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Discovering Your Roots; 6th Biennial Masked Mardi Gras Gala

On Saturday, March 12th, we went to one of the programs that was part of the 2016 Spring Lecture Series at the Hungarian Museum in the Galleria.

When we first arrived we visited with Mr. Gabor Brachna whose father was once a minister at First Hungarian Lutheran Church in the Buckeye area. Mr. Brachna, himself, told us that he used to be involved with the Hungarian Development Panel whose mission is "to provide assistance and the exchange of ideas for Hungarian projects in the areas of commerce, education, health, and human services." He was very much looking forward to attending the annual "Paprika" celebration at the Ritz-Carlton that very evening.

IMG_8924On this day, the program was titled "Discovering Your Roots" and it featured three young of Hungarian descent talking about their recent trip to Hungary as part of the  "Re-Connect Hungary Program" which, as we were told, is "a birthright program aimed at young adults of Hungarian descent who consider themselves distanced from their heritage." These young people were Mr. Joshua Sturgess, Ms. Alexandra Petrulis, and Mr. Andras Boros all in their early twenties.

During their presentations, slides were shown as they talked about their experiences re-connecting with family, sight-seeing in Hungary and visiting historical places, meeting with governmental officials and business leaders, enjoying terrific Hungarian food, making new friends, polishing/learning the language, and growing more appreciative of their Hungarian roots.IMG_8936

As was written on one of the slides, "we consider learning about our heritage by going to Hungary...a fundamental and basic step in understanding the role we play and the connections we have with Hungary, both in the past and future. In essence, we consider it our birthright."

As the program was concluding, a person from Hungary who is living here in Cleveland rose and complimented the young people on their excellent presentation and said that they should now consider themselves to be ambassadors for Hungary. "Congratulations!" he said.

On Saturday night, Ms. Renee Holcomb from Key Private Bank, invited us to take part in the "6th

IMG_8939Biennial Masked Mardi Gras Gala, Where Revelry Meets Rock!" of the Western Reserve (OH) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated which is, as the notes in the souvenir booklet read, "an organization of accomplished, dedicated women whose purpose is to make a meaningful difference in the communities" they serve.

Altogether, the Links, Incorporated, "is a non-profit organization composed of over 14,000 professional, community-minded, affluent and influential women of color linked in friendship and service." The Western Reserve (OH) Chapter is one of three chapters in Ohio and it focuses on the arts, international trends and services, national trends and services, services to youth, and health and human services chapter.

Saturday's elegant affair took place at the Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park and contained vibrantly soulful music provided by "Shout" and at least three buffet tables providing a variety of foods.

Before the program started, we talked for a while about The Links, Incorporated and  the services that itIMG_8942 provides with Ms. Daisy L. Alford-Smith, former Health Director for the City of Cleveland who is a longtime friend of Ms. Margaret W. Wong.  We also got to say hello to Ms. Hardwick (who was glad that we were able to attend) and Ms. Lynnette Jackson, President of the Western Reserve (OH) Chapter.

During the program, several recognitions took place and a special award was presented to Recovery Resources which wa s accepted by Ms. Pamela Gill, its President and CEO.

We were glad to see that the souvenir booklet contained copies of citations for the Western Reserve Chapter from U.S. Congressperson Marcia L. Fudge, Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish, and Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson.

IMG_8940One of the speakers was Ms. Glenda Masingale Manson, 19th Central Area Director of The Links, Incorporated, who is quite familiar with the Mardi Gras since Louisiana is her home state. Ms. Manson said that the Mardi Gras were "a time of family, tradition and culture. It gives me a sense of pride to say just like the vibrant colors of Mardi Gras that were selected in 1892, with purple representing justice, green for faith and gold signifying power, the members of the Western Reserve (OH) chapter exemplify the steadfast principles of Mardi Gras by service to their family and community."

 

 

 

Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison, Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.

 

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