On October 24, 2015, Margaret M. Machay, nee Jagielski, the longtime owner and operator of Polonia Banquets, passed away. She was the beloved wife of the late Charles Machay, loving mother of Michael (Norma), Sandra (John) Mikrut, Mark, Susanne and Brian (Mary), proud grandmother of ten grandchildren, and dearest friend of Dave Ulczycki. She is also survived by sisters, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, and nephews.
In 1964, Marge and her late husband Chuck established the Polonia Ballroom & Grove that went on to become a Chicago landmark. To accommodate their growing business in the 1980’s, they initiated a major facility renovation and changed its name to the present Polonia Banquets. The Machay’s have always unselfishly leveraged their establishment to promote polka music in addition to their catering services. For fifty years they hosted events with top polka entertainment that drew crowds from all over the United States and Canada. They showcased weekend-long picnics, festivals, and dances to support the International Polka Association and hosted the nationally known BeI-Aire Polka Days, produced by Eddie Blazonczyk. The family business at 4604 S. Archer Ave. in Chicago continues to be a hub for polka entertainment and events for the community. The Machay family has also expanded their business with their famous Polonia Catering to a second location in suburban Chicago. Thanks to Marge’s example, Polonia Banquets continues to operate today with the same high standards of excellence. After a half of century, it’s quite possible that Polonia Banquets is the longest-running polka establishment under the same management in the USA. In addition to managing her business, Marge found time to serve on the IPA Executive Board as Treasurer and Director from Illinois for many years. She even served as IPA Festival & Convention Ad Book Chairperson for several years. Back when the IPA building was sold, Marge came forward and provided space at Polonia Banquets to house and display the precious polka artifacts that make up today’s IPA Polka Hall of Fame Museum. What a lasting tribute to a great businesswoman and beloved polka promoter.