Washington, D.C. – On May 9, 2012, the Hungarian American Coalition hosted its eigth annual Gala Dinner at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C., under the patronage of Dr. Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary. The Dinner honored Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris, represented by Mrs. Gabriella Kuni Nadas.
The Coalition recognized Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker for her support and promotion of Hungarian art and culture in the United States and services in public diplomacy. The Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris was recognized for its invaluable contributions in passing on Hungarian heritage and scouting ideals to generations of Hungarians in four continents.
Ambassador George H. Walker, III, Mrs. Edith Lauer, President Maximilian Teleki, Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Ambassador April H. Foley and Mrs. Andrea Lauer Rice
Coalition Vice President Andrea Lauer Rice welcomed the distinguished guests attending the event, including the Honorable George Pataki, former Governor of New York; the Honorable Daniel Fried; Ambassador George H. Walker, III; Ambassador Károly Dán, Consul General of Hungary in New York; Ambassador April H. Foley; Ambassador János Csák, Hungarian Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Ambassador Ho-Jin Lee and Mrs. Jung-Joo Lee; Réka Szemerkényi, Chief Foreign and Security Policy Advisor to Hungary’s Prime Minister; Mr. András Bácsi-Nagy, Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Hungary and Ms. Lotti Letanoczky. Other prominent guests included Ms. Susan Hutchison, Executive Director of the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for the Arts and Sciences; the Honorable Mrs. Annette Lantos and Mrs. Annette Lantos Tillemann-Dick; Mrs. Edith K. Lauer, Chair Emeritus of the Coalition and Mr. John N. Lauer; Mr. László Megyeri, President of the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America and Mrs. Kathy Megyeri; Mr. László Hámos, President of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation; Mr. William Bero, Vice-Chairman of the William Penn Association; Mr. Zsolt Harsányi, Chairman of the Board of the American Hungarian Foundation; Ms. Ágnes Fülemile, Director of the Hungarian Cultural Center in New York and Dr. Lee Edwards, Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.
After her welcoming remarks, Mrs. Andrea Lauer Rice spoke about the preparation of the Coalition’s anniversary book entitled ‘The First 20 Years’ which was published to mark the Coalition’s 20th anniversary celebrated last year. She noted that “it is no accident that we put the words ‘Dedicated Advocacy and Community Leadership’ as a subtitle of the book because that is what this volunteer organization does best, through its passion, dedication and leadership.” She also expressed her admiration for the dedicated and tireless work that the Hungarian American Coalition has accomplished over these 20 years.
Coalition President Maximilian Teleki highlighted the outstanding work of both the honorees in advancing Hungarian art and cultural heritage. “Nancy’s impact as a public servant cannot be easily quantified. Nancy grew to love the power, poetry and complexity of Hungarian art and its historic sensibilities. She has also used this appreciation of Hungarian art and culture to further her life’s work as the leading advocate of the global movement for breast cancer research. In a single generation, the organization that bears her sister Susan’s name has changed the world by investing nearly $2 billion in breast cancer research, education, screening and treatment.”
Teleki also lauded the merits Hungarian Scout Association. “All I can say is, hats off to this organization, whose long-term success in passing on the Hungarian heritage is basically unmatched in our émigré community – because of its unique ability to retain essential values, while also continually training new leaders and using innovative ways to adapt to changing circumstances.”
In her remarks, Ambassador Brinker spoke of her focus on the betterment of the health of Hungarian women and her passion for the dissemination of Hungarian artistic expression. Her work in this area has helped numerous individual artists gain recognition.
Mrs. Gabriella Kuni Nadas spoke about the remarkable achievement of the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris, which kept the ideals and traditions of Hungarian scouting alive over six decades, not only in the United States and Canada but in Western Europe, South America and Australia. Today, after the fall of Communism, Hungarian scouting again flourishing, not only in Hungary, but also among the Hungarian historic communities in neighboring countries.