|AHF Celebrates 110 Years of Service|
11/6/2017 - AHF Celebrated 110 years of service to the community! AHF held its 110th Gala Anniversary of the American Hungarian Federation's incorporation in Cleveland Ohio, and over a century of service at the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, DC on October 21. The program was a nostalgic look back at the Hungarians' immigration to the US and the extraordinary service of many persons who came to the aid of those coming to their new home. The wonderful performance of the musical production entitled "Coming to America" brought tears to many of those who remembered the sacrifice and travails of leaving their homeland and coming to our land of peace and opportunity. Additional highlights of the evening were remembrances of 40 persons who made significant contributions to the Federation, and the 12 Awards for Service given to those who made major contributions to the Federation, and to the Hungarian nation.
Co-President Gyula E Balogh gave welcome greetings to the dignitaries and the over capacity guests from six states and the District of Columbia, Canada, and Hungary and described his memory about coming to the US at age 7, about his mother telling him that he is now an American but not to forget his Hungarian heart.
Board Member and Program Chair Zsuzsanna Dreisziger gave a moving message about the preservation of traditions and memories, about the power of belonging and working together, about determination and the will to do, about perseverance and faith that was needed by the founders of the Federation, and the necessity to provide a helping hand at times of hopelessness.
She then introduced His Excellency Dr. Péter Szilágyi, Deputy State Secretary for Hungarian Communities Abroad, Prime Minister's Office, who gave an erudite message about connecting the American and Hungarian communities, and presented AHF with a beautiful parchment commendation for the 110th Anniversary of the Federation from the Office of the Prime Minister, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Semjen Zsolt and State Secretary Potápi Árpád János.
Co-President Balogh then introduced Ákos L. Nagy President of the Federation, who greeted many of the dignitaries on behalf of the Federation as well as the three past AHF presidents who were at the Gala. He listed the many AHF member organizations whose representatives were present, and gave an outline of the Federation's mission which can be summed up as follows: preserve Hungarian culture and institutions in America, integrate newly arrived Hungarians into American society, foster good relations between America and Hungary, and speak out for the rights of all Hungarians in the Carpathian Basin, especially those in the successor countries.
The 40 remembrances were read by Dr. Imre Németh AHF Vice President, and Board member Zsuzsanna Dreisziger and with a beautiful display of 110 votive candles accompanied by two young Hungarian Scouts in Exteris.
The overall musical progam was designed by Ms. Zsuzsanna Dreisziger, with special thanks for contributions and performance to Laszló Hajdu Németh, Magyar Kálmán Jr, Áron Székely, Seres Zsuzsa, George Petrán, and Major Olga who provided a truly memorable experience and exquisite singing and folk music and who performed gratis.
Special thanks to AHF Board members Dr. István Horváth President of the Hungarian American Athletic Club, who paraphrased a moving letter from a Hungarian immigrant, and Paul Kamenar AHF General Counsel who gave a friendly welcome address to the immigrants.
Dr. Judit Kerekes, Professor at CUNY, gave the presentation "The Future Belongs to our Youth" and described the work of the American Hungarian School Association and the Hungarian Scouts Association in Exteris.
The Awards for Service ceremony were presented after dinner, first those who were no longer with us.The awards and acceptances are given below:
Gabriella F. Koszorus-Varsa
Dr. Hilberth Tamás
Evva András, American Hungarian Foundation for Youth and Culture
Dr. Szilveszter E. Vizi,
Dr. Kun-Szabó István
H.E. Ambassador Kurt Volker
Judit Csonka also read congratulatory letters from
Special thanks to:
Patrons: Dr. Miklos Toth, Dr. Atilla Toth, Katalin Kadar Lynn, Dr. Istvan Horvath, Imre Pakh, Ret. Brigadier General Peter Zwack, Anikó Gaál Schott and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
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The American Hungarian Federation® (AHF) (Amerikai Magyar Szövetség / AMSZ), an all volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was founded in 1906 in Cleveland, Ohio. The largest Hungarian-American umbrella organization in the United States, AHF is also among the oldest ethnic organizations in the country. AHF was established as an association of Hungarian societies, institutions and churches to "defend the interest of Americans of Hungarian origin in the United States."
Over the past 100 years, AHF's mission has broadened to include support of people of Hungarian descent on both sides of the Atlantic and in the successor states of the Carpathian Basin. The American Hungarian Federation strives to unite the American Hungarian community through work that supports common goals. AHF is a national, non-partisan, independent umbrella organization representing the interests of its member organizations and the Hungarian American community.
The 1907 Kohányi Szózat (Appeal)
“Amerika egy millió magyarja, nemcsak hogy követeljük, de keresztül is visszük azt, hogy Magyarország népénekugyanabban a szabadságban, ugyanabban az igazságban, ugyanabban a jólétben legyen resze, mint a mely szabadság, igazság, es jólét abban az Amerikában van amelynek lakósai, polgárai vagyunk.”
“We, America’s 1 million Hungarians, do not just demand, but will work to ensure that the people of Hungary may partake in the same freedom, the same justice, the same prosperity as we, citizens of America, partake.”
AHF 100 YEARS DISPLAY
Key Dates in Hungarian-American Diplomatic Relations: Diplomatic relations between Hungary and the United States were formally established in 1922, although unofficial contacts have been present ever since the War of Independence. Colonel Commandant Michael Kováts, a Hungarian nobleman is regarded as the founder of the American Cavalry, and was one of the first heroes to lay down his life for American independence near Charleston, South Carolina. Friendly relations between the two nations were further enhanced through Lajos Kossuth’s visit to the United States in 1851 – whose bust is one of the few foreign nationals present in the Capitol Rotunda. Kossuth was the second foreign national – after the Marquis de LaFayette – ever to be given the honor of speaking before a joint session of Congress.