American Polish Cooperation Society’s Christmas for Animals

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Inaugural events can be challenging. But the first-ever Christmas for Animals was a festive holiday gathering that filled the house with guests of hosts George Juchum and Dr. Renata Ochabski-Juchum. The fundraising party, intended to bring in money for charities dedicated to animal care and welfare, was held in the Juchums’ La Mesa home on the evening of Dec. 5.

Inaugural events can be challenging. But the first-ever Christmas for Animals was a festive holiday gathering that filled the house with guests of hosts George Juchum and Dr. Renata Ochabski-Juchum. The fundraising party, intended to bring in money for charities dedicated to animal care and welfare, was held in the Juchums’ La Mesa home on the evening of Dec. 5.

The American Polish Cooperation Society, which sponsored the event, is itself a young organization, formed as a corporation only six months ago. The society is based on the “strong and valuable brotherhood” of the Polish and American people, especially over the past 200 years, when millions of Polish immigrants came to the United States seeking “opportunity, political and religious freedoms.” Specific objectives within the group’s mission are “to help those less fortunate,” and “to strengthen American-Polish relations and promote charitable good works” in both America and Poland. The Christmas for Animals party was an endeavor in service of that goal.

The event featured scores of platters of tasty hors d’oeuvres, accompanied by multiple choices of beverages, including wines and cognac. Later in the evening, a rock and roll band entertained attendees.

Inspiration for the fundraiser came from the Juchums’ learning about an animal shelter in Jamul that could benefit from financial aid. That further led them to awareness of the need for more resources made available to area horse rescue efforts.

“We want to focus on the big and the small animals,” Ochabski-Juchum said, referring to horses and dogs. “And we thought Christmas would be a good time for the event.”

Dr. Ochabski-Juchum assessed the fundraising outcome as “a shot in the dark,” but further noted that the APCS might make this an annual event, should the contribution totals match hoped-for levels.

Besides the husband and wife, the Juchum household includes the couple’s five dogs and a parrot named “Lady.” The Juchum canines are all German Shorthaired Pointers, a breed of hunting dogs with engaging, friendly dispositions. An early highlight of the party was the household’s three-year-old dog Atos, who cautiously greeted partygoers. Host George Juchum explained that Atos refused to stay in the garage, and insisted on attending the party.

Dr. Ochabski-Juchum is an ophthalmologist, with her practice based in La Jolla. She is currently serving as president of the Polish Medical Association of San Diego.

More about the American Polish Cooperation Society can be found online through apcs.com.pl. And more after-party donations on behalf of Christmas for Animals are welcomed through contact information on the website as well.

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