The Embassy of Hungary hosted the traditional annual Mikulás Dinner of the Hungarian American Coalition with more than 100 Coalition members and guests on Friday, November 30. The Master of Ceremonies of the evening, Endre Szentkirályi greeted the distinguished gathering and special guests, including the hosts of the event, Ambassador László Szabó, MD and his wife, Dr. Ivonn Szeverényi; the evening’s honoree and keynote speaker, Mr. Damon Wilson, Executive Vice President of the Atlantic Council; and Ms. Eszter Sándorfi, Head of the Department for NorthAmerica of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Szabó praised the excellent work achievements of the Hungarian American Coalition in order to help Hungarians in the United States to preserve their identity.
„Being an American and a Hungarian at the same time, I believe, this is a match nobody else can provide in the world. Building on your talent, your innovations, your history, the American competitiveness, the ingenuity of selling yourself: this is how you become better than the others. We have so much to learn from each other.
The synergies generated by the small differences between the Hungarian and the American cultures
are very unique”, said Ambassador Dr. László Szabó.
After the dinner, Coalition President Andrea Lauer Rice delivered her speech on the importance of the greater Hungarian community, and their opportunity to accomplish bigger things together. Mrs. Lauer Rice also shared the achievements of the Coalition’s recently renamed John N. Lauer Leadership Training Program (LTP), which teaches participants about the model of civic engagement in the U.S., and how they can replicate these efforts in their home countries. The dinner concluded with a traditional Hungarian Christmas caroling and a Mikulás toast from Coalition Chair Dr. Ágnes Virga and Governor George Pataki.