Ambassadors of the Future raise $10,000 for the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund in 2019

Washington, DC – The Ambassadors of the Future (AF) hosted a benefit Gala on November 30, 2019 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel’s Le Grande Trianon ballroom (Beverly Hills, CA). The event successfully raised $10,000 for the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund (BFHSF), a project administered by the Hungarian American Coalition (Coalition).

Board Member Dr. Eva Voisin and John N. Lauer Leadership Training Program (LTP) Participant Ms. Hajnalka Tóth attended the event on behalf of the Coalition. After dinner and entertainment, featuring a performance by the USC Ballroom and Latin Dance Team and piano music by Richard Dowling, Master of Ceremonies Rosalie von Wendt greeted the distinguished gathering and special guests.

Ambassador Dr. László Szabó was the first to deliver a speech, in which he talked about Hungarian inventions, famous Hungarians, and their importance, the significance of Hungarian-American cooperation and programs such as the Ambassadors of the Future, and expressed his support for the noble cause.

Hajnalka Tóth and Dr. Eva Voisin at the Ambassadors of the Future Gala on November 30, 2019 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA

Ambassador Szabó’s greetings were followed by Ádám Béres, Founder and President of the AF, thanking the donors for their support. He introduced Alina Vizcarra, the youngest philanthropist in the room, a ten-year-old girl who started selling handmade bracelets and donating the proceeds from her sales.

In his speech, Ádám Béres said: “As I grew up in a multi-cultural environment, I am well aware of the   importance and benefits of international education. Through their lives and actions, my parents and grandparents instilled in me an understanding and appreciation for all the positive change that can be enacted through philanthropy. Due to my Hungarian American heritage and learning about the significant amount of scholarly treasures that Hungary has provided to the world, I wanted to foster an intellectual exchange between the United States and Hungary. A culmination of my childhood experiences and of these ideas led me to the founding of the Ambassadors of the Future Charity Fund aiming to provide financial assistance for the international education of intellectually gifted but financially challenged students.”

Mr. Béres announced that the AF raised $40,000 to directly fund the international education of exceptionally talented but underprivileged students, putting the three-year accumulative total since the creation of the fund at $90,000. 

Bianca Flores, head of Personal Relations at the AF spoke briefly next about the organization and thanked the guests for their support. Following Ms. Flores, Dominique Grund introduced Dr. Sheila Kar, a physician and philanthropist, and presented her with the Women in Philanthropy Award.

Dr. Sheila Kar also made a few remarks, introducing herself first as “the shortest Hungarian” and then teaching the audience how to say thank you in Hungarian. She congratulated Ádám Béres for his efforts and his parents, as well as the board of directors.

The next speaker was Peter Kuhn, a physicist, educator, entrepreneur and scientist focused on cancer-care and the re-design of cancer treatments. Mr. Kuhn is also the director of the USC’s newest institute, the Michelsen Center for Convergent Biosciences. Professor Kuhn talked about the responsibility and the opportunity that comes with having an international background, and how that will affect the future of the world. He expressed his excitement for all the students and young adults present and how they challenge previous generations. 

Mrs. von Wendt then introduced Péter Sárvári, a recipient and the Senior Associate Dean for Advancement at the University of Southern California, Dr. Eddie Sartin. The President of AF, Ádám Béres explained that the AF Scolarship award, given to USC, provides a $5000 scholarship for 5 students at USC who are engaged in classes or projects that foster exchange between USC and Hungary. He then presented the award to Dr. Eddie Sartin, who said “köszönöm” in his brief remarks.

Péter Sárvári, a recipient and student at USC, expressed his gratitude for the award and the opportunities it gave him to learn computational biology from the best professionals in the field and to gain valuable research experience in genomic data analysis.

Ádám Béres and Board Member Éva Konkoly then presented the AF Certificate of Recognition to the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund and a check for $10,000 in support of their mission of international education. Dr. Eva Voisin, member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition, accepted the award.

LTP intern Hajnalka Tóth, who helped organize the event, was also called to the podium to say a few words. She said: “It has always been my dream to someday work to further improve Hungary’s image in the world. So I applied and got accepted to the Hungarian American Coalition’s Program. It has given me the great opportunity to intern at the Meridian International Center, one of the closest public diplomacy partners of the United States State Department. I’m gaining first hand experience about how the most powerful nation in the world carries out public diplomacy. The skills I’m learning will help me advance professionally and will help me get closer to reaching my dreams. I am very grateful to the Hungarian American Coalition and to all the donors who made this incredible opportunity possible.”

The holiday-spirited evening concluded with ballroom dancing.

The Hungarian Scholarship Fund (HSF) was established in 1999 by Dr. Béla and April Bognár to help outstanding Hungarian students finish their educations in their own countries or in the United States, and to remain or return to their home countries to provide leadership in their communities. In 2014, the Hungarian American Coalition (Coalition) renamed the fund and took over administrative duties for this program, including fundraising, selecting scholarship recipients and program evaluation.

Since its inception, the scholarship fund has awarded more than $700,000 to 255 Hungarian students in the US and the Carpathian Basin raised from members of the Hungarian American community, churches, organizations, and the Sunshine Lady Foundation (SLF), directed by Mrs. Doris Buffett.

Scholarship recipients must have an excellent academic record, outstanding recommendations from teachers, mentors, clergy or community leaders, and a proven financial need.

The Ambassadors of the Future is a registered 501©3 charitable organization that was formed two years ago by Ádám Béres, along with his parents, Zsuzsa Pekárovics, MD, and Attila Beres, Ph.D., and many other community members in Los Angeles, CA, to encourage young people to participate in philanthropic activities, to foster international student exchanges and to help disadvantaged children coping with diabetes and obesity.

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