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Member Story

GCU 2018 Fraternalist of the Year Mary Elizabeth Olack

The Fraternalist of the Year award recognizes an individual within GCU who is the embodiment of fraternalism. Someone who lives a life of service through their local Lodge, church, and community. 

Mary Elizabeth Olack of Lodge 10 has devoted a life time to service within the GCU, her parish and community. She has been named the 2018 GCU Fraternalist of the Year. 

GCU Lodge 10 in Aliquippa, PA and District 15 have long enjoyed the dedication of Mary Elizabeth to serving as an officer, convention delegate and as a dependable member to work at lodge & district sponsored events. She is a past secretary of Lodge 10 and regular volunteer at many of their sponsored events. Within District 15 Mrs. Olack has served as: fraternal activities director, fashion show chairperson, is a member and officer of the district bowling league, National Bowling Tournament attendee, assisted with activities at National Golf Tournaments as well as volunteering at the district’s Bunco event and annual Sisters of St. Joseph Christmas party.

Mary Elizabeth is just as active within her parish and community. Volunteering at: Helping Hands Day at Mt. St. Macrina in Uniontown; as a pirohi project volunteer for St. Mary's Byzantine Church in Ambridge for over 20 years and continuing in 2018; Slavjane Folk Ensemble - sewing costumes; baking for concert receptions and fundraisers; BF Jones Library, Aliquippa; regularly volunteers at Manna - House of Prayer Lutheran Church in Aliquippa - an outreach for underserved populations in Aliquippa and has participated in Lodge 10 Highway Clean-up along Route 376 in Aliquippa. 

Mary Elizabeth along with her late husband, former GCU National Auditor Joseph Olack, raised four children instilling in them Christian values, love of their Carpatho-Rusyn heritage and their Byzantine Church, responsibility for community and the importance of serving others. Their children Timothy, Kathryn, David and Michael, continue the service example set by their mother and father, volunteering with various organizations such as Animal Friends, underserved populations, churches and veterans associations in the communities in which they live throughout the USA.

In her nominating note, GCU District 15 President Elizabeth Harbist wrote, “I admire Mary Elizabeth Olack for her commitment to her faith and family and her communities. She is generous with her time, talents and treasure. Giving of herself to benefit the Byzantine Catholic Churches, her community and members of the GCU. At 87 years old, Mary Elizabeth is still going strong with regular exercise classes at the Sewickley Valley YMCA and bowls weekly with her GCU league, continued volunteer work at the churches and GCU events. With a quiet determination, and always "a proper lady", Mary Elizabeth serves as an excellent representative of the GCU, and very much deserves recognition as GCU Fraternalist of the Year.

Mary Elizabeth received a plaque from GCU Chairman of the Board Gregory Vladika and a check of $500 made payable to the charity she chose, the BF Jones Library in Aliquippa. Congratulations Mary Elizabeth on a lifetime of serving and caring for others.