian kroje, demonstrate the art of Czech Easter egg decorating, and perform with Czechoslovak dancers.
A $100 gift will be donated to Jennifer's favorite charity in her name. This year, ten total members were nominated for this prestigious
award. We thank all active members for their continued good work.
The 82nd Annual CSA Get-Together was held at the Holiday Inn William Tell Hotel in Countryside, Illinois from August 3-5, 2018.
Over 140 members and guests enjoyed a weekend of fraternal goodwill including a service project, a bus trip to downtown Chicago,
a boat ride on the Chicago River and Lake Michigan, our annual Miss National CSA Contest, and social activities. Outings and
trips are being planned for next year's 83rd Annual Get-Together, which will be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
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 Sis. Carla Strnad of Lodge Missouri #1. Congratulations, Carla!
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.