Washington, DC – The Ambassadors of the Future (AF) 501 (c)3 non-profit organization hosted a benefit Gala on November 14, 2021 at the historic Cicada Club in Downtown Los Angeles, CA. The event successfully raised $5,000 for the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund (BFHSF), a project administered by the Hungarian American Coalition (Coalition).
Attila Béres, Vice President and CFO and Dr. Susan Pekarovics, Director of Annual Giving at the Ambassadors of the Future with Dr. Ágnes Virga, Coalition Vice President at the Bognár Family Scholarship award presentation at the Ambassadors of the Future Gala on December 14, 2021
Vice President Ágnes Virga, MD and her husband, Raymond Gillespie attended the event on behalf of the Coalition. After dinner and entertainment, featuring a performance by the Phat Cat Swinger Band and USC Ballroom and Latin Dance Team, Master of Ceremonies Rosalie von Wendt greeted the distinguished gathering and special guests.
Ádám Béres, President and founder of AF, shared how he used his savings while in high school, to create AF to support intellectually gifted but financially challenged students’ international studies. Over the past four years, the fund has provided over $140,000 to students through the BFHSF and Scholarships at the University of Southern California.
Honorary Chairs of the Gala, H.E. former Ambassador of Hungary, László Szabó, MD and Ivonn Szeverenyi, MD, Ambassador at Large in International Innovations of Hungary, delivered their welcome speech via video, expressing support for the cause.
Several presentations were made, including a Women in Philanthropy Award presented to Alina Vizcarra, the youngest philanthropist in attendance. Ádám Béres and Réka Csipan presented $5,000 University of Southern California AF scholarships to five students engaged in classes or projects that foster exchange between USC and Hungary.
Veronica Frank, former recipient of the award and Béres presented the AF Certificate of Recognition to the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund (BFHSF) and a check for $5,000 in support of their mission of international education. Dr. Ágnes Virga, Coalition Vice President and former Chairman, accepted the award.
Dr. Virga expressed gratitude for the annual support from the AF. She emphasized the common goals, missions, and programs in international education and scholarships of both the AF and the Coalition. She spoke about the importance of leadership training for the next generation. The alumni of the three Coalition scholarship and leadership training programs: BFHSF, the Dr. Elemér and Eva Kiss Scholarship Fund, and the Coalition’s John N. Lauer Leadership Training Program, continue to excel in every field and lift up their communities. To date, the programs have provided opportunities to more than 500 talented young people, and the generosity of partners like AF is crucial to ongoing success.
The Hungarian Scholarship Fund (HSF) was established in 1999 by Dr. Béla and April Bognár to help outstanding Hungarian students finish their educations in their own countries or in the United States, and to remain or return to their home countries to provide leadership in their communities. In 2014, the Coalition renamed the fund and took over administrative duties for this program, including fundraising, selecting scholarship recipients and program evaluation.
Since its inception, the scholarship fund has awarded more than $700,000 to 270 Hungarian students in the US and the Carpathian Basin raised from members of the Hungarian American community, churches, organizations, and the Sunshine Lady Foundation (SLF), directed by Mrs. Doris Buffett. Scholarship recipients must have an excellent academic record, outstanding recommendations from teachers, mentors, clergy or community leaders, and a proven financial need.
The Ambassadors of the Future is a registered 501©3 charitable organization that was formed four years ago by Ádám Béres, along with his parents, Zsuzsa Pekárovics, MD, and Attila Beres, Ph.D., and many other community members in Los Angeles, CA, to encourage young people to participate in philanthropic activities, to foster international student exchanges and to help disadvantaged children coping with diabetes and obesity.