Annual Gala Dinner

In 2005, the Coalition began hosting an annual Gala Dinner to formally honor outstanding Hungarian Americans and friends of Hungary, as well as to expand community outreach and raise funds for the Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Fund, the Bognár Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund, which HAC began administering in 2014, and the John N. Lauer Leadership Training Program (LTP).

In an effort to strengthen the remarkable achievement of some member organizations, the Coalition has also made contributions from the Gala Dinner proceeds to their programs.

The Gala Dinners have been held at such elegant venues as the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Decatur House, the Cosmos Club and the House of Sweden, all in Washington, D.C.

List of Gala Dinner Honorees

2005-2019

Honoree: Ambassador Colleen Bell

Honorary Chairman: H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary

Co-chairs: Ambassador György Habsburg, Governor George Pataki, Mrs. Edith K. Lauer
Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on May 2, 2019

Honoree: Dr. Jeanette Gecsy Grasselli Brown and The Ferenc Rákóczi II. Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute, headed by Dr. Ildiko Orosz

Honorary Chairman: H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary

Co-chairs: Ambassador György Habsburg, Governor George Pataki, Mrs. Edith K. Lauer
Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on April 25, 2018

Honoree: Ambassador April H. Foley, U.S. Ambassador to Hungary between 2006 and 2009 and Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Hungary Initiatives Foundation (HIF)

Honorary Chairman: H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary

Co-chairs: Governor George Pataki, Mrs. Edith K. Lauer, Mr. John N. Lauer
Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on May 19, 2017

Honoree: 2016 Honoree: János Martonyi, Hungary’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs

Honorary Chairman: H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary

Co-chairs: Governor George Pataki, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, Ambassador Richard Swett, Ambassador George H. Walker III

Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on May 3, 2016

Honoree: J. Joe Adorjan, Honorary Consul General of Missouri and founder of the Hungarian-Missouri Educational Partnership (HMEP)

Honorary Chairman: H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary

Co-chairs: Ambassador George Herbert Walker III, Mr. Michael F. Neidorff
Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on September 29, 2015

Honoree: Congressman Tom Lantos, Bishop László Tőkés and the Hungarian Communion of Friends (Magyar Baráti Közösség)

Gala Event began with Lyric Soprano Andrea Rost Concert at the Warner Theatre, Washington D.C.

Honorary Chairman: H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary

Co-chairs: Governor George E. Pataki, Ambassador George Herbert Walker III
Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on May 29, 2014

Honoree: John N. Lauer and the Cleveland Hungarian Heritage Society

Co-chairs: Ambassador April H. Foley, Gov. George E. Pataki, Ambassador George H. Walker III, under the patronage of Dr. Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary
Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on May 8, 2013

Honoree: U.S. Ambassador Nancy Brinker and the Hungarian Scout Association in Exteris

Co-chairs: Ambassador George H. Walker III, Ambassador April Foley, Michael F. Neidorff

Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on May 9, 2012

Honoree: Dr. János Horváth, Doyen of the Hungarian Parliament, and the William Penn Association

Co-chairs: Under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Pál Schmitt, President of Hungary and Dr. Tibor Navracsics, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary; Coalition Gala Chair, Governor George E. Pataki

Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on May 11, 2011

Honoree: Governor George Pataki

Co-chairs: Ambassador April Foley, Michael F. Neidorff, Ambassador George H. Walker III, former Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead
Held at the House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. on April 22, 2010

Honoree: John C. Whitehead, former Deputy Secretary of State

Co-chairs: General Colin L. Powell, Governor George Pataki, U.S. Ambassador George H. Walker III
Held at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. on April 16, 2009

Honoree: Dr. August J. Molnár, President of the American Hungarian Foundation

Co-chairs: William Penn Association, John N. and Edith K. Lauer
Honorary Chairman of Event: Governor George E. Pataki

Held at the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C. on April 18, 2008

Honoree: Ambassador George H. Walker III

Co-chairs: Michael Neidorff, Julius Joe Adorjan, Zsolt Rumy
Held at the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C. on May 4, 2007

Honoree: Dr. Charles Simonyi, software pioneer, philanthropist, future space explorer

Co-chairs: Ambassador-at-large to the European Union and President of the Hungarian Red Cross, György von Habsburg, Mr. John N. Lauer, Chairman of Diebold, Inc., and Mrs. Edith K. Lauer, Chair Emerita of the Coalition
Held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C. on May 4, 2006

Honoree: Dr. Otto von Habsburg, European statesman, one of the initial architects of the European Unio

Co-chairs: Anikó Gaál Schott and Philip W. Pillsbury, Jr.

Held at the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2005

Highlights of Gala Dinners

HAC Gala retrospective video

Play Video