Polka!

Members dance to the sounds of Polka at the Polish American Pulaski Club of Daytona Beach.

The Polish American Pulaski Club of Daytona Beach sold its longtime home at 3621 W. International Speedway Blvd. in Daytona Beach.

But the club's popular dances will continue at the Ormond Beach Elks Lodge at 285 Wilmette Ave. The former club building is slated to be a catering business.

Harriette Alfredson, who lives in Holly Hill, has been a club member since 1980. Her parents came from Poland.

“We do carry on a few of the traditions, like we celebrate Pulaski Day,” Ms. Alfredson said. “It started as just the Pulaski Club and then a younger group came and they started the Polish American Club. The two clubs merged. Our officers are not all Polish.”

Pulaski Day celebrates the birthday of Casimir Pulaski, a Polish born soldier who contributed to the was for U.S. independence.

Ms. Alfredson said dancing includes Polka along with ballroom dances.

Carol Murkett, who lives in Port Orange, is on the board of directors and is in charge of publicity and the club's social media., which, she created.

"This is a great time to come and visit the club in our new location,” Ms. Murkett said. “We anticipate reopening membership once we finish this transition.”

All the ethnic clubs are having problems with membership numbers as members tend to be seniors and younger people are not showing an interest in joining, she said.. So, there are fewer people to do the work and pay the bills. With a decreasing bank account, she said they could not maintain the clubhouse, so they opted to sell the building. It is possible they can return there renting space for the dances once the new owners complete renovations.

“We have 54 members,” Ms. Murkett said. “The club is now 41 years old. (She and her husband) joined the club after I retired. What a nice bunch of people. They made me feel so welcome (and) they’re not all Polish (she is predominantly Irish).

“My father taught me how to polka when I was a kid and I always loved it,” she said. “With the money from the sale, we have enough to rent for a long time. Sunday dinner dances are basically what we do. We almost always have a theme. There is a handful of Polish bands that we rotate.”

There are monthly general membership and board meetings. The Polish American Pulaski Club of Daytona Beach has members throughout Volusia County and beyond.

Prior to the pandemic, dances were every Sunday along with a meal, but now are twice a month. Weekly dances may be restart in January.

For more information about the dances at the Elks Lodge, which are open to anyone, call (386) 258-7059 or visit polishamericanpulaskiclubdaytona.org.

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