Cleveland, Ohio – The World Federation of Hungarian Veterans (MHBK) held its 54th Charity Ball in Cleveland, Ohio. Special honorees included Hungarian American Coalition leaders Edith Lauer, László Böjtös, and Andrea Lauer Rice. Also honored were Cleveland community Hungarian leaders, Andrea and András Lázár.
László Böjtös, a witness to the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, is Honorary Consul General of the Republic of Hungary and a Founding Board Member of the Hungarian American Coalition, as well as of the Hungarian Communion of Friends. He received the 50th Anniversary Memorial Cross with Crown for his many years of outstanding consular service and for his significant and faithful service for Hungarian causes everywhere, American organizations and the Cleveland community.
Edith Lauer, Chair Emeritus of the Hungarian American Coalition, witnessed the 1956 Revolution as a teenager, and recalls it as “a life-defining experience.” She received the 50th Anniversary Memorial Cross with Crown in recognition of her leadership since 1991 of the Hungarian American Coalition, her participation in promoting NATO expansion in the 1990’s, as well as her role as co-editor and co-publisher of “56 Stories: Personal Collections of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution – A Hungarian American Perspective,” published both in English and Hungarian.
Andrea Lauer Rice, CEO and Founder of Lauer Learning, the Roswell, Georgia-based multimedia educational company, was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit for her work as co-editor and co-publisher of the books “56 Stories,” and “56 Történet,” for the creation of an oral history website that served as the basis for both books, and the publication of “FF56!”, an educational computer game for teens about the 1956 Revolution.
Andrea Lázár, also a ‘56er, has served in the Cleveland Hungarian community for many years. Together with her husband, András Lázár, Curator of Exhibits for the Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Museum, she hosts the weekly Kapossy Family Hungarian Hour on WCPN 90.3 FM. They both received the Gold Medal of Merit for their many contributions, with special recognition for “The Spirit of Freedom-1956,” the outstanding exhibition they mounted at the Hungarian Museum in October, 2006, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.
Dr. László Simonyi, President of the MHBK, read the laudations and presented the honors to those listed above. The John Carroll University ROTC Honor Guard opened the festive Charity Ball with the presentation of colors. President of the Cleveland Chapter, Jack Kőrössy, Jr., also a ‘56er, recalled the unforgettable days of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, and thanked all those who worked with Ildikó Kőrössy to make the 54th MHBK Ball such a successful event. The program included the presentation of Cleveland debutantes, performances by the local Palotás dancers, and of four outstanding professional Hungarian Folk dancers.
The Ball was attended by 200 guests that included leaders of the Cleveland Hungarian community, and Board Members with spouses of the Hungarian American Coalition: Anne and Joseph Bader, Georgianna Böjtös, Ted Horvath, Ildikó and John Kőrössy, Jr., John Lauer, Charles B. Rice, Jr., and Sandy and George Pogan.