The Coalition’s Projects and Accomplishments in 2013

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
  • Received a $20,000 grant from the Foundation for a Civic Hungary in Budapest to support the Coalition’s Congressional Internship Program.
  • Sponsored eight young Hungarian students to take part in the Congressional Internship Program in 2013:  Sára Font (Meridian International Center); Nikolett Konrád-Tevely (International Cyber Security Dialogue); Dalma Farkas (Research of non-profit fundraising and endowment building in Washington D.C. and Denver, CO, and New York City, NY), Daniel Nagy (U.S. House of Representatives), Eszter Vadas (Global Entrepreneurship Week), Martina Bank (Hungarian American Coalition), Bettina Molnarova (Global Entrepreneurship Week) and Noemi Szakonyi (Meridian International Center).

  • Received a $260,000 grant from the Hungary Initiatives Foundation to support the long-term expansion of the Coalition’s Congressional Internship Program.

  • Publicized five 2013 issues of the Hungarian Review the English-language affiliate of the bi-monthly journal, Magyar Szemle, edited by Gyula Kodolanyi.  These important editions give a comprehensive overview of the current political situation in Hungary in English language.

  • Funded Dr. Lilla Szabo’s research on Hungarian American art and artists in the US with a $17,000 grant from the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for the Arts and Sciences.  The project is sponsored by the Cleveland State University, College of Arts and Sciences and the American Hungarian Foundation in New Brunswick, NJ.  The research grant was given for the study of Hungarian American Fine Arts in 20th century and will concentrate on the art-collections of Hungarian-American local art museums and those in American Museums and art institutes in Ohio and New Jersey.

  • Promoted the work of three Coalition members, Helen M. Szablya, László G. Fülöp and Charles Farkas who have published notable books that reflect on post-World War II Hungarian history through their personal experiences.

  • Hosted the Coalition’s Ninth Annual Gala Dinner at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C., raising $122,500 in May 2013, under the patronage of Dr. Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary.  The honorees at this year’s event were John N. Lauer and the Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society.

  • Supported the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival held between June 26 and July 7, which drew over one million and a half visitors to the Washington’s National Mall to enjoy Hungarian folk culture in full color, sound, taste, smell, and motion.  Smithsonian Folk Life Festivals are held annually in Washington, D.C. since 1967, presenting international folk traditions in a live setting.  The Coalition task was the execution of several important projects.  With the generous grant of $150,000 from the Hungarian Initiatives Foundation, and additional funds donated by Coalition members and supporters, the Coalition was able to fund the construction of key festival structures among them a 10-foot tall Puli Dog wood slat sculpture.  The Puli Dog was the most photographed sculpture of the festival with over 4 million pictures taken in a given day.  The structures were donated to the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris, to be reassembled in their Filmore, NY, “Sík Sándor” scout camp.

  • Organized the “Hungarian Americans Together Conference VI with the participation of 73 attendees, representing 29 organizations and six states as well as Hungary on March 2 and 3.  The conference was organized by West Coast members of the Coalition and co-hosted by the Honorary Consulate General of Hungary in San Francisco.  Other participating organizations were the Hungarian Catholic Mission, Woodside Priory and the Free Magyar Reformed Church of San Francisco and Vicinity.  Members of the organizing committee were Honorary Consul Eva Voisin, Katalin Voros, Geza Kadar and Helen Szablya.

  • Managed the donation of former Coalition member Bulcsu Veress’ estate of one of Hungary’s largest jazz music recordings and publications to the Liszt Ferenc University of Music.  Also part of Veress’ estate was an 800 book collection of political science books, which were donated to the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation.

  • Promoted the fundraising dinner hosted by Coalition supporter Blaise and Anikó Pasztory at the Gundel Restaurant, on June 13, 2013. The proceeds of the fundraising dinner will be donated to the Eilika Habsburg Foundation, Sóskut, Hungary.

  • Promoted the fundraising campaign of US supporters of the Hungarian Economic Association.

  • Funded the reconstruction of the Department of Hematology at the First Department of Medicine of the Semmelweis University in Budapest with a grant of $180,000 from the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Foundation for the Arts and Sciences.  The grant recipient was the Foundation for the Onco-Haematological Patients, functioning at the Semmelweis University.

  • Organized the Hungarian Americans Together Conference VII held in Atlanta, GA on September 21 and 22, bringing together over 60 participants, representing 36 organizations from twelve states and Hungary.  The conference was organized by Southeastern members of the Hungarian American Coalition under the leadership of Coalition Vice President Andrea Lauer Rice.  The conference was cosponsored by the Hungary Initiatives Foundation, with the Atlanta Hungarian Meetup and John Parkerson, Honorary Consul as participating local organizations.

     
  • Awarded twelve students the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Awards for the 2013-2014 academic year. The winners are: Tünde Cserpes, a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Illinois in Chicago; Zoltán Csikós, admitted to Columbus State University; Dorottya Demszky, enrolled at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ; Lilla Fördős, pursuing a Master’s Program at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS) in Washington, DC; Edith Frenyó, an S.J.D. Candidate at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC; Ágnes Katona, attending the Graduate School of Middlebury College at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, in Monterey, CA; István Keszte, admitted to a Master’s Program at Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Aerospace Engineering in Atlanta, GA; Zalán Markó, a student at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY; Zita Monori, former scholarship winner of 2009 and 2010, a rising senior at The University of the South, Sewanee, TN; János Perczel; a PhD student in Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA; Júlia Standovár, admitted to the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York, NY; and Domonkos Vámossy a sophomore at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA.
Information and advocacy
  • Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.

  • Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary.

  • Organized the visit of Coalition President Max Teleki to Budapest on November 2 through 8, meetings were held with László Kövér, President of the Hungarian Parliament, János Martonyi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and other government officials as well as leaders of the Foundation for a Civic Hungary and the Antall József Knowledge Center.  A joint reception was hosted for CIP alumni and a large number of Körösi Csoma Sándor Alumni.

  • Encouraged wider participation in the Hungarian Congressional Caucus by its members.  The Hungarian-American Caucus was reconstituted early this year by the three new co-chairs, Representatives Marcy Kaptur, Andy Harris and David Joyce.  The Caucus currently includes other key members of Congress such as Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Carolyn B. Maloney, Timothy J. “Tim” Ryan, and Henry A. Waxman.

  • Disseminated “Noticed in the Press” a selection of newspaper articles from American and Hungarian newspapers on topics of interest to Coalition members and supporters. (there is no press release about this)
  • Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org).
Hungarian American Community Affairs
  • Assisted member organizations with obtaining speakers for local programs.

  • Attended the 3rd Annual Diaspora Council meeting on November 6, 2013 at the Hungarian Parliament.  More than 70 leaders and representatives of organizations worldwide participated, including 21 Hungarian American attendees, 14 of which were Hungarian American Coalition members.

  • Participated in the preparation and implementation of the Hungarian government sponsored “Kőrösi Csoma Sándor” internship program, by providing pre-departure briefings to participants and assisting government officials with preparatory tasks.  Coalition member organizations hosted and mentored 10 of the 15 interns assigned to the US.

  • Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events on December 2013, 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 the Honorable Gergely Prőhle, Deputy State Secretary for EU Bilateral Relations, Press and Cultural Diplomacy/
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