“A lot of clubs have folded,” said Shabunia, 30, the PACC president. “We’re trying to stay alive by having events, getting the word out there. I felt I could bring the club into a better direction, more up to date.”
The Lyndhurst PACC was created in 1923 and moved to its current New Jersey Avenue location 50 years later because "we needed a larger venue to hold meetings,” Shabunia said.
The club, which has a dart room, hall area and bar, holds 140 people.
Its hosted polka dances, a food drive, and coffee house events – featuring four hours of musical or spoken word (comedy and poetry) performances -- all open to the public. The PACC is considering holding more community-based events, including flea markets and craft shows.
Shabunia has also updated the beer selection, while administering the club’s website and social media pages.
Although membership hasn’t increased – 90 current members range in age from 20s to 80s – the turnouts are getting bigger, he said.
There are requirements to join the club – having traceable Polish heritage, for instance. Someone can be sponsored and become an “honorary member.” The same goes for spouses.
Shabunia practically grew up at the club. His immediate family were all members. Some served on the Board of Directors.
Shabunia officially joined when he turned 18. His wife, Melissa, is also a member and tends bar there on the weekends.
At his day job at NECA , Shabunia makes cards and dials on the base of HeroClix action figures.
“It’s like chess with superpowers,” he said.
He redesigned the cards that list each superheroes’ power.
"We get to be creative,” Shabunia said. “We get to come up with different powers for them. I added more information. It’s better for new players.”
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