On March 24, 2012, the Hungarian Communion of Friends (MBK) was awarded the prestigious Hungarian Heritage Award for its role in preserving Hungarian culture. The award was received by Prof. Andrew Ludanyi, a founding member of MBK, on behalf of the organization at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.
The Hungarian Communion of Friends is the organization known for its annual, week-long conference held at Lake Hope State Park in Ohio. Its publication entitled Itt-Ott (Here and There), which was established in 1967, provides a public forum for issues of interest to Hungarians living outside the borders of Hungary. Most of the organization’s members reside in the United States, but it also has significant support in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Argentina, and several European countries.
In his laudation of MBK, Dr. Attila Kálmán, Founding Director of the Reformed High School in Tata, Hungary (who has also attended the Itt Ott conference as a guest), commented on the wide spectrum of activities of MBK: to foster the intellectual treasures of Hungarians, to promote the free exchange of views, and to help each other. Over 45 years, MBK has donated several hundred thousand dollars to Hungarian causes. MBK has also organized speaking tours for Hungarian authors, artists and scientists, including: Zoltán Bay, Sándor Csoóri, Mihály Czine, László Dobos, Miklós Duray, András Görömbei, Sándor Kányádi, Rozália Kóka, Gáspár Nagy, Ildikó Orosz, Sándor Püski, András Sütő; the Ghymes, the Ökrös, the Csíki, the Életfa and other folk music ensembles; and folk artists and storytellers. MKB also helped organize the U.S. tours of choirs from Hungary, Transylvania and Slovakia; was initiator and co-organizer of 14 Hungarian Conferences at five U.S. universities, 14 Hungarian Summer Universities, and seven Human Rights Workshops.
On January 30, 2012, Ted Horvath, member of the Hungarian American Coalition, and Trustee of Eleanor B. Rainey Memorial Institute was honored in New York City by The National Child Labor Committee with the 26th annual Lewis Hine Award for Service to Children and Youth for applying his passion for the arts and music to create a safe haven for low-income children and families.
Since 1904, Rainey Institute has helped low-income children and families on Cleveland’s East Side, first as a settlement house, and then as an arts center helping kids realize their potential via performing and visual arts. For the past 54 years, Mr. Horvath has kept watch over Rainey, guiding it for decades through times of economic uncertainty. Mr. Horvath, a retired lawyer, believes that the greatest charitable work is to help children raised in disadvantaged circumstances see that with education and effort they can achieve the American dream.
The appreciation of music and the arts permeated the Horvath family. Mr. Horvath loves singing and was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus for 25 years. His son, Chris, is a recording, film and TV music director who directed and wrote some of the music in the ’56 Revolution documentary “Torn from the Flag.”
Mr. Horvath oversaw the planning, financing, and creation of a new building for Rainey Institute. Over $5.6 million was raised to build the new, modern, and larger facility that opened in January 2011. It now serves over 850 students with room to reach 1,300, and includes a state-of-the-art theater, dance studio, music studio, visual arts studio, full service kitchen, and a large student gathering area named “Ted’s Place” in Mr. Horvath’s honor.