Looking Back, Planning Ahead
The success of this year’s events makes us eager for 2017.
MANY OF OUR FRATERNAL events are winding down for 2016. What that means is we’re beginning to plan for 2017. As always, we are anxious to receive your suggestions and ideas.
In April, we hosted another successful bowling tournament. Everyone was kept busy with either bowling, gambling, eating or sharing fraternalism. What a fun event it is!
In May, we hosted the Calvin Synod for a dinner during their conference. Many of us attended their closing banquet the following day. The Synod will gather every two years. They are all such wonderful people. I will miss not seeing them next year. Congratulations to Bishop Csaba Krasznai on being elected Bishop during the convention. He and his family are members of WPA Branch 14 Cleveland. We are proud to call him our friend and super WPA supporter. Attending the dinner with me were Vice Chair Kathy Novak and her father Steve, National Directors David Kozak and Richard Sarosi, National Vice President-Secretary Jerry Hauser and his wife Debbie, and National Sales Director Bob Bisceglia and his wife Maria.
In June, WPA supported the Hungarian Festival in New Brunswick, N.J. What a wonderful festival! It took a downturn a few years ago, but is now back bigger and better than ever. It goes on for blocks and blocks. Vice Chair Kathy Novak and I visited the three wreaths donated by WPA that were placed in key locations. It was 100 degrees in the shade, but it was worth every minute. Thanks, Bob, for the canopy. So happy to see the festival become great again. I also want you to know that Hungarian was spoken more than English. Ethnicity is back in fashion. In addition to Kathy and Steve Novak, attending were Bob Bisceglia and Ursula Markovits.
In July, we hosted our annual golf tournament. We had marvelous weather, marvelous food and great people. On Friday, we had the annual scholarship meeting, Monte Carlo, Chinese auction, welcoming reception and lots of fun. We are looking for a different golf course for next year’s tournament. Again, suggestions are welcome.
Also in July, we were honored to attend the Calvin Synod’s youth camp and present a $5,000 donation from WPA. Without WPA’s support, many of the children there could not afford to attend. They were truly a great bunch of people. The ages ranged from about six up through the teens. The Bethlen Communities treated everyone to a barbeque like you’ve never seen. Thank you for the opportunity to visit.
From July 31 to Aug. 6, WPA hosted our renewed Hungarian Heritage Experience. It was held for the first time at the Sequanota Lutheran Conference Center & Camp in Boswell, Pa. We had a wonderful group that really kept their hearts and minds open to changes. I want to thank Chef Ursula Markovits, kitchen helper Jim Robertson, all-around helper Dave Kozak, and teachers Tamás Markovits and Emery Marcus. It does take a village. The graduation program was the best ever. Thanks to Bongo Tom, Mark Bolla and his coat, dancing instructor Linda Enyedy and all our wonderful students who performed all they had learned. The graduation was attended by most of the Board, their spouses and many Home Office employees. You don’t know how important an audience is. Our students were so proud to show what they had learned. I was like a proud mother. Can’t wait to see you all again next year. Don’t forget your fans and an open mind. We will continue to make as many changes as you request.
That pretty much brings you up-to-date on all we’ve done so far this year. In the near future, I will report on the Birmingham Ethnic Festival in Toledo, Ohio held Aug. 20 and 21, and the WPA Picnic held Aug. 27 in Hiram, Ohio.
On Sept. 6, many of us embarked on a wonderful trip to Austria, Croatia and Hungary. I was so excited to see many new places, but my favorite is always Budapest and the surrounding area.
In October, the Hungarian National Dance Ensemble will be touring North America, performing in a number of cities to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. See page 8 of our October issue for more details about the tour.
Also this month, the Bethlen Communities will celebrate their 95th anniversary with a banquet on Monday, Oct. 24. They have done so much good for our citizens. We wish them many more wonderful years.
The year ends with all your wonderful branch Christmas parties. Please do all you can to invite your members. People will attend if they know what a great time they will have. The Home Office and I are always available to help you.
Thank you to the Board of Directors, National Officers and Home Office employees for all your help and support to ensure these many events continue.
As I said at the beginning of this column, now we start again. We will always listen to your suggestions and answer your questions. Please call me anytime. I look forward to seeing you at all our events.
Much love and thanks!