Projects and Accomplishments

The Coalition’s Projects and Accomplishments in 2010

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
  • Co-sponsored a full-day “Sütő András Conference” with the participation of prominent literary critics and historians, to discuss the significance of Sütő’s remarkable life work. Other co-sponsors of this event were the Institute of Literary Studies, Debrecen Working Committee of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Culture Foundation’s András Sütő Circle. The Coalition’s sponsorship was made possible by a generous grant from Edith K. Lauer, Chairman Emerita.

  • Provided a $10,000 grant to Madách Publishers of Bratislava, Slovakia, to support Hungarian culture in Slovakia.

  • Received a donation in the amount of $150,000 from Charles Simonyi Fund for the Arts and Sciencesto underwrite the Hungarian American Coalition’s (HAC) Congressional Internship Program (CIP) until 2011.
  • Hosted an Annual Gala Benefit on April 24 at the House of Sweden in Washington, DC, to honor George Pataki, Former Governor of New York. Mr. Pataki received the Coalition award recognizing his ongoing interest in Hungary and pride in his Hungarian American heritage, as well as his thorough understanding and deep empathy for the human rights issues of Hungarian communities in surrounding countries.

  • Funded the presentation of an 84-minute documentary by Réka Pigniczky entitled “Incubator”. The film, which addresses the ethnic identity of the Hungarian American community in the United States, was shown in several U.S. cities during a two-week screening tour sponsored by the Coalition. The tour included the cities of New Brunswick and Garfield in NJ, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Atlanta, Detroit, San Francisco, as well as Berkeley and Portola Valley in CA. Later in the year, the film was presented in other U.S. cities, as well, including the Itt-Ott Conference and the Hungarian Film Week in Los Angeles.

  • Dedicated a commemorative plaque on Carl Lutz’s residence in Washington, DC. The memorial plaque was unveiled by Dr. János Martonyi, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Hungary. The event was sponsored by the Carl Lutz Foundation, Budapest, the Government of the Republic of Hungary, the Hungarian American Coalition and the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.

  • Funded the reconstruction of a lecture hall at the First Department of Medicine of the Semmelweis University in Budapest with a grant of $525,000 from the Charles Simonyi Foundation for the Arts and Sciences. The grant recipient was the Foundation for the Onco-Haematological Patients, functioning at the Semmelweis University. The inauguration of the new lecture hall was attended by Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulus Kounalakis, who delivered the keynote speech, as well as distinguished members of the political and social elite of Hungary. Mr. Tamas Simonyi read a statement on behalf of the Foundation.

  • Continued supporting “Torn from the Flag,” a documentary about the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The filmmakers have issued a “Donor’s Edition DVD” to express their gratitude toward the film’s supporters, who can now see their name listed among the contributors and share it with their family and friends.

  • Celebrated the tenth anniversary of the presentation of the Posonium Literary and Fine Arts Awards, established in 2000 by Edith and John Lauer of Cleveland to recognize the outstanding contributions of Hungarian authors and artists to the cultural heritage of the historic Hungarian community of Slovakia. The Grand Prize was presented to Anikó Polgár. Life Achievement Awards were received by writer Lajos Grendel and Elemér Tóth. Two Special Achievement Awards were presented, one to László Tóth, the other to linguist Katalin Misad. The Homeland Award was won by Zoltán Szénássy. The recipient of the Posonium Fine Arts Award was graphic artist, Lajos Varga. As a written reminder of this anniversary year, Mrs. Lauer presented to the audience a brochure with the Awards’ history, including a list of the 68 Literary and 10 Fine Arts Award winners in the past ten years.

  • Established the “Red Sludge Disaster Relief Fund” to help the victims of „Red Sludge” Disaster in Hungary. The Disaster Relief Fund was founded in response to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has asked Hungarian Americans to contribute to the relief effort, and who called upon Governor George Pataki to coordinate fundraising efforts in the United States.

  • Participated at the Ninth Hungarian Standing Conference (MÁÉRT), held in the Hungarian Parliament. Nineteen delegations of Hungarians from all over the world and representatives of Hungarian political parties gathered to discuss the plans of the Orbán government to assist Hungarians outside the country’s borders to strengthen their identity and to prevent further assimilation in the Carpathian Basin and the Western Diaspora Hungarian communities. Representatives of the Hungarian American diaspora included Edith Lauer, Chair Emerita of the Hungarian American Coalition, László Hámos, President of the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation and Executive Committee member of the Hungarian American Coalition, and Frank Koszorus Jr., President of the American Hungarian Federation.

  • Funded the Károly Simonyi Prize presented by the Károly Simonyi Board of Trustees at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. The prize for excellence in physics was granted to Dr. Gabriella Pálla, while the prize for excellence in technical education and research was presented to Dr. József Bokor. 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.

  • 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: László Acsády, Péter László Biró and György Gergely. The annual award was first established in 2000 by Dr. Charles Simonyi, to encourage and support scientific research by Hungarian scientists.

  • Awarded the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship for the 2010-2011 academic year.
  • Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.

  • Informed its membership about the 2010 Census form and how to specify their identity on it by stating that they are Hungarian.

  • Received and disseminated a press release from President Barack Obama in the occasion of the 162nd anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, and another Presidential Message on the occasion of the 54th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

  • Issued a statement on the 90th anniversary of the Treaty of Trianon to support and pledge the commitment of Hungarian Americans to all initiatives of the new Hungarian government that serve to achieve equality among the communities and citizens of a genuinely democratic Central Europe, including the “Day of National Unity”.

  • Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary.

  • Approved the application request of three new organizational members: the Béla Bartók Hungarian School of Boston (“Boskola”), the Hungarian Society of Massachusetts from Boston, and the Hungarian American Cultural Center in Detroit, Michigan.

  • In October 2010, organized a visit of Coalition President Max Teleki, who, among other activities held meetings with government officials, members of Parliament, media and supporters. M r. Teleki was also received by Pal Schmitt, President of the Republic of Hungary. During his stay he also participated in a Congressional Internship Program Alumni meeting attended by Coalition interns.

  • Participated, and provided administrative support for the fifth Hungarian Americans Together Conference (HATOG V), hosted by the Hungarian Club of Chicago, the Hungarian Society of Chicago, St. Stephen, King of Hungary Catholic Church, the Transylvanian Association, the Hungarian Communion of Friends, the Hungarian Cultural Advisory Council, and the Hungarian-Americans for Human Rights in Délvidék, organized in Chicago, Illinois at the Norridge United Church of Christ (Hungarian Reformed Church). The Conference aimed to build a network of communication and collaboration among Hungarian organizations in the United States and to develop a strategy for saving and strengthening our Hungarian heritage and culture. Participants elaborated principles for the building of a new forum and infrastructure by the Government of Hungary to assist the Western diaspora and include its representatives in global Hungarian cooperation.

  • Organized the Washington, DC visit of Dr. Pál Hatos, Director General of the Balassi Institute, the top governmental organization of cultural diplomacy of the Republic of Hungary, who also attended the Mikulás Dinner.

  • Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events on December 2010, in Washington, DC. The events include a White House Briefing, the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Board and Annual Meetings. The keynote speaker at the Mikulás Dinner was Zsolt Németh State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary.

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

  • Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (
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