Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich - Maryland's 1st Polish First Lady

BALTIMORE, Md. - Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich Honored. A group of boon friends, meeting at last summer's annual Polish Festival, thought it high time to host a testimonial and party in honor of their mutual close friend Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich (45), wife of present Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich (R), who was elected in 2002. She is the first woman of Polish decent to be accorded the high honor of being Maryland's First Lady, and is extremely proud of her Polish roots.

The open-house event took place here on October 23, 2006 very near the Polish southeast-Baltimore Sibiski stronghold of Canton, at the Polish parish church hall of Holy Rosary. It was attended by over 400 people on this chilly Monday night. Delicious Polish food was in abundance, with accompanying music provided by the TKO Band. The Polish folklore Krakowiaki Dancers absolutely delighted the audience with their colorful performance. Beautiful ethnic gifts and a plaque were presented to the First Lady by her sponsoring friends and Polonia. As the formalities were winding down, Governor Ehrlich arrived. He was invited to address the gathering and delivered a few brief remarks, both personal and political. The Governor is currently involved in a very tight contest for re-election against Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D).

Kendel attended both the University of Delaware and University of Baltimore Law School resulting in a B.S. degree in Criminal Justice and a minor degree in Political Science. She then worked as a felony trail lawyer for the Public Defender's Office in the state capital of Annapolis. There she met Robert Ehrlich, a member of the Maryland Legislature in the House of Delegates and also an attorney. They were married on July 24, 1993 and currently are the proud parents of 2 sons, Drew (7) and Joshua (2).

As First Lady, Kendel is an active speaker and advocate for the following initiatives: Education, Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment and Prevention, Hospice Care, Cancer Prevention, and the creation of Maryland's first Women's History Museum. She sits as a member on the various boards and also fund raises for them. Kendel is also an honorary chairperson on the Maryland-Lodz (Poland) Committee, a cultural exchange and business program. Being an active and committed mother, she deftly balances her time between her family and service to all of the citizens of Maryland.

MD Governor Bob and Kendel Ehrlich with Robert Poremski. Robert Ehrlich was the governor of Maryland from January 15, 2003 to January 17, 2007.(click inside the image to magnify it)

Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich is a real credit to both Maryland and Polonia. She also provides us with an outstanding example of humanity for everyone to appreciate and emulate, no matter where you live.

Washington DC Bureau, November 7, 2006
text and photographs by Richard P. Poremski, contact the author by e-mail
This article was published originally in Polish American Journal, Washington, D.C. Bureau

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