Miss SNPJ looking forward to an exciting and active year

September 26, 2017 - by LAUREN SEBUSCH (576), Miss SNPJ 2018

Spartans Lodge 576 members rolled out the red carpet for Miss SNPJ 2018 Lauren Sebusch during their annual picnic at the SNPJ Farm.

CLEVELAND — I never thought the day would come that I would hear my name called for the title of Miss SNPJ. I’m still in awe that this is real, and I could never be more grateful. After reflecting on my newly found “queenship” and returning from Slovenia, SNPJ holds an even larger place in my heart. It’s different with SNPJ; no matter who you are or where you come from, you instantly belong.

During my time in Slovenia, our already close knit group from across the United States became family. Beyond our group, we were blessed with the kindest soul as our tour guide. Karin understood us and embraced our craziness. She loved it because she could be herself. We took her in as family and loved her without any barriers. We did the same for our Serbian bus driver who spoke mainly Slovenian and no English... as we all know too well. I couldn’t imagine experiencing our culture and the country that our ancestors helped build, better and become independent, in any other way.

You see, we are loving people who embody fraternalism with our whole being. We have brothers and sisters around the world, and I feel humbled to be able to say that. Slovenia has opened my eyes and solidified my idea of who we are: an organization that brings people together, that makes people laugh, and that has the most caring people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

In my short time as Miss SNPJ, I’ve been invited to and welcomed with open arms at many events. Thank you to Strabane, Pa., Lodge 138 for your hospitality during the Duck Race. I had a blast meeting all of you and seeing firsthand what the race entails... even though some of the ducks got carried away and decided to keep on swimming!

Thank you to Euclid, Ohio, Lodge 158 for inviting me to your picnic. Your Indians baseball theme was a grand slam! A special thanks as well to the Cleveland Athletic League (CAL) for inviting me to their picnic. CAL has always held a special place in my heart and each member is like family. Thank you all for the kind words and warm wishes!

Finally, a generous thank you to my Lodge, Cleveland Lodge 576, for treating me like royalty at our picnic. The congratulatory banner and engraved photo album meant the world to me. You welcomed me and my family with open hearts and I am forever grateful. Thank you, especially, to the Novak clan who has cheered me on and supported me through my new reign.

I look forward to many upcoming events while continuing to represent SNPJ, and meeting more Brothers and Sisters across the nation. Thank you, again, from the bottom of my heart for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I promise to make you all proud.

Yes, my grandparents introduced me to SNPJ, but you all are the reason I chose to stay.