Georgia's Hungarian Community is Alive and Well!
According to the 2012 Census data collected, there are nearly 20,000 Hungarians in Georgia! Currently, a number of organizations are active in the Atlanta area and hold regular events. Here is a brief history of the most recent community organizations and events...
- Anne Lynch, started the Atlanta Hungarian Meetup in 2004. There are currently more than 450 members and over the years, close to 200 meetups have been scheduled.
- Mayor Eva Galambos won her first term as Mayor of Sandy Springs in 2005. Her husband John is a Hungarian survivor of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. Galambos is a retired economist.
- Dr. Elizabeth Kiss was appointed eighth President of Agnes Scott College in 2006. Her parents were active in Hungary during the 1940s and 1950s opposing oppression from both the Nazis and Communists. Kiss has long been active in the Hungarian American community, including the NY Hungarian Scouts.
- In 2006, Lauer Learning hosted a multimedia exhibit to both commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 at Oglethorpe University.
- John Parkerson, the General Attorney of Delta Airlines, was sworn in as Honorary Consul of Hungary in Atlanta in 2007.
- In March 2007, Andrea Lauer Rice started the Hungarian Club of Georgia. For many years it supported events throughout the community and maintained an informational website.
- Csaba Szilagyi, Hungarian Minister, created the Hungarian Community Church of Georgia (HCCG) in 2008 when he first started holding monthly Hungarian-language church services at the Roswell Presbyterian Church.
- In 2009, a monthly children’s school was started through the HCCG. All classes are held in Hungarian. An amateur Folk Dance Group was also organized to perform at church events.
- The first Magyar Farsangi Bal (Hungarian Ball) was held in February 2010 at the World Trade Center in Atlanta, GA. This event is held annually and proceeds fund the Hungarian School.
- At the Hungarian Ball, local Hungarian American leaders Anne Lynch, Andrea Lauer Rice and Csaba Szilagyi were presented commendations for their work in the community by Hungarian Ambassador Bela Szombathi and Honorary Consul John Parkerson.
- In 2011, the Atlanta Hungarian Meetup was chosen as the local representative to the newly formed Hungarian Diaspora Council for Hungarian American leaders.
- For the 56th Anniversary of the 1956 Revolution, in 2012, the HCCG and Lauer Learning presented awards to 12 local '56ers for their heroism. The two groups came together to fund a book based on their stories.
- In 2013, the first Atlanta Hungarian Festival was held at Agnes Scott College. This annual event has a number of national and local sponsors within the Hungarian American community.
- In 2013, the Hungarian American Coalition and The Hungary Initiatives Foundation sponsored the Southern Hungarian Americans Together (HATOG) Conference in Atlanta, GA, at Emory University and Agnes Scott College. The event drew 65 leaders from across the South and started a number of collaborative projects among community leaders.