Andrea Lauer Rice Receives Honorary Proclamation for Extraordinary Service to Local and National Hungarian Communities
Honor was presented at Atlanta's First Annual Hungarian Winter Ball
ATLANTA - January 29, 2010 - Despite an uncharacteristic southern snow
storm, more than 150 Hungarian Americans turned out to enjoy the first
annual Hungarian Winter Ball in Atlanta, GA. Attendees enjoyed music,
dancing, ethnic folk art exhibits and presentations that focused on
cultural pride and historical preservation.
Highlighting the evening's celebration was the special recognition by
the Embassy of Hungary and the local Consular Section of three leaders
of the local Hungarian American community. Awards were presented to
Andrea Lauer Rice, president and CEO of Lauer Learning, Anne Lynch,
founder and organizer of the Atlanta Hungarian American Meet Up; and
Csaba Szilagyi, the reverend and founder of the Hungarian Community
Church of Georgia.
A proclamation was presented to each honoree by Hungarian Ambassador
to the United States Bela Szombati, who was the guest of honor, and
John E. Parkerson, the honorary consulate of Hungary, Southeast
Georgia. The three honorees were applauded for their "selfless and
tireless efforts to promote and preserve the Hungarian culture and its
traditions in Georgia and throughout the United States."
In her address, Lauer Rice, the Crown Sponsor for the event, thanked
the organizers and congratulated the entire Hungarian Community for
their part in establishing an active Hungarian American Community in
Georgia. She called it "a true grassroots movement and a great example
of what can happen when a handful of determined folks come together."
"Ten years ago there was virtually no Hungarian American community in
Atlanta. In just a few years, our community has been completely
transformed and is now on the nationwide radar. As a community we have
found ways to reach out to the next generation and teach them about
our Hungarian-ness. This is a challenge every Hungarian American
across the nations is grappling with - how can we pass it on," she said
The Ambassador told the crowd that he was more than a little surprised
when he was told that there was a growing and vibrant community of
Hungarian Americans in Georgia, not exactly a traditional outpost for
Hungarians in the United States. But, he said he was impressed to see
the level of activity in the community and applauded everyone's efforts.
Following the presentation of the proclamations, Lauer Rice said, "I
am thrilled to receive this wonderful award from Ambassador Szombathi
and John Parkerson. I am so proud of my Hungarian legacy to be a part
of this community where we continue to find news ways to strengthen
our roots and pass on our ethnicity, even if it is in a
non-traditional Hungarian enclave. It all fits in perfectly with our
mission at Lauer Learning - to teach about culture, history and
language and find ways to successfully pass on love of our heritage to
the next generation."
Among the evening's guests, local high-ranking Hungarians included:
Mayor Eva Galambos of Sandy Springs and Dr. Elizabeth Kiss, President
of Agnes Scott University.
The proceeds for the Ball, held at the Atlanta World Trade Center,
will be used to support future Hungarian cultural and educational
programs in Georgia.
Lauer Learning is a multimedia educational company that creates
interactive products to teach children about foreign language, culture
and history through experiential learning. Its Pass It On? program
identifies and creates new educational approaches and multimedia tools
to reach the next generation to help teach about ethnicity. Phase 1 of
Pass It On??focuses on Hungarian history, specifically the Hungarian
Revolution of 1956. In 2006, Lauer Learning launched: FF56! a
historically accurate, educational computer game for teens about the
Revolution; ?56 Stories?, a coffee table book comprised of personal
testimonials collected through the FreedomFighter56.com oral history
website and ?Hungarian Freedom Fighters of '56,? a historic graphic
novel about 1956. The next Pass It On? project highlights Southern
Culture and will include a book of historical and cultural facts for
kids 6-12, a community website, online game and Facebook application
that teaches about the many cultural and historic contributions of the
South. All Lauer Learning products are available for purchase through
the www.LauerLearning.com website.
The Hungarian Community Church of Georgia was formed to maintain,
promote and support the culture, heritage, language and religious
traditions of Hungarians in Georgia. The first church service was held
on April 11, 2008. The church was officially registered on December
31, 2008. The worship services are in the Hungarian language.
The Atlanta Hungarian Meetup Group was founded in and has over 290
members along and families! The group's purpose is to form an active
Hungarian community in Atlanta that will connect Hungarians,