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;
- To support democratic institutions and economic development in Hungary.
Education and Culture
- On June 8, 2022, Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice and Chair Emerita Edith K. Lauer, who is a VOC Board member, represented the Coalition at the inauguration of the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington, DC. Located in downtown Washington, DC (900 15th Street NW), the Victims of Communism Museum is the first museum in the world dedicated to describing both the history of communism as well as its current global reach around the world.
- Participated on June 10, 2022, in the 15th annual Roll Call of Nations Wreath Laying Ceremony organized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. More than 15 embassies, 3 delegations, and 42 ethnic and human rights organizations joined in honor of the more than 100 million victims of Communist tyranny since 1917.
- Continued the administration of the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund. Nine students received stipends for the 2022-2023 academic year: one scholarship recipient is enrolled in a university in Hungary; five scholarship recipients are studying at colleges in the Subcarpathian region of Ukraine; and three scholarships were awarded to Hungarian students admitted to universities in the Transylvania region of Romania.
- Awarded seven Hungarian university students the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Awards for the 2022-2023 academic year. The winners are: Lea Bagi, an undergraduate student pursuing the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA); Tamás Emri, enrolled at the University of Oregon’s (Eugene, OR) Electrochemical Science and Technology MSc Program; Barnabás Novák, admitted to California State University (Los Angeles, CA) studying Pre-computer Science; Patrik Pördi, attending University of Maryland’s (College Park, MD) Professional Master of Engineering in Robotics Program; Dóra Reizinger, pursuing a Bachelor Degree in Exercise Science at Life University (Marietta, GA); Kornél Szabó, an undergraduate student in Business Management at Webber International University (Babson Park, FL); and Lili Rebeka Tóth, enrolled at the Center for Curatorial Studies Bard (Annandale-On-Hudson, NY) pursuing Curatorial Studies.
- Awarded the “Hungarian American Coalition Award” presented to three students of the Bolyai Farkas High School in Marosvásárhely. Totaling $2,000, the awards were presented for the fourth time. The recipients were: graduating seniors Anita Kis, Bernát Kristóf Vescán-Bakcsy and 11th grader Ábel Újfalusi, who were recognized for their outstanding academic achievement and community service. The awards were made possible by a donation to the Coalition from the Cultural Foundation for Transylvania (CFT).
- Hosted Kőrösi Csoma Sándor Program Participant Marietta Walter, who will split her time between the Coalition and the Kossuth Foundation from September 15, 2022 to June 15,2023.
Information and advocacy
- Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
- Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary.
- Maintained contact with Hungarian government officials – Ms. Zita Bencsik, Director of the North American Department at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; Árpád János Potápi, Secretary of State for National Policy; Péter Szilágyi, Ministerial Commissioner responsible for Hungarian communities abroad; and Pirityiné Szabó Judit, Head of Department at the State Secretariat of National Policy.
- Coalition President Emeritus, Max Teleki met with officials at the State Department, the National Security Council and Congressional offices, as well as with Hungarian Ambassador, Szabolcs Takács.
- Issued a statement condemning in the strongest possible terms the Russian invasion of a free and democratic Ukraine on February 25, 2022.
- Started fundraising efforts to assist Hungarian and Ukrainian refugees escaping war-torn Ukraine. With the generous support of individuals and organizations, the Coalition has raised more than $110,000 since February 25 and supported the following projects and initiatives from its Ukraine Relief Fund: $10,000 in immediate aid to refugees to the Hungarian Maltese Charity Service (Magyar Máltai Szeretetszolgálat); $5,000 in immediate aid to refugees to the Hungarian Interchurch Aid (Magyar Ökumenikus Segélyszervezet); $5,500 in aid of local relief efforts to a consortium of mayors in Hungarian villages bordering Ukraine; $5,500 to facilitate the further delivery of donations and goods by the Carpathian Foundation (Kárpátok Alapítvány) in cooperation with its sister organizations in Slovakia and Ukraine and $14,250 to purchase and deliver an ambulance to Uzghorod, Ukraine; $20,500 in partnership with the Hungarian (Magyar) Club of Chicago to the local government of Bakonybél to house and care for refugee families; a mobile pediatric inpatient unit donated to the Odesa Rehabilitation Hospital manufactured by a Hungarian company, Continest that cost $44,000 with shipment to Odesa made possible by a $32,000 grant from the Hungarian Human Rights Foundation (HHRF) and other generous donors of the Coalition, facilitated by the Carpathian Foundation; $4,000 to cover the shipment cost of medical supplies donated by the Creative Cultural Exchange, Inc. (1690 boxes of products worth $200,000) from the U.S. to Hungary that will be distributed by the Hungarian Interchurch Aid.
- Continued to update the Coalition’s home page (www.hacusa.org).
Hungarian American Community Affairs
- In her capacity as US President of the Hungarian Diaspora Council, Andrea Lauer Rice hosted quarterly community update calls in both English and Hungarian with 50+ community leaders.
- Partnered with HungarianHub to lead community track at Inaugural Hungarian Summit held on May 12-14, 2022 in Daytona Beach, FL. The 3-day conference was an unprecedented gathering of Hungarian and American leaders in business, culture, sports, art, community and education. The Summit was created by Piros Pazaurek, founder of HungarianHub and Coalition Board member. The community track, led by Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice, was in many ways a continuation of the HATOG (Hungarian Americans TOGether) conference series, organized by the Coalition over the past 15 years.
- Received the “Friend of Hungary Award” at the 8th annual conference of the Friends of Hungary Foundation, held September 16-18 in Budapest. On behalf of the Coalition, President Andrea Lauer Rice accepted the award during the Gala at Pesti Vigadó, held Friday, September 16. The Friend of Hungary Award recognizes the outstanding work of individuals and organizations in the worldwide Hungarian community. Recipients have invested significant time and effort in strengthening Hungarian diaspora communities and improving Hungary’s ties to its diaspora. Other recipients of this year’s award were Dr. Zsuzsa Papp Aykler, President of the Rákóczi Foundation of Canada (also a Coalition member), and the late János Miska who was recognized posthumously for his achievements as Founder of the Canadian Hungarian Literary Archive and the János Miska Foundation. Several Coalition members were in attendance: Piros Pazaurek, Réka Pigniczky, Dr Katalin Kádár Lynn, Zsolt Szekeres and Katica Avvakumovits. Lauer Rice also presented Hungarian President Katalin Novák with a maquette of the 1956 Freedom Fighter Statue to be unveiled in Atlanta, GA.
- Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice and Coalition Program Coordinator Noémi Bánhidi and several former LTP interns attended the Zebegény Alumni Summit on September 17, 2022 in Zebegény, Hungary organized by the Hungary Foundation (HF) and Quinnipiac University. This event brought together the alumni of all Quinnipiac- and HF-sponsored scholarships, internships and fellowships and their allies from the business, non-profit and government sector.
- Attended and co-sponsored Hungarian Night at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival organized by Coalition Board member George Pogan in Chagrin Falls, OH on October 8, 2021. 80 guests attended the screening of No Command (Nincs Parancs) directed by Peter Szalay.
- Dedicated the Hungarian Freedom Fighter statue at Midtown Atlanta’s Millennium Gate Park to the Freedom Fighters of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution on October 23, 2022. A crowd of 250, including 15 freedom fighters and their families witnessed the unveiling of the nine-foot statue, made of keyblue granite from Elberton, GA. Rodney Mims Cook, Jr., National Monuments Foundation, John Parkerson, Honorary Counsul General of Hungary in Georgia; Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice; Magor Ernyei, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC; Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, President of the Victims of Communism Museum in Washington, DC; Edith K. Lauer, Coalition Chair Emertia, and ’56-ers and families of ’56-ers helped dedicate the work of art. Katalin Bényei, Friends of Hungary Foundation, and Coalition members Csilla Grauzer and Dr Ágnes Virga were also in attendance. The historically-accurate Hungarian Freedom Fighter was donated with funds raised by the Coalition, including donations from more than 50 individuals and non-profit organizations across the U.S., as well as an initial grant from the Embassy of Hungary in Washington D.C., Rice said. Other major donors include: Charles and Catherine B Rice Foundation, John and Edith K. Lauer, Hungary Foundation, Leslie László Megyeri, the Hungarian American Cultural Association and many families of ’56-ers of ’56-ers.
- Launched Multimedia Exhibit on Hungarian Revolution of 1956 at Millennium Gate Park as well as an accompanying website to provide additional information on the Freedom Fighter statue – www.HungarianFreedomFighter.com
- Attended 66th Anniversary Commemoration of 1956 at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington D.C. with keynote speaker, Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó. Coalition Chair Emerita and ’56-er Edith K. Lauer and Coalition President, Andrea Lauer Rice, were in attendance along with Coalition VP, Csilla Grauzer and members: Piros Pazaurek and Éva Kovács.
- Held its 30th Anniversary Celebration Dinner celebrating the 30th anniversary of the organization and honoring supporters of its scholarship programs on October 26, 2022. Dr. Charles Simonyi, Hungarian American software architect and long-time supporter of the Coalition, was Honorary Chairman of the event, held at the Cosmos Club in Washington, DC. At the event, Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice presented Ambassador Szabolcs Takács and Ambassador April H. Foley with a maquette of the Hungarian Freedom Fighter statue, thanking the Embassy of Hungary for providing the initial $10,000 grant to support the statue, and the Hungary Foundation (HF) who was a ‘Patron of the Arts’ level of sponsor supporting the project with $25,000.
- Attended the 11th Annual Diaspora Council meeting on November 17, 2022 in Budapest at the Hungarian Castle Gardens. The Coalition was represented by Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice, also President of the Diaspora Council’s U.S. division. The day after the Diaspora Council meeting, on November 18, 2022, Lauer Rice and the other regional presidents attended the Hungarian Standing Conference (MÁÉRT), to meet Hungarians from the Carpathian Basin and representatives of Hungarian political parties.
- Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events in Washington, DC. The events included the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Annual General and Board Meetings. The keynote speaker at the Mikulás Dinner was Ambassador Andrew Bremberg, President of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.