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 intentions:

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

    In July 2021, three young women competed for the title of Miss National CSA. The competition, held at our annual Get-Together in Clearwater Beach, FL featured contestants speaking and answering questions from judges. Questions are devoted to lifestyle, education, hobbies, future goals, and other subjects of interest.

    Sis. Emily Nejdl of Lodge Prokop Velky No. 137 was crowned Miss National CSA for 2020-21. Emily is 22 years old and is from Brandon, IA. She is 5'9" tall with blonde hair and blue eyes. This was Emily's first time competing in the Miss National CSA Contest. She is very proud of her Czech heritage and is very grateful for the opportunities she has had to study abroad. She takes classes at Iowa State University where she is pursuing a degree in Industrial Engineering and a minor in Sales Engineering and Business. Emily was awarded the Kropik Scholarship in 2019, and over the years she has attended numerous Get-Togethers, Christmas parties, volunteer events, and youth activities. Her future goal is to work in lean manufacturing.

    You can keep up with Emily'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.

  • Scholarship Program

    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. Youth members who meet various 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. Jessica Decker of Lodge Cleveland Chapter No. 219 received the 2021 Best of Class Award of $4,000. Jessica will be attending Michigan Technical University in Houghton, MI where she plans to major in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Jessica's dream is to become a Wildlife Ecologist.

  • Kropik Scholarship

    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. Karen Nekolny of Lodge DuPage Pioneers Edison No. 409 has won the 2021 Kropik Scholarship.

    Karen is a multi-generational member of CSA Fraternal Life and attends the University of Cincinnati. Participating in CSA functions has been a longstanding tradition for her. She has supported her lodge's charitable causes by volunteering at events. She is proud of her brother and fellow CSA member, Scott Nekolny, and she and her family helped start the Walk Now for Autism Speaks of Cincinnati in 2008 in honor of him. She continues to serve on that committee, even years later. She looks forward to spreading awareness on her university's campus, where they will host this year's walk. In the summertime, she serves as a respite provider for a family with multiple special needs kids. In conclusion, Karen enjoys assisting her grandparents, who are officers of Lodge DuPage Pioneers Edison No. 409, in making raffle items for lodge events.

  • Fraternalist of the Year

    Each year since this program's inception in 1985, we have honored one CSA member who has gone above and beyond to exhibit Equality, Harmony, and Fraternity.

    On Saturday evening, July 31, 2021, Bro. Chester Yurkovich of Lodge Groveton No. 4, was named the Fraternalist of the Year from 2020-2021 at the Get-Together banquet in Clearwater Beach, FL. This fraternalist is a longtime member and has remained active in both his Lodge and District level. Chester is Lodge Vice President, where he has held the position for 3 years. Last year, he encouraged his lodge members to meet via Zoom in lieu of in-person meetings throughout the pandemic in order to keep fellow members safe. Additionally, this member actively participates in the local "Adopt the Street" program, where volunteers go out and help clean the local roads and highways to better the community. Chester supports youth members by endorsing the lodge in different school programs and national organizations. This member also participates in various CSA bowling events and looks forward to the day we can all meet again post-pandemic. He is very involved in the community's various softball associations, too, where for 43 years, he has volunteered to umpire games for all age categories. This person also instructs participants on how to pitch, bat, and overall, how to play safely. This CSA member encourages the mobilization of youths and adults to work together within the lodge, for example, Chester's initiation of a "youth" category in the lodge's recent Bake-Off Contest. A $100 gift was donated to Chester's charity of choice. There were 7 total nominees for this award.

  • Annual Get-Together


    The 84th Annual CSA Get-Together was held at the Holiday Inn and Suites of Clearwater Beach, FL from July 30 - August 1, 2021. Approximately 107 members and guests enjoyed a weekend of fraternal goodwill including a service project, hospitality luncheon, walks along the beach, gulf-side views, and our annual Miss National CSA Contest. Outings and trips are being planned for the 85th Annual Get-Together and 42nd Quadrennial Convention in the Chicagoland area. Start making plans to attend!

  • Bowl-o-Rama

    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 a souvenir.

  • Photo Contest

    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 Keith Dvorsky of Lodge Harrison Hus Garfield No. 378. Congratulations, Keith!

  • Lodge Recognition

    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

    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 Journal

    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.

Notice

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.