Projects and Accomplishments

The Coalition’s Projects and Accomplishments in 2017

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
  • Implemented the expanded “Coalition Internship Program” (CIP) funded by a grant from the Hungary Initiatives Foundation.  In 2017, the Coalition sponsored the internship program of seven Hungarian university students.  The selected students were:  Luca Mórocz and Faye Gillespie (Global Entrepreneurship Network, Washington, D.C.); Éva Lukonits (Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, Washington, D.C.); Orsolya Gazsó (Hungarian American Coalition, Washington, D.C.); Réka Veres (Marymount University, Arlington, VA); László Szerencsés (Center for European Policy Analysis, Washington, D.C.); and Máté Mátyás (Center for Energy, Natural Resources and Geopolitics at the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security, Washington, D.C.).
     
  • Participated in June 2017, in the 10th annual Roll Call of Nations organized by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.  Over 50 embassies, foundations and organizations presented wreaths at the Victims of Communism Memorial in honor of the more than 100 million victims of Communist tyranny since 1917.
     
  • Continued the administration of the Bognar Family Hungarian Scholarship Fund.  With the help of the program’s founders, Dr. Bela and April Bognar, forty-four students received stipends for the 2017-2018 academic year: two of the scholarship recipients are Hungarian students admitted to universities in the U.S.; eight scholarship recipients are enrolled in universities in Hungary; four scholarship recipients are studying at colleges in the Subcarpathian region of Ukraine; twenty-nine scholarships were awarded to Hungarian students admitted to universities in the Transylvania region of Romania and one scholarship recipient studies in Belgium.  On September 23, 2017, California-based The Ambassadors of the Future (AF) hosted a Benefit Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (Beverly Hills, CA) and raised $15,000 in support of the Fund.
     
  • Awarded nineteen Hungarian university students the Dr. Elemér and Éva Kiss Scholarship Awards for the 2017-2018 academic year.  The winners are: Anna Biczó, studying International Business and Trade Law at Fordham University – The School of Law in New York, NY; Kinga Enikő Bíró, a student in Human Services at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, CA; Máté Bögi, attending New York University Tisch School of the Art’s Graduate Film Department in New York, NY; Zoltán Csikós, enrolled at the University of North Texas School of Music in Denton, TX; Dorottya Demszky, pursuing a Master’s Program in Linguistics at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ; Anikó Gál, studying Graphic Design at the University of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC; Vivien Kocsis, enrolled in University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School & Lauder Institute’s MBA program in Philadelphia, PA; Attila Lendek, admitted to Purdue University Northwest studying Electrical Engineering in Hammond/Westville, IN; Attila Dávid Melegh, pursuing undergraduate studies in Aerospace Engineering at Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science in Syracuse, NY; Veronika Zsófia Németh, a freshman studying Early Childhood and Elementary Education at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA; Nino Obanor, an undergraduate student in Computer Information Systems at the University of Missouri St. Louis in St. Louis, MO; Dorottya Pedryc, pursuing Master of Laws at Notre Dame Law School in Notre Dame, IN; János Perczel, a PhD student in Physics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA; Krisztina Sárközi, attending Dordt College studying Business Administration in Sioux Center, IA; Tímea Sipos, enrolled in University of Nevada, Las Vegas’ M.F.A. program in Creative Writing and Fiction in Las Vegas, NV; Noémi Szabó, admitted to Medaille College pursuing graduate studies in Organizational Leadership in Buffalo, NY; Enikő Tóth, studying Psychology at Los Angeles City College in Los Angeles, CA; Domonkos Vámossy, a PhD student in Economics at the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA; and Anikó Viktória Varga, pursuing a PhD in Psychology at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH.
     
  • Publicized and distributed six 2017 issues of the Hungarian Review the English-language affiliate of the bi-monthly journal, Magyar Szemle, edited by Gyula Kodolányi and John O’Sullivan.  These important editions provide a comprehensive overview in English of the current political and cultural situation in Hungary.
     
  • Approved to support the Cultural Foundation for Transylvania (CFT) by accepting the balance of their funds as a grant and disbursing the money in the form of grants for cultural and educational purposes in Transylvania.
     
  • Approved to fund transportation expenses of Daniel Lovy, a Holocaust researcher, who is donating his specialized research library composed of 1,850 volumes and about 1,000 CDs and other materials related to the Holocaust in Cluj, Oradea, Northern Transylvania, and entire Europe to the Jewish Community in Cluj, a non-profit organization, based on Kolozsvár.
Information and advocacy

  • Operated an Office of Information in Washington, D.C. since 1991.
     
  • Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice and her husband Barton Rice attended several events in the nation’s capital at the Presidential Inauguration of Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States in January 2017, including the “Salute to Freedom” Inaugural Brunch with other Coalition Board members at the new building of the Embassy of Hungary in Washington D.C on January 21, 2017.
     
  • Maintained contact with US Embassy officials in Hungary. On November 7, 2017 Coalition President, Andrea Lauer Rice and Treasurer Zsolt Szekeres met with Deputy Chief of Mission David Kostelancik and Erin Webster-Main, First Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs.
     
  • 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, László Szabó.
     
  • Organized the 10 day visit of Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice to Transcarpathia (Kárpátalja) and Budapest, from November 5 through 14.  In Transcarpathia, Mrs. Lauer Rice attended a dinner hosted by Ms. Ildikó Orosz, Rector of the Ferenc Rákóczi II Trancarpathian Hungarian College; met with Dr. László Brenzovics, head of the Hungarian Cultural Association of Transcarpathia (KMKSZ) and a member of Ukraine’s parliament; attended a luncheon hosted by Dr. István Grezsa, Hungarian Commissioner for Transcarpathia and participated in a tour of the Transcarpathian Hungarian College led by the Vice Rector Gyula Fodor. In Budapest, meetings were held with:  Mr. László Kövér, Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament; Mr. Gergely Gulyás, Leader of the Fidesz Parliamentary Faction; Mr. Zsolt Németh, President of the Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs; Dr. Péter Szilágyi, Deputy State Secretary for National Policy; Mrs. Judit Pirityiné Szabó, Head of Department at the State Secretariat of National Policy; as well as Dr. Tamás FellegiAmbassador János Csák and Ambassador Péter Szabadhegy. Other major events included the Hungarian premiere of the documentary ’Lövészek’ (Cold Warriors) at Uránia National Film Theatre, which was created by Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice and Coalition Member Réka Pigniczky; and the Seventh Diaspora Council Meeting at Hungarian Castle Gardens. Mrs. Lauer Rice also hosted a reception for CIP alumni and Coalition supporters.
     
  • Joined Friends of Hungary Foundation as a partner organization on June 26, 2017. Friends of Hungary Foundation (FoH) was established in Budapest in 2011 to provide value-based, non-partisan information to the public on events and successes concerning Hungary and Hungarians around the world. The Foundation collects and disseminates information about the social, cultural, economic and scientific activities of Hungarians, strengthening the ties between Hungarians living in their homeland and in the Diaspora.
     
  • 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 (www.hacusa.org).
Hungarian American Community Affairs
 
  • Attended the Second Regional Diaspora Meeting on March 11, 2017 hosted by Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi at the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, D.C.  Approximately 40 Hungarian American community leaders attended the conference, representing organizations based in the South and the Washington D.C. area.
     
  • Attended the official inauguration ceremony of the new building of the Embassy of Hungary in Washington, DC with Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó and Ambassador Dr. Réka Szemerkényi on March 21, 2017.
  • Hosted the Coalition’s Thirteenth Annual Gala Dinner on May 19, 2017 at the House of Sweden in Washington, D.C., under the Honorary Chairmanship of H.E. János Áder, President of Hungary.  This year’s honoree was 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).  For this occasion, the Coalition produced a video interview with Ambassador Foley; the full length version of the video is available at the Coalition website. At the Gala dinner, an award ceremony was also held to express gratitude to outgoing Ambassador Dr. Réka Szemerkényi for her dedicated and inspired service as Ambassador to the United States in 2015-2017.
     
  • Helped with the organization the “Hungarian Americans Together Conference X” held in the Washington, DC area on May 19-21, 2017 with the participation of more than 60 attendees, representing sixteen states as well as Hungary. The conference was co-organized by the American Hungarian Heritage House (AHHH), the Hungarian American Coalition and The Hungary Initiatives Foundation (HIF), which funded the conference.  Members of the organizing committee were Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice; Stefan and Erika Fedor, Founders of the American Hungarian Heritage House and Anna Smith Lacey, Executive Director of HIF.
  • Attended and co-sponsored the second annual Saint Stephen of Hungary Pilgrimage to the Our Lady of Hungary chapel on the day of Saint Stephen, August 20th, in Washington D.C. followed by a Hungarian Picnic.
  • Attended the 7th Annual Diaspora Council meeting on November 9, 2017 in Budapest at the Hungarian Castle Gardens.  More than 70 leaders and representatives of organizations worldwide participated, including over 25 Hungarian American attendees, many of which were Hungarian American Coalition members.  The Coalition was represented by Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice.
     
  • In November Mr. and Mrs. Stefan and Erika Fedor, Coalition board members and founders of the American Hungarian Heritage House, were honored with the Gold Cross Merit of Hungary (Magyar Arany Érdemkereszt).  The award was presented by Ambassador Dr. László Szabó, Ambassador of Hungary to the United States, on behalf of Dr. János Áder, President of Hungary at the new building of the Embassy of Hungary in Washington DC in recognition of their selfless support for educational, cultural, and personal bonds underpinning Hungarian communities across the United States.
     
  • Organized the traditional end-of-year Coalition events in Washington, DC.  The events include the annual Mikulás Dinner, and the Annual General and Board Meetings.  The keynote speaker at the Mikulás Dinner was Ambassador Kurt Volker, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations.
     
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