Kenneth Rudzewick, former president of Maspeth Federal Savings, will be one of four honorees celebrated by Borough President Melinda Katz. The ceremony is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, October 26, at Borough Hall.
Rudzewick is being honored for supporting Polonians Organized to Minister to Our Community (POMOC), a community-based nonprofit organization that provides services for Polish immigrants.
“We gave them space in our Ridgewood branch on Fresh Pond Road,” he said. “They’re part of the Maspeth and Ridgewood community.”
POMOC helps immigrants fill out forms for government assistance like public housing and food stamps, conducts English classes at its Brooklyn office, and even provides emergency assistance in food and clothing.
Rudzewick helped keep the organization’s doors open during a time of tough city budget cuts.
“They’re the connection to America as new immigrants come in,” he said.
The Maspeth leader said he was a bit surprised by the honor. His grandparents were born in the United States. Rudzewick’s parents grew up in Maspeth.
Though he has Polish heritage, Rudzewick said his real connection is to the Polish community in Maspeth and the customers he serves.
“I’ve been exposed to the culture,” he said. “But I never considered myself a Polish American, just an American.”
Nevertheless, his support for the Polish community in Queens has been recognized time and again. He has participated in the Pulaski Day parade down 5th Avenue in Manhattan, and was even recognized as the Pulaski “Man of the Year” in 2004.
“The connection with my Polish community has been very strong and I’m very proud of it, too,” Rudzewick said.