Annual Mikulás Dinner of the Hungarian American Coalition Held at the Embassy

Publicated on: December 8, 2015

The Hungarian Embassy gave home to the 24th annual Mikulás Dinner of the Hungarian American Coalition. This year's guest of honor Zsolt Németh, Chairman of the Hungarian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, gave the keynote speech.

Close to a hundred members of the Hungarian American Coalition, as well as  friends, including: Ambassador Thomas Robertson and Mrs. Antoinette Robertson; Ambassador Kurt Volker, former United States Ambassador to NATO  and Executive Director of the McCain Institute, David Kostelancik, future Deputy Chief of Mission to the US Embassy in Budapest and Hungarian diplomats were present at the dinner. Hungary's Honorary Consuls to the United States: Mr. László Böjtös (OH), Mr. and Mrs. Philip Aronoff (TX), Dr. István Gergátz (FL), Mr. John Parkerson (GA), Mrs. Csilla Grauzer (MN), Mr. Chris Domeny (NC), Mrs. Eva Voisin, (CA), Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Bechara (Puerto Rico) in the United States, in town for their yearly meeting also participated in a joyful celebration of Hungarian-American relations. 

Ádám Apáti and Zsolt Pintér of Louisiana Double Photo: Kevin Allen - Hungarian American Coalition

The Budapest based Louisiana Double band's bluegrass inspired music provided entertainment for the evening. 

Ambassador Szemerkényi welcoming guests Photo:Kevin Allen Hungarian American Coalition

The Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Andrea Lauer Rice greeted guests and reflected on last year's events in her introduction.

Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi welcomed the guests as the host of the evening. She spoke of the importance of U.S.- Hungary relations and the crucial role the Hungarian-American community plays in maintaining it, also highlighting the vibrancy of the Hungarian-American community and the cultural achievements in the community in the past year. She announced a series of commemorative events for next year to honor the 60th anniversary of the 1956 revolution and freedom fight, remarking that it will be a fitting occasion to showcase Hungary's strong belief in freedom and the common values that link our two nations profoundly together.

Max Teleki introducing the keynote speaker Photo: Kevin Allen - Hungarian American Coalition

Max Teleki, President of HAC introduced the keynote speaker urging all to remember while no democracy is perfect, both Hungary and the United States are advanced democracies who share core universal values that bind us together. He went on to express his optimism about the United States, Hungary and Hungarian-American relations. 

Zsolt Németh delivering the keynote address Photo: Kevin Allen - Hungarian American Coalition

Zsolt Németh, Chairman of the Hungarian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee spoke of the strategic nature of the Hungarian-American bilateral relation in his keynote address. He emphasized that the importance of disagreements between Washington and Budapest have decreased and Hungarian-American relations are in better shape than they appear. Németh expressed his hope that after next year's presidential elections the United States will play an even more forceful role in global affairs. 

 Max Teleki HAC President and Zsolt Németh, Chairman of the Hungarian Parliament's Foreign Relations Committee Photo: Kevin Allen - Hungarian American Coalition