On Saturday, November 19, Lodge 351 will honor Steve Talan as 2016 Person of the Year. The doors of the American Croatian Club, 32851 Ryan Road, in Warren, will open at 6 PM, with dinner to be served at 7 PM.  Tickets for the buffet dinner, dance and program are $35 each for adults and $15 for age 6-16.  Under 5 are free.  Cost for dance only is $10 at the door after 9 PM.  For reservations, please call Anna Talan at 586-214-4647 or email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call Sheryl Zatezalo at 248-635-6125.  This event will sell out, so don't wait until the last minute!


     Music for your dancing and listening pleasure will be provided by Steve's favorite, Zadnja Stanica of Steelton, PA.  Anyone who attends CRO FEST or  the TAA Extravaganza will recognize this talented group. This will be their debut at our Club.


     Steve was an obvious choice as this year's honoree.  Since Steve became actively involved in our Lodge, he has tirelessly contributed to the cultural aspect of the organization.  He and fellow Nova Nada members became regulars at our club after moving the group's practices from St. Lucy Hall to our facilities, which hasn't always been easy as the 'New Kids on the Block'.   In time, our Club hall became their home base, not only practicing there, but using the Club for their many fundraisers as well.  Their biggest event of the year, 'CRO FEST', is too large for our building or they surely would hold it there also.  Nova Nada soon became one of our Lodge's internal organizations, joining DTO, the Star Tamburitzans and Mother's Club.  Nova Nada proudly represents Detroit Lodge 351 across the USA, Canada and Croatia.


     Anyone who knows Steve, knows he is synonymous with that group. He is the founder, leader, choreographer, head 'dreamer' and heart of Nova Nada.  In bringing Nova Nada to Lodge 351, Steve has brought many new and especially active members to our Lodge. He and his 'dreams' are the main reason for our Lodge's growth over the past decade and has been a real 'shot in the arm' to our Club's social calendar and the Detroit Croatian community.  Under his leadership, Nova Nada sponsors the Berba/Fall Dance, revived our popular Friday night Croatian Cafes, starts our holiday season with a Croatian Advent presentation and now ends it with a New Year's Eve Party.  They work the kitchen for Lodge affairs, especially the annual picnic, and graciously accept any endeavor we ask of them.


     Not only has Nova Nada benefited from his artistic talents and enthusiasm, the Star Tamburitzans have been revitalized with many new members that he recruited and he now choreographs and artistically directs the group.  He has also locally worked with the Kardinal Stipanac group of Windsor, ONT. and the Flint Kolo Dancers.


     In his spare time, he also enjoys researching and making the costumes for the groups he works with.   Bi-weekly, he emails, to our community and other interested ehnics, ' Upcoming Croatian Events' to keep everyone informed on what's happening at the Club, around town and with Nova Nada.  


     One of three children of Stjepan and GenoveVa (nee Borhi), Steve, along with Mike and Anna, were raised in Warren, MI and in a home where both American values and Croatian traditions were deeply appreciated.   Steve grew to love Detroit's ethnic community.  As a teenager, Steve taught himself to play several musical instruments.  While attending Oakland University, Steve choreographed for the Slavic Folk Ensemble.  He also performed with Croatian, Slovak, Ukrainian, Austrian, Danube Swabian and German folkdance groups and still remains active with several groups in some capacity.


     In 1981, Steve formed "Rijeka Sava' Croatian Dancers.  Around that time, he auditioned for and was offered a performing position with LADO Croatian National Folk Ensemble; but declined, wanting to stay in the Detroit area.  In 1995, Folklore Ensemble Nova Nada was born and now has a proud 21 year history.  All of  Steve's cultural endeavors, in the Tri-County area, have earned him recognition by the Detroit International Institute.  This year he was named 'Croatian Community Ambassador' and given the Michigan International Professional Award for 2016.


     It seems only fitting that his own community honor him, as this is his year!  Detroit Lodge 351 has greatly benefited from his talents (I'll call them talants!), hard work and dedication.  Please join us as we honor a proud Croatian and loyal fraternalist on November 19th.


Kathy Thiel


Croatian Fraternal Union of America
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Detroit Tamburitza Orchestra
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Croatian Folklore Ensemble, "Nova Nada"
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