The Coalition’s Projects and Accomplishments 2007

The Hungarian American Coalition is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization founded in 1991.  Its mission is to identify and promote the interests of the Hungarian-American community.  Its goals are:

  • To foster appreciation of Hungary’s history and culture;
  • To protect and preserve the human and minority rights and cultural heritage of Hungarians throughout the world;
  • To encourage educational and cultural interaction between the people of the U.S. and Hungary;
  • And to support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
  • Provided a grant to Madach Publishers of Bratislava, Slovakia, to support Hungarian culture in Slovakia.

  • Hosted a round table discussion and luncheon to express the Hungarian American community’s thanks to Austrian Ambassador to the United States, H.E. Eva Nowotny, for Austria’s role in accepting Hungarian refugees in the aftermath of the 1956 Revolution.

  • Administered a grant to build a new auxiliary building of the Eilika Habsburg Foundation at its horse riding therapy center in the town of Sóskút, Hungary.

  • Co-hosted a presentation by Dr. Ibolya David, President of the Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) together with the American Hungarian Federation and the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America (HRFA) in Washington, DC.

  • Hosted an Annual Gala Benefit on May 9 to honor the accomplishments of Ambassador George Herbert Walker III, who served as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Hungary from 2003 to 2006. Proceeds of the Benefit were dedicated to support the “Dr. Elemér Kiss Scholarship Program.”

  • Coalition President Maximilian Teleki, and Vice President Andrea Lauer Rice held discussions with László Sólyom, President of the Republic of Hungary, in his office at the Sándor Palace. Coalition leaders urged President Sólyom to visit Hungarian American communities in the United States.

  • Supported the establishment and dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial bronze statue in Washington, DC. President Bush and international dignitaries, as well as Coalition President Maximilian Teleki, John and Edith Lauer, Les Megyeri, and representatives from the Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society were among the 400 invited guests attending the dedication ceremony on June 21, 2007. Edith Lauer was invited to represent the Hungarian American community on the Board of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

  • Donated $15,000 to support the educational and cultural programs of the Hungarian Scouts Association in Exteris.

  • Co-hosted a dinner with George Herbert Walker III, former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary to welcome Hungarian Ambassador Ferenc Somogyi to Washington, D.C.

  • Awarded the Dr. Elemér Kiss Scholarship for the 2007-2008 academic year to five students: Éva Tessza Udvarhelyi, City University of New York; János Américo Barbero, University of Washington; Peter Szigeti, Harvard University Law School; Enikő Horváth, Harvard University; and Noémi Keszler, Ohio Wesleyan University.

  • ·Raised over $200,000 for the completion of the documentary, “Torn from the Flag” about the Fall of Communism and the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The film had its world premiere on November 10, 2007, at the prestigious American Film Institute (AFI) Film Festival in Hollywood, California. Held a private screening of the documentary in December in Washington, DC.

  • ·Funded the 2007 Posonium Literary Awards, which was created in 2000 by Edith and John Lauer of Cleveland to foster and recognize Hungarian authors and artists for outstanding contributions to the cultural heritage of the historic Hungarian community of Slovakia.

  • Funded the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Magyary Zoltán Foundation for the granting of theCharles Simonyi Research Scholarship Awards. The grant amount of 3,000,000 HUF was given to three outstanding Hungarian researchers: Dr. Beáta Sperlágh, Dr. Tamás Sándor Bíró and Dr. György Granasztói. The annual award was first established in 2000 by Dr. Charles Simonyi, to encourage and support outstanding scientific research by Hungarians.

  • Funded the Károly Simonyi Prize presented by the Károly Simonyi Board of Trustees at the University of Szeged. The prize for excellence in physics was granted to Zoltán Szőkefalvi-Nagy. The prize for excellence in technical education and research was presented to Ákos Zarándy. The Károly Simonyi Prize supports the development of scientific endeavors of Hungarians living in Hungary and beyond the borders and was established by Dr. Charles Simonyi in honor of his late father, Professor Károly Simonyi, who was an internationally known electrical engineer and author of Physics: A Cultural History.
Information
  • Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.

  • Provided information on issues of interest to Coalition members to officials of the National Security Council, the State Department, and members of Congress.

  • Actively participated in the support of the Visa Waiver Program debated in the U.S. Congress.

  • Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary.

  • Maintained contact with Hungarian community leaders in Romania, Slovakia and Vojvodina, to be informed about events affecting the Hungarian communities of the region. Coordinated activities with member organizations and European Parliament representatives to advocate for the equal rights of Hungarians in Slovakia.

  • Disseminated “Noticed in the Press,” a selection of newspaper articles from American and from Hungarian newspapers on topics of interest to Coalition members and supporters.

  • Issued a Position Paper and provided information to Mr. Vince Obsitnik, the new U.S. Ambassador to Slovakia (together with the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation and the National Committee of Hungarians from Slovakia) regarding the escalation of overtly nationalistic, anti-Hungarian actions and rhetoric by the Slovak government.

  • Together with the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation, encouraged Congressman Tom Lantos, Chairman of the Committee of Foreign Affairs, to send a letter to Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, requesting him to publicly disavow the Benes Decrees and seek to ensure that ethnic Hungarians are treated as equal citizens in Slovakia.

  • Established a working relationship with newly appointed Ambassador to the U.S., Ferenc Somogyi.

  • Worked closely with the International Center for Democratic Transition in Budapest. Max Teleki, Coalition President, was invited to join the ICDT Board of Directors, and attended its November meeting in Budapest.

  • Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events on December 2007, in Washington, DC. The events include a White House Briefing, the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Board and Annual Meetings.

  • Developed an online membership database to facilitate membership management and communications.

  • Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org).
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