8th January, 2021
CROATS IN CANADA
The Government of Canada is contributing
$ 500,000 to Croatian earthquake relief
In response to the devastating earthquakes that hit Croatia a few days ago, fundraising efforts have been undertaken by members of the Croatian community (and friends thereof) around the world (including a number of campaigns within our own community in Canada). more
23th October, 2020
AMERICAN-CROATIAN UFC FIGHTER
Stipe Miocic: ‘I would love to fight in Croatia, I just love the country and being Croatian’
American-Croatian UFC world heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has held a Q&A with fans on Thursday on Twitter where he answered a number of questions, including some Croatia-related ones. more
24th January 2020
Pianist Robert Thies and flutist Damjan Krajacic explore new soundscapes
LOS ANGELES: Mindfulness music leader Real Music presents Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers, the pioneering third album in the award-winning Blue Landscapes series from internationally renowned pianist Robert Thies and flutist Damjan Krajacic. more
16th January 2020
Founding of Niagara Tesla Innovation Centre Marked by Croatian Tie
January 15th, 2020, marks the celebration of two historical events. The occasion of the international opening of the first Croatian EU Presidency and the founding of the TESLA INNOVATION CENTRE (TIC) in the City of Niagara Falls, NY.
Number of Registered Voters in Diaspora up 42 Times since Last Elections
The number of voters in the diaspora registered in the electoral roll and eligible to vote at the European parliamentary election on Sunday, May 26, has increased 42 times... more
ELECTED A NEW PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE BOARD
The National Federation of Croatian Americans Successfully Concludes its 22nd Annual Assembly; the new NFCA president is Mijo Radocaj of Ohio
The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA) convened on June 5th for its 22nd Delegates Assembly and annual Friday evening Wine Tasting Fundraiser. more
18th April, 2015.
2015 CONFERENCE ASSEMBLY
NFCA Announces Dates & Location of 2015 Assembly, June 6th, 2015 – Pittsburgh, PA
The National Federation of Croatian Americans is pleased to announce that it will hold its 22nd National Assembly at the Headquarters of the Croatian Fraternal Union in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 6th, 2015. The CFU is located at 100 Delaney Drive, Monroeville, PA 15235. more
PRESIDENT'S NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFEST IN WASHINGTON
National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) Provides Liaison for Visits to Washington by Croatian Members of
Parliament Attending the President's National Prayer Breakfast.
WASHINGTON,DC: During the first week of February, an important and diverse group of Croatian Sabor members visited Washington to attend the National Prayer Breakfast. The group was lead by Sabor Deputy Speaker Zeljko Reiner (HDZ). Others attending the breakfast with President Barack Obama and meetings with the US Congress included MP Domagoj Hajdukovic (SDP)....... more
SUCCESSFUL CROATS IN THE WORLD
Wande S. Radetti from New Yorka
Dynamic and agile travel professional and communicative, successful business woman, Wanda S. Radetti, owner and founder of the company VISITCROATIA.com- Tasteful Croatian Journeys, is one of our frequent passengers. The six-time Condè Nast Traveler Awardee as World Top Destination Specialist for Croatia (think the Oscars of the travel industry) has repeatedly been drawn back to Croatia, not only due to her work, but also her heart. We say back to Croatia because Wanda was born here.
Circumstances of life compelled the family to leave her birth town of Rijeka and move to the refugee camps of Italy while waiting to migrate to America. Permission
to immigrate to the United States of America was given to the family when Wanda’s father, a professional chef, was fortuitously offered a job in a restaurant in Chicago where he hoped to bring his family to start a new life.
Friday, 21st September, 2012
New York Red Bulls to Host Ever Croatian Heritage Night
The New York Red Bulls and Croatian American Charitable Foundation have teamed up to host the 2nd annual “Croatian Heritage Night” for the NY Red Bulls/NE Toronto FC match on Saturday September 29th, 7pm at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
Over 1,500 Croats attended the 2011 inaugural event and more are expected this time around.
Said John Peros, Board Member of the CACF, “We are thrilled that the Red Bull organization recognize and are supporting the Croatian Community in the NY Tri-State area.” It is estimated that there are over 120,000 Croatians that live within the NY-Tristate Area with an additional 50,000 that reside in the South Jersey-Philadelphia region.
Wednesday, 12 th September, 2012
NFCA Cultural Foundation 2012 Assembly of Delegates Successfully Convened in Cleveland”
WASHINGTON, DC: The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF) successfully completed its 19th Annual Assembly of Delegates in Cleveland, Ohio this summer. The many Delegates attending the Assembly represented Croatian communities from throughout the United States. Those states represented includedCalifornia, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the Washington, DC area.
Tuesday, 9th August 2011
NFCA Cultural Foundation 2011 Assembly of Delegates Convenes in Pittsburgh”
WASHINGTON,DC: The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA) just completed its 18th Annual Assembly of Delegates on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at the Clarion Hotel in Pittsburgh. The many Delegates attending the Assembly represented Croatian communities from throughout the United States - including California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and the Washington, DC area.
The NFCA’s schedule began on Friday, June 3, with a tour of historic St. Nicholas' church in Millvale. The church, originally a Croatian Catholic parish, features murals by famed Croatian American artist Maxo Vanka. The murals are well known for their depiction of Croatian immigrant life in the 1930s and 1940s and the integration of same into themes relating to war, justice, poverty, and peace. Those present were treated to an informative and entertaining tour of the church and murals by Mary Petrich.
The Saturday session began with President John Kraljic highlighting the NFCA's accomplishments during the past year. President Kraljic discussed the numerous high level meetings that NFCA representatives had with members of Congress and their staff as well as the US State Department’s foreign policy officials for SE Europe. President Kraljic also emphasized the efforts the NFCA have made with its ongoing advocacy on behalf of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as well as its criticisms of the recent action of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in connection with its findings concerning General Ante Gotovina and Mr. Mladen Markac.
The NFCA Treasurer, Jelena Rudela, reported on the past year's various contributions and the status of the budget with suggestions for improvement in the coming year.
Assistant Treasurer Zvonko Labas and Past President Steve Rukavina gave detailed presentations relating to their meetings with Croatian officials in Washington and in Croatia. Among other things, Mr. Labas discussed his meetings with the Diaspora representatives in Croatia’s Parliament (the Sabor) - including a March meeting in Zagreb with Sabornik Ivan Bagaric - and the Sabor’s pending legislative initiative regarding an enhanced relationship between the Republic of Croatia and its Diaspora.
Mr. Rukavina noted that during discussions with Croatian officials attention was especially focused on the ICTY verdict against General Gotovina and Mr. Markac, the situation of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a host of Diaspora-related concerns.
During the afternoon public session, Dr. Božo Ljubić - who is the Co-Speaker of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Parliament, Chair of the Main Council of the Croatian National Assembly of BiH in Sarajevo, and President of the Croatian Democratic Union 1990 (HDZ 1990 party), which is one of the two major political parties that represent Croats in BiH - presented his analysis of the political problems afflicting Croats in his country. He also highlighted recent unilateral political changes made by the Office High Representative to the Dayton Peace Agreement. These changes have had the effect of locking out Croats from maintaining any consistent and meaningful voice in the highest institutions of this county - despite being one of the three constituent peoples of this nation-state. He felt that there is only one truth, and that is political crisis has been a permanent state in Bosnia and Herzegovina ever since the Dayton Peace Agreement was achieved. Dr. Ljubic, together with his foreign policy advisor, Peter Kraljevic, engaged in further discussions on these issues with the Delegates both during and after the afternoon session.
The following speaker was the out-going Croatian Ambassador to the United States, Kolinda Grabar Kitarović. Ambassador Grabar Kitarovic was recently named Assistant for Public Diplomacy to NATO’s General Secretary Anders Fogh Rasmussen - one of the six top NATO deputies to the Secretary General in Brussels. The Ambassador provided a general overview of the positive state of Croatian and American relations noting a few areas that can be improved. These include the need to introduce a visa waiver program for Croatians wishing to visit the United States, matters related to double taxation and regulation of Social Security payments to retirees living in Croatia.
The Ambassador especially thanked the NFCA and its members for their support during her tenure in Washington. She also stated the hope that her successor will continue to work closely together with the NFCA on matters affecting the economic and political success of the Republic of Croatia. Newly elected NFCA President Vergot provided a suitable parting gift for the Ambassador - a personally inscribed copy of George W. Bush’s new book entitled “Decision Points”, which provides a superb history of the expansion of NATO during his Presidency.
Delegates also heard Mark Fatla and Mark Masterson of the Northside Leadership Council discuss their continued work on a private/public initiative to save St. Nicholas' Croatian Church in Pittsburgh, the oldest Croatian American Catholic parish in the United States. This project continues to remain an important legacy matter for the entire Pittsburgh region, as well as the country's Croatian Americans. Plans are to convert the church into a national immigration museum.
The public session closed with a report made by Joseph Foley, the NFCA's Public Affairs Director, who publicly thanked the Croatian Fraternal Union, the CFU's talented leadership and staff, and its signature publication 'Zajednicar' for its continued excellent coverage of matters affecting the Republic of Croatia and the entire Croatian American community.
Mr. Foley also detailed the many additional issues and events in which the NFCA has maintained a high profile in Washington and elsewhere over the prior year. These included: the May summit meeting at the Willard Hotel in Washington of an NFCA delegation with Croatian President Ivo Josipovic and his foreign policy advisors, the NFCA's letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighting the current negative economic and political plight of Croats in Bosnia, NFCA's publicly expressed concern and solidarity with other Croatian American individuals and entities over Cardinal Vinko Puljic's loss of a section of his Archdiocese residence in Sarajevo to former UDBA agent occupiers, the Capitol Hill reception for Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor while she was in Washington, and the current plans to ramp up the Congressional Croatian Caucus membership with the two new Caucus Co-Chairs for the 112th Congress, US Representatives Elton Gallegly (CA) and Dennis Kucinich (OH).
NFCA Delegates elected a new Executive Committee. Bill Vergot of Pennsylvania was elected President, Zvonko Labas of Maryland was elected Executive Vice President, Jelena Rudela of California was re-elected Treasurer, Anne Pavlich of Maryland was re-elected Secretary, and Mijo Radocaj of Ohio (a former NFCA President) was elected as an at-large officer. In addition, NFCA Delegates also elected three regional Vice Presidents: Steve Rukavina (Eastern VP from Philadelphia), Charles Stefanac (Central VP from Michigan) and Joe Cindrich (Western VP from California). Former President John Kraljic of New York will remain as a member of the Executive Committee in the post of immediate Past President.
The following were also elected to the NFCA’s Board: Ed Andrus (Pennsylvania), Joe Brigich (Pennsylvania), Julie Bubanovich (Pennsylvania), Tony Dizdar (Ohio), Frank Jerbich (Illinois), Jim Kresnik (Nebraska), Paul Kunder (Florida), Ed Pazo (Pennsylvania), Joseph Rukavina (Minnesota), Mario Spalatin (Florida), Michael Stempihar (Maryland), Tom Steich (Maryland), and Pamela Weigand (Pennsylvania).
On Saturday night the NFCA Delegates and guests were invited to a spectacular wine tasting and fundraising event held at the incredible home of Peter Karlovich and Steve Herforth above beautiful Pittsburgh on Mt. Washington. As in the past, they were most gracious in offering the use of their home for projects close to their heart, and they have always welcomed the NFCA. The evening was very successful and most enjoyable as all listened to the entertainment of The Trubaduri tamburica orchestra from Pittsburgh.
During the evening, the NFCA Presidential Medal, which had been awarded the previous year to Mr. Karlovich and Herforth, was presented to them. The NFCA also presented Certificates of Appreciation to Dr. Marion Vujevich, the honorary consul of Croatia in Pittsburgh, for his fundraising efforts on behalf of the Dora Foundation (resulting in over $120,000 being raised), to Ms. Nadine Bognar for her efforts in raising over $10,000 for NFCA and de-mining efforts in Croatia, and to The Trubaduri tamburica orchestra for their generous support in numerous fundraising events during Croatia’s Homeland War.
The entire NFCA organization would like to publicly thank and acknowledge the outstanding organizational skills of Bill Vergot who was this year's Assembly Coordinator. We would also like to acknowledge the invaluable work during the past year from NFCA Public Affairs Director Joe Foley, Executive Vice President Zvonko Labas, and National Treasurer Jelena Rudela - all of whom dedicated substantial amounts of time and effort towards running the NFCA's Washington area office and assuring the continued vitality of the NFCA. The NFCA looks forward to another year in promoting matters of importance to Croatia, Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and all Croatian Americans.
The NFCA is the national umbrella organization of Croatian American groups that collectively represents approximately 130,000 members. For additional public affairs information, please contact NFCA Headquarters by telephone or by email. For recent NFCA newsletters, important NFCA membership applications and chapter information, and other Croatian American news, please contact the NFCA.
National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA CF)
27th January, 2011
Letter to US Secretary of State Clinton regarding status of Croats and Catholic Church in the
Republika of Srpska (BiH)
National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation Issues Text of Letter to US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton Concerning Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Washington, D.C.) The National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA CF) released today the text of a letter from its President, John P. Kraljic, addressed to US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. In the letter, Mr. Kraljic expressed the NFCA CF's growing concern with the status of Croats and the Roman Catholic Church in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).
The NFCA CF had been motivated in part by a recent letter from Bishop Franjo Komarica of Banja Luka to officials of the Republika Srpska (RS) complaining about the apparent connivance of RS police forces with attacks on personal and real property of Croats in Bishop Komarica's Diocese. In his letter to Secretary Clinton, Mr. Kraljic further expressed the NFCA CF's belief that the subordination of the constitutional, political and economic rights of Croats in BiH has led both to the trampling of Croat rights in RS as well as elsewhere in the country. Mr. Kraljic specifically called on Secretary Clinton not to sanction any settlements concerning the future of BiH that may be reached between Serb and Bosniak leaders at the expense of the Croats and Catholics of the country.
The full text of Mr. Kraljic's letter is attached.
The NFCA CF is the national umbrella organization of Croatian American groups that collectively represents approximately 130,000 members. For additional public affairs information, please contact Mr. Joe Foley, Public Affairs Director, at (301) 294-0937, or NFCA CF Headquarters at (301) 208-6650. The email address is NFCAhdq@verizon.net. For recent newsletters, important NFCA CF membership application and chapter information, and other Croatian American news please visit the Web Site at www.nfcaonline.com.
National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA CF)
2401 Research Blvd, Suite 115
Rockville, MD 20850
PHONE: (301) 208-6650
FAX: (301) 208-6659
WEB SITE: www.nfcaonline.com <http://www.nfcaonline.com>
Monday, 29th November 2010
C. Michael McAdams (1947-2010)
In Memory of a Sincere Croatian Friend
Charles Michael McAdams, a historian, journalist, and true American friend of Croats passed away on October 29, 2010 in Sacramento, California. He was not known in Croatia until the fall of Yugoslavia, but his name was very familiar among Croats around the world long before those great historical changes occurred. He was not only known to us but became a fellow-member in our fight for freedom.
McAdams was born on May 8, 1947 in an American Marine base in California, where his father was an officer. He also served in the Marines, but he was more interested in books than in a military career, and after completing his military duty, he studied and graduated with a diploma in Historical Studies at the University of the Pacific, a well-known private university in California. After that, he received his Master's degree at the Jesuit run John Carroll University in Cleveland, where he also received a Certificate in Soviet and Eastern European Studies. He continued his education taking classes in Advanced Studies of Comparative Politics and Ideologies at the University of Colorado and at the University of San Francisco. After completing his coursework for the Doctorate in Education, McAdams became a regional director of the Sacramento campus of the University of San Francisco in 1979 - where he would remain until his retirement in the year 2000.
There is an old proverb that says that true friendships are not chosen, but simply happen. The same could be said of McAdams and his friendship with Croats. Namely, he is of Scottish-Jewish background and a Protestant by religion. He first heard about Croatia as a child because he was a stamp collector, and Croatian stamps came into his hands. But, when as a student, he began reading history books and listening to professors, he realized that everything he read and heard about Croats was negative. It was precisely the constant demonization of the Croats that made McAdams want to explore further and find out whether this was just a fog of deception as being presented by those who advocated the status quo or perhaps the laziness of researchers and professors who, instead of searching for the truth, kept repeating old clichés, or, if perhaps it really was all true. McAdams did not believe that history was really that black and white, and he wanted to dive deeper into Croatia's past. Then a chance meeting happened that would define his future academic career.
Namely, sometime prior to completing his studies, McAdams found himself on California Street in San Francisco. He walked past a European car dealership and noticed a small Croatian flag on one of the cars. He walked in and asked if any Croats worked there, wanting to make contact with Croats in the city. He asked that question precisely to a Croat, Mr. Zvonko Pribanic, a well-known Croatian in California. With that chance meeting, a lasting friendship with Zvonko and the Croats "happened." In his search for truth, McAdams came into contact with people whose only wish was that the truth about Croats be told, and a real alliance was born. As Michael read more and researched the "other side," he found out that what was being said about Croats was a myth and not reality. He then decided not only to find the truth but also to share it with others.
To better acquaint himself with Croatian history, McAdams continued his graduate studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland, where his mentor was Prof. George J. Prpić, and where he met and collaborated with other Croatian academicians in America. Upon returning to California, Michael became active among the local Croats there, and among other activities, he became one of the founders of the Croatian Information Service in 1974. The other founders were Petar Radielović, Zvonko Pribanić, and Damir Radoš. From then until the end of his life, McAdams did not cease to explain to Americans and others who the Croats really are and what they want. He wrote numerous books and booklets, a number of contributions in almanacs, and more than one hundred articles. One of his most popular books, Croatia, Myth & Reality, was translated into Croatian (Hrvatska - mit i istina) and other languages, and saw three English editions (1992, 1994, and 1997). He held many lectures, participated in seminars and appeared in TV and radio broadcasts. For years, McAdams prepared and led a segment called "Moments in Croatian History" on the weekly Croatian radio program in California. He was a member of the Association for Croatian Studies, Croatian Academy of America, Croatian-Latin American Institute, Croatian Scholarship Fund, and others. He was a guest lecturer at many universities in America, Australia, and in Croatia after its independence. For his services to the Croats, President Franjo Tudjman awarded him the Order of Danica Hrvatska with the image of Marko Marulić.
McAdams would often jump into "hot" subjects which certainly did not help him in his career, but as a true American marine, he did not give in to fear. He was not only of the belief that Croats had the right to freedom and independence, but he also enthusiastically joined that struggle. Many people were bothered by McAdams because they could not label him as an "Ustasha" child, a frustrated emigrant, or a mercenary. He openly and loudly spoke his thoughts and opinions, and did not ask for anything, and that gave him the moral strength to face the guardians and propagators of historical myths. McAdams could have (as many others did) followed the line of lesser effort, and he could have repeated what was written in many books, but he found the courage to research "the other side" of history. He never regretted that he "wandered" into Croatian history or for being among Croats. With his work he aided in lifting the fog over Croatian history in America and beyond, and by doing so he also aided in the fight for Croatian independence.
Many thanks to Michael for his sincere friendship to us who knew him and collaborated with him, and to Croatia and the Croats. The search for historical truth carried him to the Croats, and may eternal Truth be the reward for his inexhaustible work and great love for the Croats in America and their homeland.
Dr. Ante Čuvalo
Monday, 22nd November 2010
Croatian World Congress in Austria elects new executive committee
The Croatian World Congress in Austria elected its new executive committee last Saturday at a meeting held in Vienna.
Rade Lukic from Graz was elected president, while Ana Petrovic from Innsbruck and Ivan Roncevic from Vienna will serve as vice presidents.
Lukic was born in 1963 in Split and is an interpreter in Austria, as well as the president of the Austrian-Croatian Initiative in Graz. HSK is an umbrella organization of all Croatians and Croatian institutions that work outside of the homeland with goals to safeguard Croatian national identity, language, culture, customs and everything else that makes Croatians recognizable regardless of the continent on which they live. "We of course want to participate in the political life of our home country, like Italians, Turkish and Austrians do, for example," Lukic said.
Monday, 22nd November 2010
NFCA Cultural Foundation Leaders Meet With US State Department and National Security Council Staff in Washington
Washington, DC: A delegation of members of the National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA) met with the White House's National Security Council staff and several US State Department policy officials earlier this month to discuss the current status of relations between the United States and Croatia and to express their concerns about the ongoing problems faced by Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Led by President John P. Kraljic, the delegation also consisted of NFCA's Former President Steven Rukavina, Eastern Regional Vice President Zvonko Labas, National Treasurer Jelena Rudela, Croatian American Society of Sarasota President and NFCA member Mario Spalatin, and NFCA Director of Public Affairs Joe Foley.
The delegation initially met with Deputy Assistant Secretary Thomas Countryman, Croatia Desk Officer Nicola Verola, and BiH Desk Officer Michael Fooks at the US Department of State. Later, the delegation met at the White House Conference Center with Jeffrey Hovenier, Director for Central and Eastern Europe at the National Security Council, and Karen Richardson, Associate Director of the White House's Office of Public Engagement.
During both meetings, State Department and White House officials provided their views regarding current Croatian American relations, the domestic and international political status of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other issues concerning the new nation-states that emerged from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
In each case, there was unanimous agreement that relations between the United States and Croatia have continued their positive trajectory. A number of officials repeated their amazement at Croatia's recovery from being a war-ravaged country 15 years ago to a nation which has joined NATO, is a welcomed participant in NATO's engagement in Afghanistan, and has become a primary factor for stability and the growth of democracy in Southeastern Europe. Discussions concerning Croatia also focused on other general areas of importance to Croatian Americans such as trade and investment issues, visa waiver problems, and direct airline connections.
During both meetings, the NFCA delegation spent considerable time discussing their concerns related to the position of Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina. They particularly focused on the problems resulting from the thwarting of Croat political participation in the necessary political administration of BiH. As Mr. Kraljic later noted, "For too long the many important concerns of the Croats in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been ignored while the international community has attempted to resolve the constitutional, political, and economic problems of the country. The current constitutional structure of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina has led to Croats being unable to effectively elect an appropriate member of the Presidency that would be universally recognized as representing the interests of Croats in this state. We strongly urged American officials that they must insist on the active participation of all important Croatian political groups as well as the Catholic Church in any discussions related to reforming the structural basis of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
In keeping with such sentiments, the NFCA delegation reiterated its support for the territorial integrity of BiH but emphasized that such integrity requires that the Croats - as the smallest of the three constituent nations of the country - be treated equally with the Bosnian Serbs and Bosniaks currently running the state. As Mr. Kraljic later stated, "The lack of a political voice in the central organs of both the Federation and the country as a whole has directly led to the increased emigration of Croats from BiH. Without such a voice, we cannot be assured, for example, that Croat areas of the country will equally share in economic programs with areas predominately populated by Bosnian Serbs or Bosniaks."
The NFCA is the national umbrella organization of Croatian American groups that collectively represents approximately 130,000 members. For additional public affairs information, please contact NFCA Headquarters at (301) 208-6650, or by email at NFCAhdq@verizon.net. For recent NFCA newsletters, important NFCA membership application and chapter information, and other Croatian American news please visit the NFCA's Web Site at www.nfcaonline.com.
National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCA)
Wednesday, 20th October 2010
Association of Croatian Returnees founded
An Association of Croatian Returnees has been founded in United States.
"The essence of the idea is to represent and defend the interests of Croatian returnees as a part of Croatian society", Zdravko Belancic, the president of the Association told Croatian Times from Cleveland, Ohio in the United States.
"The idea of establishing this kind of association will help not only the diaspora but also all Croatian citizens in Croatia itself.
The association was founded in the small village of Bilice near Sibenik, Croatia where a small group of returnees first came up with the idea. The association was registered with the Croatian authorities in the county of Sibenik. About fifty people attended the inaugural meeting and have already joined the Association.
Association President Zdravko Belancic from Cleveland, USA, is also a returnee emigrant. He splits his time between the two countries and is therefore perfectly familiar with everything that is important for the Association.
For now the association does not intend to act as a political party or be activated as a new political force, but intends to represent the interests of all returnees, emigrants and their descendants, link them with each other on a global level and grow into a strong international association, in a network modelled after similar organizations in other countries.
"The association will cooperate with the Croatian authorities, and if it grows into a strong global network it hopes to be able to work on promoting the interests of Croatian emigrants and returnees, to defend their interests and the recognition of their rights, interests and opportunities in the Croatian legislation. At the same time the Association will work to promote the idea of connecting the Croatian Diaspora and Homeland in every sense: social, business, investment, culture, tourism, etc. croatiantimes.com
Monday, 11th October, 2010.
"Croatia's President Ivo Josipovic at UN, NFCA Leaders Meet with President"
Washington, DC: President Ivo Josipovic, who was elected President of Croatia in early 2010, traveled to New York City during late September to attend the annual meeting of the United Nations' General Assembly.
National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) President John Kraljic noted: "President Josipovic's visit to the UN General Assembly presents a platform for Croatian leaders to meet with other heads of state and government leaders. We understand that he was well received, and several members of the NFCA were pleased to meet with him during an issues roundtable at the Croatian Mission to the UN on September 24th, which was also attended by Croatia's UN Ambassador Ranko Vilovic, US Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, and New York Counsel General Marion Gubic."
Additional NFCA members in attendance included Vice President Zvonko Labas, Michael Young, Paul Kunder, Matthew Kraljic, and Public Affairs Director Joe Foley. They, along with Mr. Kraljic, discussed with President Josipovic and other Croatian government officials the work that the NFCA has undertaken with respect to issues of importance to Croatia and Croatian Americans during the past few years.
Prior to the issues roundtable at the Croatian UN Mission, several NFCA members were pleased to attend a concert by Mannes College piano scholar Mr. Javor Bracic at New York's Ana Tzarev Gallery - which opened in 2008 and is located at 24 West 57th Street. Croatian-born Ms. Tzarev is a prolific painter and sculptor. Her vibrant 'impasto' paintings and impressively large Gallery was a grand showcase for Mr. Bracic's special recital of President Josipovic's own composition, "Studio di Rondo," as well as works by Joseph Haydn and Frederic Chopin.
The Ana Tzarev Gallery staff were very attentive and helpful to the many Croatian American attendees who were able to fully appreciate the beautiful art work displayed at the Gallery with the President and Croatian diplomats after the concert. www.nfcaonline.com
Friday, 9th July 2010
"Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor is Honored by US Congressional Croatian Caucus at Capitol Hill Reception - NFCA Cosponsors Historic Event"
Washington, DC: On the honor of her historic visit to Washington, DC, during the week of May 24th, Croatia's new Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor was given a Congressional reception sponsored by the Croatian Congressional Caucus on Capitol Hill and the Embassy of Croatia in Washington. The National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) was pleased to be an official co-sponsor and helped organize the event for Ms. Kosor.
Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Kosor met with Vice President Joe Biden, US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Senator George Voinovich (R-OH), House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-CA), and several other House Members instrumental in European relations. In attendance at the Capitol Hill reception were members of the national leadership of the Croatian American community represented by the National Federation of Croatian Americans: NFCA President John Kraljic (NY) and his son Matt, NFCA's immediate past President Steven Rukavina (PA), National Secretary Bill Vergot (PA), NFCA Vice President Zvonko Labas (MD), Parliamentarian Tom Steich (MD), and Public Affairs Director Joe Foley.
Also in attendance for the Prime Minister were several NFCA board members and general members: Ankica Pavlich (MD), Slavko Yambrusic (DC), Tony Margan (VA), and NFCA's first National President, US Court of Federal Claims Judge Edward Damich. Several of the NFCA's Croatian American national leaders in attendance had time to meet and discuss the diaspora's concerns and goals with Madame Prime Minister Kosor.
The Congressional Croatian Caucus, organized in the US Congress in 2005 with strong support and guidance by the NFCA, had several Members of Congress in attendance. US Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) and Co-Chair of the Caucus, Rep. Peter Visclosky (D-IN), introduced the Prime Minister, the current US Ambassador to the US, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, and her excellent Washington diplomatic staff. Members of Congress who attended the packed reception in the Rayburn House Office Building included Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL).
Prime Minister Kosor also had the opportunity to address the Washington foreign policy establishment and academic communities with a speech sponsored by Johns Hopkins University's (JHU) foreign service school entitled: "Croatia's Role in Fostering a Euro-Atlantic Perspective for Southeastern Europe." The Senior Fellow at JHU's Center for Transatlantic Relations, Michael Haltzel, moderated the event and the related discussions.
by Joe Foley,NFCA
Friday,28th May 2010
"Oh-you're also Croatian?" Kurtis, Zorich & Kukoc.
who wasn't Croatian 17th May on Monday night in Chicago
The Croatian community brought out their big hitters on Monday night 17th May celebrating 170 years of Croatian history in Chicagoland.
The star studded event featured the awarding of the annual Pleter awards to former Bears player and philanthropist Chris Zorich, former CBS anchorman Bill Kurtis, former Bulls player Toni Kukoc, former "Apprentice" winner Bill Rancic, NY Giants lineman David Diehl, political commentator Mary Matalin & ESPN Radio 1000's announcer John Jurkovic.
The award was given to acknowledge each individual's contribution of promoting and preserving their Croatian heritage. "Who knew the voice behind Chicago's most famous anchorman was Croatian," said
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky as the addressed the crowd. Mayor Richard M. Daley also
spoke about the importance the city's immigrants, both 170 years ago and today.
The community also gathered to celebrate the launch of a new book "Croatians in Chicagoland" by former CNN producer and media guru Maria Dugandzic -Pasic. The book highlights a 170year span of historic contributions made to the City of Chicago by noted Croatians such as former Mayor Michael A. Bilandic, sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, basketball great George Mikan and other well known personalities mentioned above. The book includes over 100 Croatian organizations and over 1,000 individuals and family members who have contributed to making Chicago what it is today.
The program was kicked off by the Fox 32 reporter Anne Kavanagh, the Acting Consul General of Croatia in Chicago Renee Pea and the Croatian Ambassador to the U.S. Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
Mayor Daley received Appreciation Awards (piece of art and an engraved photo of him, his father and the late Mayor Bilandic from a Croatian event in the 1970s) from Croatian Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.
Mayor Richard M. Daley
"this city was built by immigrants , I see Father Joe at St. Jerome's, proud of their families, proud of their commitments to our families. They know who they are, they are very proud of their religious beliefs. You're grandparents came here to make a big sacrifict. AS we celebrate this.they never lost their heritage of what. That really makes immigrant. Yes you are proud you are immigrant.most people try to forget who they are. I know you're honoring the Bilandic family. To me, I had the privilege of knowing the family.the remarkable. I thank the Croatian community for who it is. The Croatians in 170 years. I
congratulate you and I'm greatly honored to be here.
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky welcome speech
"Cestitam na vasu proslavu. I am so proud to be here tonite as someone who represents the large Croatian community. Bill Kurtis.who knew? And all the other Croatians here who .. bring all the contributions of the Croatians to light."Clearly what a progressive country Croatia is when the Ambassador and the Acting Consul General are women!"
Miki Vucic Tesija, Croatian Bar Association, gives honorary Vinodol code award to the late Mayor Michael Bilandic.
".(talks about early Croatian Law) specifically of rights for women in 1288. (talks about Justice Bilandic). In 1969, elected as alderman of 11th Ward. In 1976, he was selected by the city council to serve as Mayor. In 1977, he was elected by the City of Chicago. Talks about the Chicago jogging path and the establishment of the first Chicago Fest, which was the precursor to the Taste of Chicago. He was Chief Justice. After leaving a true legacy of service. The late Justice Bilandic.never forgot his roots and his heritage. At a time when many people didn't know about Croatia.."Michael A. Bilandic..most importantly he was devoted to his family, faithful to his church and proud of his Croatian heritage. His life
story.even a little boy whose parents came from the villages of Croatia. Here to accept this
award is his longtime legal clerk Zekich.
Jan Botica Zekich, longtime legal clerk for Justice Bilandic.
Thank you speech. "I also witnesses. He was especially proud of his affiliation of St. Jerome's church.. Each year he took great pride in taking part in Velika Gospa. He considered it the Croatian "Yom
Kippur". During his last years on the bench, he was affectionately referred to as the
John Vodopic, director Croatian American Days Committee. He talks about the Pleter Award and its significance.John introduces Ivan "John" Jurkovic, award recipient. John speaks "...That's one thing Croatians do good is make kids. My parents left the former Yugoslavia..
In Austria, they stayed at a farmhouse..while there my si..if it wasn't for the act of kindness they received in Austria..it was that act of kindness that our parents taught us. They never cooked for just the 5 of us.they have.. It was the kindness of the Croatian community, open homes, open hearts. We would run home and watch Toni Kukoc.there were. When I saw David Diehl. I always look, I always check to see what the Croatian.
John introduces Toni Kukoc, award recipient. "I got no good stories. My family and I are proud to be Croatian and I'm proud to be a Chicagoan. Thank you".
Media Pros 24/7
Wednesday, 26th May 2010.
Croatians of Chicagoland
Chicago was once known as the "Second Croatian Capital." Lured by economic, political, and social freedoms, Croatians, like other immigrants, came to Chicago in search of the American dream. The first documented groups settled mainly in Pilsen, Bridgeport, and the South Side in the late 1800s. By the turn of the century, these immigrants toiled in Chicago's steel mills, meatpacking plants, and construction sites. They soon formed social groups, churches, schools, Croatian-language newspapers, and other infrastructure needed to support the expanding community.
Today there are more than 150,000 descendants of Croatian heritage in the Chicagoland area, and many of the foundations built by the forefathers continue to service the community.
Ivan Meštrovic´'s "Indian" sculptures still adorn Congress Parkway and Michael Bilandic´ remains in the history books as the only Croatian mayor of Chicago. Croatians of Chicagoland examines how this community and its leaders, clergy, laborers, politicians, athletes, benevolent societies, and social organizations helped build and shape Chicago's history.
Author Bio:Maria Dugandzic-Pasic was born in Chicago. Her mother was a first-generation Croatian whose parents emigrated in 1951. Her father arrived in the early 1960s from Bosnia-Herzegovina. As a producer with CNN, she has covered major news events in Chicago, Rome, London, Jerusalem, and the Balkans. She is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago and currently resides in Chicago.
publishing date: April,2010.
for order: www.arcadiapublishing.com
Friday,21 st May 2010.
CACF raises over $150,000 at 8th Annual Golf Outing/Awards Dinner
On May 17th, 2010 the Croatian American Charitable Foundation held its 8th Annual Charity Golf Outing and Awards Dinner at North Hills Country and Cherry Valley Club in Long Island, New York. Over 230 golfers and 60 companies help raise money to help the American Cancer Society, Doctors Without Borders, The Cam Neely Foundation and Croatian Mine Action Centre.
"It was our most success fundraising event ever", said Tomislav Nogalo, President of the CACF. "We are so grateful to have such a loyal group of people, sponsors and companies that participate in this event every year."
Considered to be one of the most successful Croatian based charities in North America, The CACF has, since 2003, donated over $750,000 to various charities throughout the world but has paid particular attention to the demining of Croatia. "Our golf outing has become an international event, with Croatians around the world joining in the festivities", said David Rosini, board member of the CACF
Some of the special guests this year included soccer legend Davor Suker, President of the Istria Region of Croatia Mr. Ivan Jakovcic and Croatian Consul General of New York Mr. Marijan Grubic. Two days prior to the outing Mr. Suker held a "Mini Clinic" for charity, with all proceeds benefitting the CACF. The event, held at the NYIT school in Westbury, was a tremendous success.
AUCTION AND RAFFLE A ROUSING SUCCESS
With donated items from New York Giants All-Pro Offensive Tackle David Diehl, IDC/Johns Manville and Davor Suker, the CACF was able to raise an additional $10,000 through a lively and entertaining auction that evening. Some of the items auctioned off were an all expense paid trip to see the New York Jets/Denver Broncos NFL game on October 17th, signed football and jersey from David Diehl and two signed National team jersey's from Davor Suker. Over 50 items were raffled that evening, including items donated by the New Jersey Nets of the NBA, New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer and the Long Island Lizards of Major League Lacrosse. New York City restaurants Arno, Murano and Triomphe also donated all inclusive dinner packages as well.
EMOTIONS RUN HIGH
The event hit an emotional peak during the presentation of checks to each of the charities when Matthew Sikeric came up to accept the donation to the Cam Neely Foundation. Matthew's brother, Joey, passed away due to brain cancer the previous year. This tragic event inspired the CACF to start donating to the Cam Neely Foundation on behalf of Joey Sikeric. "It was a difficult and emotional moment for us all when Matthew came up to accept our donation", said Tom Nogalo. "The time and effort put in by our volunteers and committee to make this happen really hits home when moments like this occur. It makes all of realize why we make the effort."
Monday,17th May 2010.
THE YEAR WAS 1903
Notes from the history of Croatians in Chicago
Croatians in the homeland and around the world quite often sing:
It was the year nine hundred and three,
When trouble befell our Croatia.
Hedervary raised the Hungarian flags
Trying to forcefully Magyarize Croatia.
Rise, oh ban, Croatia calls you, calls you,
Rise, oh ban Jelačić!
The above lyrics are an expression of a resistance to the oppressive rule of the infamous Ban Khuen in Croatia which culminated in 1903. In response to people's protests against the on going Magaryzation, Khuen introduced a wave of bloody terror that was heard around the world. Chicago Croatians held a mass-meeting on May 21, 1903 in order to protest the use of terror in their homeland, to express their support for the people in Croatia, and to collect money for the victims. The local Czech paper Denni Hlasatel/Daily Herald published the following report a few days after the meeting
PROTEST BY CROATIAN
Almost four hundred sturdy Croatians met in a hall at Center Avenue and 18th Street in order to protest against the licentious ruling of the Hungarian government and its henchman, the baneful Khuen-Hedervary in Croatia. Conditions there are known to our people from newspaper reports. Martial law exists in many towns today. The soldiers shoot people without mercy and whoever is arrested is tried and hung mercilessly. This is the reward of the Croats for having defended the Emperor and his government in 1848 against these same Hungarians, who today are oppressing them, and this because they are defending the rights given them by law. There are no rights in Austria-Hungary and as a Croatian student predicted: "There will be no rights for the Slavs in Austria until the hoofs of Cossack horses beat upon the market-square of Vienna."
The meeting of our Croatian brothers was dignified. The chairman was Mr. Juraj Mamek, vice-chairman, Ivan Bozic, treasurer, J. C. Jankovic, secretary, T. Lackovic, auditor, Stivelic. Before the meeting was called to order, voluntary donations were brought to the treasurer's table. It was impressive, the way those hard, callused hands contributed for the home-land, how willingly and how enthusiastically they contributed money earned by sweat and blood upon the altar of their Home-land. Each of them gave at least a dollar, though we know, that Croatians are mainly workingmen and that they have no wealthy people among them. In the meeting the following was accomplished: The resolutions committee, consisting of Dr. Biankini, Pavel Hajdic and Ivan Bozic, sent two telegrams; one directed to the National Defense Committee in Zagreb, calling on the brothers to continue , the fight for Croatian rights; the other to Franz Josef, present Emperor of Austria, in which he is called upon to put an end to the reign of the Hungarian monster in Croatia. By means of subscription sheets and at the meeting, a total of $355.80 and $51.00 for telegrams was collected since Thursday. Certainly a distinguished showing of the conscientiousness by our brethren.
One more word. It is our duty as Bohemians, to take collections for the benefit of our Croatian brothers and help them in their battle with the savage Hungarian hordes. Croatians live among us, associate with us, and participate in all our national undertakings. At the protest meeting, when martial law was declared in Prague, they took part in our meeting, spoke at the meeting and collected contributions for us. They celebrated Bohemian Day with us in 1893 contributing almost $1,000 for the occasion. However, it is now time that we show, that we sympathize with the unfortunate Croatian nation, which is being set upon, destroyed and murdered, and that as true Slavs stand with them.
A finishing thought
As this article indicates, Croatians in America and around the world have been always more than ready to help the people back home in their needs, especially at times of crisis, even when they themselves had very little. However, the ruling casts in the homeland, now and in the past, have too often misused their love for the homeland, have kept them as outsiders, even as enemies, or at least as hindrance to their selfish and misguided policies. Croatians around the world never asked nor do they ask today anything in return from the homeland. However, no one can stop them from loving the land of their ancestors and from being concerned for the fate of Croatia and its people.
from dr.Ante Čuvalo
NOTE: thank you to our dear firend dr.Ante Čuvalo.
Saturday,10th April 2010.
Davor Šuker to attend CACF Golf Outing in NYC
from: John Peros, NY
The Croatian American Charitable Foundation announced today that soccer legend Davor Suker will be attending the 8th Annual Charity Golf Outing and Awards Dinner on Monday, May 17th 2010 in Long Island, New York. This is the second consecutive year that Mr. Suker will be attending this event that benefits the Croatian Mine Action Centre, American Cancer Society, Cam Neely Foundation and Doctors Without Borders.
In addition, Mr. Suker will be hosting a special one day only soccer clinic on Saturday, May 15th 2010 in Long Island. All proceeds from this event will go to benefit the Croatian American Charitable Foundation.
"We are delighted to have Mr. Suker joining us again and supporting the CACF.", said Val Blaskovic, Chairman of the Golf Outing and founding board member of the CACF. Mr. Blaskovic further added, "Our foundation help many charities but pays particular attention to the removal of mines in Croatia. We are proud to help support this ongoing effort and will continue to do so until this problem is resolved."
Mr. Suker was recognized by FIFA as one of the 100 greatest soccer players in history and was named Croatia's "Golden Player" by UEFA in 2003. Towards the end of his playing career, Šuker opened his own football school, the Davor Šuker Soccer Academy, with training camps in the Croatian capital city of Zagreb as well as a couple of other cities. To date, he still puts time and effort into the youth academy which trains many young athletes with career aspirations. He also boasts a collection of rare special edition Harley Davidson motorcycles. In 2007 he established a micro brewery and a conjuncting pub selling only his own brand of beer, simply called "Davor".
The Croatian American Charitable Foundation ( www.croatiancharities.com ) is an accredited 501 C 3 organization that was formed by members of the Croatian American Community in the New York City area to support organizations, groups, and individuals in need of financial support.
The group is fully funded through the generous donations from individuals, companies and various fund raising events held each year. The foundation members are all volunteers and collectively solicit worthy causes to donate their financial support. The CACF has been proud to donate nearly $600,000 since its inception to various charities, including the American Cancer Society, Adopt-A-Minefield UNA-USA, Croatian Minefield Group, Cam Neely Foundation, Doctors Without Borders as well as many local charitable groups in the New York area. HIC-portal
Wednesday, 17th March, 2010
17th Annual NFCA Cultural Foundation Convention - Scheduled For May 15th In Monroeville PA - With Special Guest Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic
(Rockville, MD) The National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) Cultural Foundation 2010 Assembly of Delegates will take place in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, within the Greater Pittsburgh area during the weekend of May 14-16.
The NFCA Cultural Foundation President Steve Rukavina is pleased to announce that Ambassador Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic will be the special guest of honor at the Saturday, May 15th, NFCA Assembly of Delegates convention. It is ideal that the Croatian Ambassador will attend the special NATO Salute, Croatian wine-tasting and music extravaganza on Saturday evening at the home of Peter Karlovich - Saturday, May 15th - on Mount Washington in Pittsburgh.
The NFCA Cultural Foundation meetings will be held Saturday from 9:00 to 4:00 pm in Monroeville at the Doubletree Hotel at 101 Mall Boulevard ($ 99 hotel rate). Please call Doubletree at 800/222-TREE or at the local phone: 412/373-7300 and ask for the NFCA rate.
The NFCA delegates and guests will hear about and discuss issues including assisting Croats in Bosnia-Herzegovina, supporting the Republic of Croatia's effort to create a Ministry dedicated to the worldwide Diaspora, business initiatives in Croatia, and several projects to involve younger Croatian Americans in many international Croatian-related activities.
National President of the Croatian Fraternal Union, Mr. Bernard Luketich, will host an open house on the afternoon of Friday, May 14th, at it's national headquarters and all delegates are invited to visit the CFU museum-like facility to enjoy all the unique Croatian culture and history on display there. Also, the Pittsburgh Folk Festival which highlights the culture, history, and music of thirty nationalities including Croatia will be held all weekend across the street from the convention hotel at the Monroeville Convention Center. The theme for this Folk Festival is "Unity in Diversity " and will showcase and highlight 25 ethnic food booths of many East and Central European nationalities all weekend. The Rankin Junior Tamburitzans will be performing Croatian music on that Friday night, too.
Please contact Jelena Rudela at the NFCA office at NFCAhdq@verizon.net
or at the NFCA office phone: 301-208-6650 or cell: 714-271-7756. Please let us know via e-mail if you are interested in attending the Saturday night event and there will be only a limited number of $100 tickets. Mr. Bill Vergot, NFCA National Secretary, is the local Pittsburgh contact for all convention-related questions. All NFCA dues paying members and organizations are invited to participate in this Assembly of Delegates meetings or to join us in Pittsburgh Saturday night for one uniquely festive Croatian wine tasting and celebrating the one year anniversary of NATO membership for the Republic of Croatia. Please send an e-mail to Steve Rukavina for any convention delegate membership questions at
Tuesday, 16th March, 2010
Collecting funds for the purchase of an endoscope to Mostar Clinic in Bijeli Brijeg, Mostar
Croatian Woman- Branch 1, Chicago, a charity organization, in cooperation with all Croatian parishes in Chicago, has undertaken a fundraising drive for purchasing of the much needed endoscope/bronchioscope/colonoscope equipment for the pediatric department at Mostar Clinic, Bijeli Brijeg, Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The project was initiated by Dr. Daniela Kraljevic, the pediatrician at Mostar hospital, who saw the necessity of the equipment for this hospital, that is very crucial in treating children in Hercegovina, as otherwise would have to be sent to other cities like Sarajevo, Split or Zagreb.
Please, send your donations to
2241 N. Janssen
Chicago, IL 60614
You can also donate with your credit card through their website
It is secured payment through PayPal
If you are here in Chicago, please, join us for the 20th traditional Palm Sunday Luncheon fundraiser, March 28th, at Croatian Cultural Center, 2845 W. Devon, Chicago, IL , starting at 1:00p.m. Ticket at the door is $ 30. You can also give your extra donation for Mostar clinic at this occasion.
For further information please contact:
Thank you so much, and may God bless you for your good heart and for your help,
By giving you allow for the Holly Spirit to move throughout the world with gratitude, which blesses many lives and comes back to you manyfold.
for Croatian Woman-Charity Org.
P.S. Enclosed are the letters of correspondence with Dr. Kraljevic and Croatian Woman fundraiser plea letter.
Please, spread this e-mail freely to your contacts.
Thursday, 11th March 2010
Not-for-Profit Organization - Croatian Scholarship Fund -Receives Official Letter of Recognition from Croatian National Government
San Ramon, CA - March 9, 2010 - The Croatian Scholarship Fund (CSF) has received a letter ofrecognition from Radovan Fuchs, PhD Minister of Science, Education and Sports for the Republic ofCroatia. The Ministry of Education that Minister Fuchs leads is the department of thegovernment that guides the education system of Croatia. The following except from Minister Fuchs' recognition letter speaks to the mission and the dedication of CSF towards the students of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina:
"On behalf of the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, I would like to
congratulate you on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Croatian Scholarship Fund. Through its dedicated work and selfless endeavors..., CSF has shown an incontestable vision of progress, sincere responsibility for its homeland, true love for its people as well asa community spirit and social maturity by becoming the biggest Croatian-American organization for supporting gifted students in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina,..."
CSF President Marijana Pavic was quite appreciative and moved by the letter of recognition from the Croatian Government. President Pavic was quoted as saying, "I am very pleased to forward this recognition letter from the Croatian Minister of Education, Mr. Radovan Fuchs to all members of the CSF. This is a wonderful letter that honors every officer, director, benefactor, contributor and friend of CSF from its beginning. The true legacies of CSF are the wonderful young men and women we support and will continue to support. We are so pleased to see the alumni of CSF entering Croatian society and making a difference in the future of our beloved homeland."
The Croatian Scholarship Fund is holding its 20th anniversary celebration on Saturday, March 13, 2010 at the Croatian American Cultural Center (CACC) in Sacramento, California. More than 250 dignitaries, members of CSF and guests are expected to attend the celebration. Among those confirmed to attend:
. The Honorable Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović Croatian Ambassador to the United States
. The Honorable Ilija Želalić Croatian Consul General Los Angeles
. Mr. Tony Butala the founder of the Lettermen singing group
. Mr. Krist Novocelic the co-founder and bassist of the rock group Nirvana
. Ms. Sandra Loncar current CSF student - studying to be an architect
The event is expected to sell out, but a limited number of tickets are still available for purchase. Tickets are priced at $75 per person and include an evening of entertainment, an open bar, fine wine, appetizers, gourmet dinner and dessert. To RSVP for this event, please contact - Mr. Mike Zupan at 916-489-0339 or Ms. Vesna Brekalo at 925-556-6263.
The Croatian Scholarship Fund was established in late 1989 in the San Francisco Bay Area by a group of Croatian Americans for the purpose of providing university scholarships for Croatian students who could not otherwise afford a higher education. In 1991, as a direct result of the war and devastation in Croatia, CSF and its Board of Directors became deeply concerned about the severe impact this war would have on future generations as the country began to rebuild.
The sole purpose of CSF is to provide financial scholarship aid for Croatian students from Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to attend universities in Croatia. CSF's mission is to raise funds in order to provide scholarships to help educate young, bright and needy Croatian men and women who will someday become future leaders in medicine, agriculture, transportation, technology, economics, law, engineering, political science, education, and other academic fields.
With this goal in mind, CSF's Executive Board established rigid academic standards for admission into the program in an effort to select the most promising students who would someday become qualified leaders to help Croatia establish and maintain a free democracy and a sound enterprise system. This would enable Croatia to become more competitive in the global world economy as we enter the 21st century.
About Croatian American Cultural Center
The Croatian American Cultural Center in Sacramento, California is a non-profit organization. Its mainpurpose is to promote the Croatian name to the local and surrounding communities as well as to preserve and endear the Croatian culture for future generations.
Monday, 30th November 2009
Croatian educational centre opens in Stuttgart
A Croatian education and cultural centre was opened in Germany.
The centre in Stuttgart is designed to bring together teachers and coordinators in Baden-Wuerttemberg where 2,305 students and 31 teachers are involved in teaching Croatian.
The new 230-square metre centre, which was opened by Ivana Puljiz, Head of Directorate for International Cooperation, Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, features offices, a staff room, and an archive with plans for a new library.
Centre managers said apart from Croatian language teaching the centre would also host cultural events. (www.croatiantimes.com)
Tuesday, 10th November, 2009
Some 40,000 Croats in Italy returning home
Some 40,000 Croats working in Italy are being forced to return home because of the financial crisis.
The daily Slobodna Dalmacija reported today (Mon) most of them had lost their jobs and had no other choice than to return home to Croatia.
The Italian unemployment rate has risen to 8.9 per cent, and wages have dropped drastically.
Only around 25,000 Croats are working legally in Italy. The rest work illegally, which makes their position even worse considering that they have no right to a pension.
The average salary for a Croat in Italy was around 1,000 Euros before the financial crisis and has dropped to 500 to 600 Euros. (www.croatiantimes.com)
Monday, 9th November, 2009
Croatian scientist Ivan Djikic wins
Ivan Djikic, a Croatian scientist and professor at the Institute for Biochemistry at Goethe University and CEF (Cluster of Excellence Frankfurt) Institute, has won the prestigious "Sir Hans Krebs" award.
The award is given by Hannover Medical School for discoveries on the field of bio-medicine.
It was begun in honour of Sir Hans Adolf Krebs, a German-born British physician and biochemist who received a Nobel Prize for the Krebs cycle in 1953.
Djikic was awarded for his co-discovery of protein Rpn13. He and his Croatian colleague Koraljka Husnjak announced their discovery of the new protein in an article in scientific journal "Nature".
It may prove useful in efforts to combat cancer and neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
Djikic said he would donate part of his 10,000 Euro award to non-governmental association "Civitas." (www.croatiantimes.com)
Jottings from the History of Croatians in America
In ancient times, heroes were honored as demigods, and for one to die a heroic death in battle was to enter into the immortal halls of fame. Today we consider a person to be a hero who unselfishly risks, or loses his life for another, for one's neighbor. But who is my neighbor? Keep in mind the teaching from the New Testament-every man is my neighbor.
True heroism is not something that is planned; rather, it is something that takes place under difficult circumstances as presented by life. Heroic moments are those that for some mysterious urge within us surface out of love for others-those in danger or need. The seed for such love is found in all of us; however, only a few are prepared to risk all-even one's life for others. All difficult and weighty moments throughout human history produced their heroes and heroines. Such men and women lived in the past, live today, and will live into the future as well; however, many of them were left unnoticed, while others were totally forgotten.
At this juncture, I will remind us of a hero, a Croatian from Chicago who has long since fallen among the forgotten, yet, the Croatians in this metropolis nearly some one-hundred years ago were most proud of him. The citizens of Chicago-at least for a brief while-spoke of him, stood in awe of him, and considered him to be a true hero of his city.
The man, the hero, the Croatian of whom we speak was Vinko Gecan.We know the following facts about his life: He was born on the 5th of April, 1862 in a place called Praputnjak, in the Primorsko-goranska county of Croatia. His family consisted of six brothers and two sisters. He did his military service in the navy in Pula, and subsequently (1884) set out into the world seeking a more stable existence. Having arrived in Chicago, he took a job laying surface-lines tracks for the Chicago Union Traction Company. The job was toilsome and life was hard, but one at least made a bit of money. After three years in America, Vinko returned to his place of birth and after a brief period of time, he found himself engaged to be married. He did not want a life's partner "by mail order." He sought a mate for sake of love. Prior to his return to Chicago, Vinko married Uršula Štiglić, and celebrated his wedding feast in his native town surrounded by his closest friends and relatives. His young bride remained behind in her native Praputnjak, and gave birth to their son, Stephen. Vinko continued to look after her with great care and devotion from far-off America.
Vinko's employers quickly saw that he was an exemplary and responsible man and worker, and, as a result, they promoted him to the rank of assistant-foreman and later as foreman in charge of a group of Croatian and other emigrant laborers. He made sacrifices and soon learned English quite proficiently. He did what he could to help his own Croatian workers as well as others. He offered them good advice and recommended their promotion to better jobs. He was truly a man of character who was respected by his fellow workers as well as by his employers. The year of 1890 was one of especial joy for him inasmuch as his family was finally gathered together: Uršula and his son Stephen arrived in Chicago.
Vinko was also quite active in the Croatian Community in Chicago. This was a time of massive immigration of Croatians to America. The social needs were therefore great, and men soon began to organize so as to help one another overcome the difficult circumstances of their life in a foreign land. Vinko was among the organizing members of the society known as "Hrvat Primorac," [Croats from the Croatian Littoral], which later became Lodge One of the Croatian Union of Illinois, that is, Lodge 53 of the Narodna Hrvatska Zajednica [Croatian National Union], which later came to be known as Hrvatska Bratska Zajednica, [The Croatian Fraternal Union].
Meanwhile, a deep humanitarian impulse was evident in Vinko Gecan-one that even transcended his deep love for his family, for his fellow laborers, or even the society that he belonged to-a love that was even greater than the love for his own life. He faced death three times in his life so that he might save his neighbor. Sadly, the third time that he faced death; he heroically gave up his own life while saving that of others.
One cold day in 1896, Vinko oversaw the work being done to replace the surface-line tracks over the North Avenue Bridge crossing the North Branch of the Chicago River. A child had somehow fallen into the North Branch. Having fallen from a great height, he broke the river ice below and disappeared from view. Vinko did not wait for the police or firemen rescue squads to arrive-instead, he jumped into the water with his coat and boots still on and saved the six-year old child. Once again in 1901, Vinko placed his life at risk. A near-by house to the site he was working at that day caught on fire-better said, a poor man's house. Once again, our Vinko did not wait for help to arrive. He sprung into action. He entered the house through thick smoke and fire and saved a woman and child from certain death as was later stated in the daily newspapers of the time.
Vinko's third encounter with the risk of his life unfortunately did not have a happy ending: he lost his own life saving that of others. The Chicago Tribune, dated 25th of January, 1916 ran a story telling of the awful tragedy which took place the day before. The passenger train operated by the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul railroad line was fast approaching the crossing at Lawrence Avenue at a speed of 40 miles per hour. Vinko and his fellow workers were re-building the surface line track nearby. The Tribune goes on to say: ".the train bearing down at 40 miles an hour.caught the rear end of the streetcar. Parts of the car were thrown fifty feet. A gang of fifteen laborers was repairing the Lawrence Avenue track and four of these were hurt by the flying wreckage." The Tribune report goes on to speak of our Croatian hero, Vinko Gecan, as follows: "Vincent Gecan, foreman, saw the approaching train. He jumped on the rear platform of the streetcar and urged the passengers to go forward. Most of them did so, but Gecan's efforts to save their lives cost him his own life. Gecan had saved lives in Chicago before. He jumped from the North Avenue Bridge over the north fork of the Chicago River in 1896 to save a 6 year old boy who had fallen trough the ties. He landed on the ice floe and broke through it, with an overcoat on him, but he brought the boy to safety. Fifteen years ago, he rescued a woman from burning to death."
Vinko tragically, but heroically died out of love for his fellow man. Thanks to Vinko's unselfish act of heroism, only one passenger on the streetcar died.
Vinko was buried on the 27th of January, 1916. His funeral Mass was said in St. Jerome Croatian Catholic Church on 28th and Princeton Avenue, in Chicago. The celebrant of the Mass was the Franciscan Father, Leon Medić. The funeral cortege leading to Mount Olivet Cemetery was impressive by any standards. We read that the President of the Chicago Surface Lines [later to become The Chicago Transit Authority], spoke eloquently of Vinko saying that he was "a gem of a man." On the impressive monument placed on his grave, the phrase "Our Hero" is inscribed into the granite stone as a lasting remembrance of Vinko Gecan's humanitarian love for his fellow man.
We Croatians have a long list of heroes in our past; however, we seem to forget them all too easily-even those who are still alive among us-in the same manner that we do not seem to regard our recent, much less, our past history. This is why I herein remember a man whose name we will not find in history books or bibliographic encyclopedias. Nonetheless, he was a real hero who gave his life so that others might live-for those that he did not even know. There are gifts we give that ultimately cost us nothing; however, to give one's life for others is an incalculably heroic and priceless gift. Despite all, Vinko Gecan, even today, is "Our Hero"-one whose name is woven into the historical fabric of our Croatian and American people.
As an aside, I mention that Vinko's son, Stephen, grew to manhood and married Rosalie Zielinski in 1914. They had three children: Flora (1914), Vincentia (1916), and Vincent (1920). What became of them and their progeny? It seems, God alone knows.
Ante Čuvalo - Chicago
(Trans. by Duško Čondić-Chicago)
Monday, 13th. October 2008
Croatians in America
Renowned Awards-winning Springboard Diver
We all viewed this past summer's Olympic Games eagerly. We stood in awe of the charming presentations at the opening and closing ceremonies. A manifestation such as that can only take place in a land overflowing with hundreds of millions of citizens and in a land with a political system wherein all must "dance" to the tune set by their political leaders. Nonetheless, our true sense of awe must go to the athletes who, day in and day out, year after year, perfected their talents and managed to achieve the pinnacle of success.
Croatians, both in the homeland, as well as those throughout the world have ranked and continue to rank among the best in sports. All too often, they are listed among the athletes of other nations, including those that one time or another occupied Croatian lands, nonetheless, their successes do honor to the people from which they come.
One of the most successful athletes in America and the world on the three-meter springboard and the ten-meter platform was an American-born Croatian named Helen Crlenkovich, or, as she was lovingly known, "Klinky." More than likely you have never heard of Helen "Klinky" Crlenkovich, or else, if you did, you know precious little about her. What follows are but a few highlights of this Croatian-American's fantastic athletic career.
Helen was born on the 14th of June, 1921 in Columbus, Ohio. Her father was Adam Crljenković and her mother was Anka/Ana Tomin. Adam was born in Banićevac, Croatia and arrived at Ellis Island on the 18th of July, 1912, when he was only 17 years old. Her mother Ana Tomin was born in Petrijevci, Croatia and arrived in America along with her father, Josip/Joseph, who was 43 years old at the time. Whether or not her father was a widower at the time, has long since been lost to memory. Meanwhile, we do know that Ana's brother remained behind in his place of birth. Ana visited her brother sometime in the 60's.
In the early 1930's, during the time of the Great Depression, the Crljenković family lived for a time in New York state. It isn't quite sure when or for what reason, but Ana and her two daughters, Katharine (Kay), and Helen, moved to Cold Springs, near Syracuse, New York. Ana set up a boarding-house to take in boarders providing them with room and board as was quite customary at the time.
From early on, the desire to swim drew young Helen. This became her ideal and goal in life. Her mother Ana not only approved of this goal, but did all she could to foster it, regardless of the sacrifices required. She wanted to help her younger daughter to fulfill her dreams. With that in mind, Ana set out for San Francisco with her 12 year old daughter to capture that dream. She wanted Helen to have the opportunity to partake of the very prestigious "Fairmont Plunge," an indoor swimming pool, in the equally famous Fairmont Hotel. Phil Patterson, a most-renowned swimming coach of the time, became her trainer. In order to make Helen's dream possible, Ana left behind her daughter Kay in a boarding school in New York state so that she could devote full time to her daughter's swimming career. Sometime later, Kay arrived in California to be with her mother and sister. In time, Kay married Don Peterson, a noted water polo athlete. Despite the fact that Ana's efforts were not realized with ease or free of sacrifices, she, nonetheless, turned those efforts to a magnificent success.
With her acceptance as a participant in the "Fairmont Plunge," Helen began to train for her swimming career. Early on, her trainer urged her to take on diving as a career. Along with her daily routine and practice, Helen successfully completed her schooling at Mission High School, in San Francisco. She went on to the City College, and subsequently finished her schooling at the University of California at Berkeley. Of course, Helen had to work throughout her schooling in order to survive. At that time, athletes were true amateurs and, as such, did not receive any sort of stipends or collateral earnings as sports figures, nor did she have any "sponsors" as is the case today. She worked quite a while at the reception desk of the Fairmont and also did photography so as to earn the money necessary to further her career. Despite the time devoted to work, Helen, nonetheless, remained an exemplary student. The goals she set for her life were high, her will and desire to achieve those goals were equally high, and her successes, as a result, did not lag behind.
In order for us to get a full and true picture of this young woman, it is necessary that we mention that along with her training, scholastic career, and her working, Helen also managed to forge new pathways for her feminine gender as well. While attending City College, Helen applied for pilot training. She was accepted by the Civilian Aeronautics Commission as a pilot-in-training. What is especially noteworthy, Helen was the only women in that program. She began her pilot training at the end of 1939, and by the 17th of January, 1941, she received her pilot's license.
All who knew Helen describe her as a beautiful, loving, and humble young woman and wife-one who was filled with the love of life, who was self-confident, and filled with overflowing optimism. Clearly, she was a capable and brave young girl who was convinced that women can achieve all that a man can if given the chance. Our Helen did not wait for someone to offer her the chance-she created and grasped the chance herself. She also charted her own course and managed to achieve, through great effort and energy on her part, all of her life's goals.
From 1935 onward, Helen partook of many swimming contests, especially in the ten-meter platform and the 3-meter springboard diving. Her best years in such events began in the late 1930's. She not only became the best American, but also the world springboard and platform diving champion. She was the first female to do a full-twisting 1 1/2 somersault and several other dives that were heretofore only achieved by men. Helen was chosen to represent America in the 1940 Olympic Games. All concerned felt that Helen would achieve two gold medals as a minimum. However, because of the onset of the Second World War, the games were cancelled. For the same reason, the 1944 Olympic Games were also cancelled. Sadly, Helen missed out on what would have been certain gold medals because of the circumstance of war. Despite this, she was seen as the Queen of springboard diving, nonetheless. The war suppressed all sorts of sports activities, and Helen, along with countless others, gave herself to the war effort. During this period of time, Helen married an American naval officer, Robert Drew Morgan, who was born in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. Helen was able to return to her beloved sport in 1945 and ended up winning first place in the American three and ten meter diving competition.
Following this success, Helen turned professional. Among other accomplishments, Helen was noted for her appearance in many Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer "swimming" films-especially those of the screen darling of the time, Ester Williams. Helen was William's double in many of the springboard dives, most notably in films such as "Neptune's Daughter," "Million Dollar Mermaid," and the 55 foot dive from a helicopter into a 'V' formation of water skiers in "Easy to Love." She swam the underwater scene for Jane Russell's dive in "Jungle Jim." She also performed with Larry Crosby and Buster Crabbe Aquacades. Her husband Bob also appeared in a number of films either as a stuntman or actor in minor roles. Helen's successes brought her much fame and recognition, including being enrolled in the International Swimming Hall of Fame located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She was also honored by being inducted into the Helms Foundation Diving Hall of Fame in California. This past September, Helen received post-mortem recognition by the World Acrobatic Congress held in Las Vegas for her life achievements in swimming and diving.
An interesting note as regards Helen Crlenkovich's fame is the honor paid to her by the great muralist, Diego Rivera, in his composition titled "Pan-American Unity" located in San Francisco. Rivera used Helen's image as a representation and metaphor for "time and space."
Sad to say, Helen was called to Eternity all too soon. She was but 34 years old when she died on the 19th of July, 1955, in Burbank, California. She died of cancer.
Helen and Bob had one child, a daughter they named Bari. Her daughter grew up in the care of her father and her step mother, Yvonne DeCarlo. Bari went on to get her degree in classical art and drama at San Jose State University. She too, like her mother, took up diving, but it was not her true call in life; however, she did inherit her mother's love for photography, and, like her mother, she achieved an enviable degree of success in her field. Today, Bari is a photographer of note, the director and choreographer of the "Santa Cruz Follies." Not least of her accomplishments is the fact that she is also a wife, mother, and grandmother. Bari's husband is a computer programmer who turns out to be her right hand man when it comes to the technological needs of her productions.
An interesting note as regards Helen is the fact that her trainer, Phil Patterson, insistently urged this young Croatian-American woman to change her name to something that is "more suitable." He told Helen that with a name like Crlenkovich, she will not achieve any hoped-for success. (In the meantime, he should talk-his original name was quite something else!) Nonetheless, Helen, just as insistently, rejected his suggestion because she was proud of her Croatian name and heritage. This fact speaks volumes as to the strength of her character.
Helen Crlenkovich (Crljenković) must be seen as being one of the shining stars of the American sports scene as well as a shining and exemplary star in the history of Croatians in America. Even as recently as last September, she was honored in Las Vegas as an example of a sports woman for today. By virtue of her disciplined work ethic, strength of character, and high ideals, she is, even today, an inspiration for youth who seek Olympic heights in sports. Helen Crlenkovich stands to serve as a special inspiration to young Croatians in America as well as in her parents' native Croatia. She stands as a reminder that they must not only dream of success, but must diligently, laboriously, and with honest effort rise to the heights human beings are capable of achieving-for their own good and that of others. The above is but a short list of Helen Crlenkovich's many accomplishments and successes in the field of diving.
I am most grateful to Helen's daughter, Bari, for the help she gave me in gathering facts about her mother. I am especially joyful over the fact that Bari cherishes and preserves the memories of her mother whom she lost all too early in life, and for her pride in her Croatian heritage.
Ante Čuvalo - Chicago
Translated by Duško Čondić-Chicago
ASSOCIATION FOR CROATIAN STUDIES (ACS)
30 TH ANNIVERSARY
On October 15, 1977, a small number of Croatian scholars in America, gathered at the Annual Convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies (AAASS) at Capital Hilton Hotel, Washington D.C., and laid the foundation to the Association for Croatian Studies. The idea for such organization was circulated among Croatian scholars participating at the AAASS Convention in Atlanta a year earlier, but someone had to take the initiative and do the work.
For those who are not familiar with the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, suffice to say that the AAASS was established in 1948 and it is a leading private organization dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about Russia , Central Eurasia, and East and Central Europe . It publishes the quarterly Slavic Review, the leading journal in Slavic studies.
The provisional name of the new Croatian scholarly organization was "Society for Croatian Studies." Its first officers were: Dr. Joseph T. Bombelles, President; Dr. George J. Prpić, Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Ante Kadić and Dr. Francis H. Eterović, Vice Presidents. Drs. Bombelles and Prpić were entrusted to affiliate the Society with the AAASS and to register the organization in the State of Ohio as a scholarly not-for-profit society.
On November 27, 1977, during the Twelfth Annual Seminar of the American Croatian Academic Society at Case-Western Reserve University in Cleveland , the name of the newly formed "Society for Croatian Studies" was changed to "Association for Croatian Studies" (ACS).
At the beginning of 1978, a proposed Constitution and By-Laws of the ACS were submitted to the membership for approval and a request was sent, with the necessary documentation, to the AAASS for acceptance as an affiliate scholarly society. At the same time, Dr. Prpić issued the first ACS official bulletin, called the "Announcement."
The affiliation process was not so easy as one might assume. Actually, the AAASS officials at the time implemented delaying tactics, in order to dampen the desires of Croatian scholars to affiliate their organization with the AAASS. We can probably guess what might have been the reasons for not welcoming the ACS to this large association of Slavic scholars, but we have to move on, just as the ACS officers at the time did. They persisted, and the Association was officially affiliated with the AAASS in October of 1978, and the ACS was allotted an official panel session for that year's National Convention in Columbus , Ohio .
The ACS' first panel was entitled " Croatia and the Croatians in the 1970s". The participants were : Dr. Joseph Bombelles, Chair; Prof. Mirko Vidović ( France ), Dr. Ante Kadic, Dr. George J. Prpic, Presenters, and Dr. Thomas F. Magner was a discussant. Dr. Prpić later reported: "The meeting was attended by more than sixty people of whom about a dozen were American Croatians." A day later (October 13), the Provisional Executive Committee of the ACS was elected to serve a year term and the Constitution and By-Laws were unanimously accepted, under the condition that they may be revised, if necessary, in order to make them acceptable to the AAASS and the State of Ohio.
The Association was incorporated in the State of Ohio on June 8, 1983, and on November 14, 1984, the ACS became "exempt from Federal income tax under Section 501 9c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code." In December of the same year the name of the ACS' official publication was changed from Announcement to the Bulletin of the ACS.
Purpose and Activities
The main purpose of the Association for Croatian Studies, as defined in its Constitution, is "to foster closer communication among scholars interested in Croatian Studies" and to "promote the dissemination of scholarly information on Croatia and Croatians through the organization of meetings, conferences, and panels at conventions devoted to Slavic and East European Studies." Its particular and most important mission, however, is to organize scholarly panels at the AAASS National Conventions dealing with Croatian issues. Furthermore, the ACS encourages its members to organize and/or participate in scholarly panels that foster comparative studies with other affiliates of the AAASS and scholars from other countries and backgrounds. It also promotes scholarly activities and cooperation among its members, especially the younger scholars. Moreover, the Association often serves as a resource hub where various scholars and institution turn for assistance and information dealing with Croatian subjects and issues.
The ACS Bulletin, besides informing the members of AAASS convention activities, brings news about the association and its members, and it often publishes relevant articles and/or book reviews. It frequently includes selective bibliography of new titles and Ph dissertations dealing with Croatia and the Croatians. For this reason, a number of academic libraries receive the Bulletin, and it has been included in some bibliographies as a resource publication.
The ACS founders have established a wonderful tradition, according to which during every AAASSS convention ACS members, their friends, and individuals from the local Croatian community, get together for a "Croatian Dinner." We all look forward to this annual event in order to meet new scholars and friends, and to renew old friendships and acquaintances. It is in such gatherings that quite often new ideas for work and cooperation are born. We are pleased to announce, that this year's "Croatian Dinner" will be at the famous Drago's Seafood Restaurant, in the Hilton Hotel, New Orleans . It will be Croatian style and hospitality with New Orleans flavor! In 1986, the ACS enjoyed its "Croatian Dinner" at Drago's restaurant, but at that time it was at the original location in the city's suburbia. This year, it will be at the downtown Hilton hotel.
Since its inception, the ACS and its members have organized numerous panels dealing with a wide range of topics. Just to mention a few: Renaissance in Croatia, Marko Marulić, Faust Vrančić, Ivan Gundulić, Bartol Kašić, Rudjer Bošković, Juraj Križanić, Illyrian Movement, Kačić Miošić, Ivan Mažuranić, Krleža, Budak, Ujević, Film, History of Music, Theater, Croatian Dissent in the 1960s and 1970s, History of Dubrovnik, Croatian Language, Economic issues, Croatians in America, Croatian History, Vojna Krajina, Radić Brothers and HSS, Croatian Nationalism, Jews in Croatia, Religion, US Foreign Policy and Croatia, Croatians in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Independence and War of Liberation, Regionalism in Croatia, International War Crimes Tribunal, Dayton Accords, BiH Constitution, Geography, Politics, Ideologies, Croatia and European Integration, and many other topics. The list of participants at ACS panels is very long. It includes almost all Croatian scholars in the West, and also many non-Croatians who study Croatia or the region. Many of such scholars are also members of the ACS, and some of them have served or are serving as officers of the association.
Looking back at the three decades of ACS activities, one might divide the life and work of the association into three main periods. First, from its beginnings to 1989. This was the era of the Cold war. The AAASS was seen by the East as an instrument of Western interests and, as they would put it, scholarly propaganda. The ACS was seen in a similar, but worse light not only by the Yugoslav regime but also by Yugoslav sympathizers among American scholars. Furthermore, it was not permissible for scholars from Croatia to participate on ACS panels or Croatian scholarly institutions to be in touch with the Association. For example, the late Ivan Supek came to the 1987 Convention to participate on a panel about Ruger Bosković, but he was told by the regime's officials he better stay away. He was actually in the convention hotel while his paper was read by an American Croatian colleague. This might sound bizarre today, but it happened not so long ago!
The second period began in 1989. For the first time scholars from Croatia began to participate at the ACS activities and panels. The guests from Croatia at the Chicago convention of that year were: Ivan Supek, Franjo Tudjman, Dalibor Brozović, Ivo Smoljan, and Vladimir Konšćak. The Iron Curtain was cracking and the dawn of freedom was on the rise. However, the early 1990s brought not only freedom but, unfortunately, also war to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina . During the war years, the ACS and its members in their panels and presentations made an effort to clarify the causes and issues dealing with the wars of aggression, that most often, intentionally or not, were portrayed even in scholarly circles and by "experts" in a twisted light.
During the post-1995 era, scholarly activities of the ACS and its members have been oriented toward a variety of subjects and scholarly interests. In the last few years there is an increase of interest in Croatian studies among young scholars who are not of Croatian ethnic background. The ACS encourages such scholars to join the association, as well as those of Croatian heritage, so that in cooperation with each other we may contribute to the understanding of the Croatian past and present.
Although there are no more political, ideological or other barriers that might prevent cooperation of the ACS with cultural and scholarly institutions in Croatia , the bridges between the ACS and the homeland are not as strong as they could and should be. It seems to us that the homeland institutions, and (too) many scholars, don't realize the importance of participating in scholarly activities on this side of the ocean. There has been an improvement, but both sides must cooperate in order to advance knowledge and understanding of our Croatian heritage and culture.
Thirty years have passed, and, one might say, passed too fast. But a lot has been accomplished, thanks to the ACS founders and members, living and those who have passed away. At the present, the ACS is healthy, doing well, and it is fulfilling its mission as defined by its Constitution. A good indicator that it "promotes and disseminates scholarly information on Croatia and Croatians," are a number of panels and lectures that are on the program of this year's AAASS National Convention in New Orleans . As long as there is Croatia and the Croatians there will be an interest and need to study the country and the people. The ACS' mission, therefore, continues. We hope and believe that the younger scholars of Croatian and non-Croatian heritage will have interest, will, and stamina to carry on and build on the foundations that were laid thirty years ago, and keep the ACS young forever.
The following have served as executive officers of the ACS:
Joseph T. Bombelles
George J. Prpić
Elinor M. Despalatović
Ellen Elias Bursać
At the present time, the ACS officers are:
Ante Čuvalo - President (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jasna Meyer - Vice-President (email@example.com)
Ivan Runac - Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org
Aida Vidan - Treasurer (email@example.com)
September, 14th 2007.
JOSIP TURKALJ (1924-2007)
On July 3, 2007, a renowned Croatian American artist, Josip Turkalj, died at his home in Cleveland Heights , Ohio . Besides being an exceptional husband and father to six sons, he was a brilliant sculptor, educator, wonderful man, and a friend to many of us.
Turkalj was born on August 10, 1924 in Rakovica , Croatia . Already in his childhood he showed an interest in sculpturing, and being the son of a carpenter gave him the opportunity to carve wooden figures in an early age. Thus, as a 12-year old he helped repair an old wooden statue of an angel, that was damaged by fire in a local church, by carving its new wings.
Turkalj received his higher education at the Fine Arts Academy in Zagreb . Soon after graduation (1952), he left the country in pursuit of freedom and came to Italy . In Rome , he studied at the Academia delle Belle Arti and Scuola Del Medaglio, and received his Masters degree in 1954. The same year, he won first prize for sculpture at the National Student's Exhibition in Milan , Italy .
His talents and works were noticed by the late Ivan Mestrovic, and he offered the young Josip a position as his assistant at the University of Notre Dame. Turkalj worked with Mestrovic from 1957 until the old Master's death in 1962, and then he continued to teach at the university for three more years. Josip was very close to Mestrovic and he used to share with us interesting stories from the Master's life in the final years. He, then, accepted a teaching position at Gilmour Academy and moved to Cleveland in 1965. There he laid the foundation to its art department and led it successfully for decades to come.
During his teaching tenure, he sculptured numerous works that are found throughout America in private collections and public places. Suffice to mention a few: an eighteen-foot bronze Moses on the campus of Notre Dame, two marble statues of Mary (Our Lady of Peace and Our Lady of Bistrica) at the National Shrine in Washington, D.C., a bronze statue of George Washington in the city of Buffalo, also the statues of St. Paul (Croatian church in Cleveland), Cardinal Stepinac (Croatian Home, East Lake, Ohio), St. Francis' Stigmata (Windsor, Ontario), Immigrant Mother (Toronto, Buenos Aires, Zagreb), etc. His works are also found in: Worthington and Duluth, Minnesota; Gary, Indiana; Dubuque, Iowa; Rochester, New York; Villa Maria, Pennsylvania; Detroit, Michigan; St. Thomas, Ontario, and many other public places.
After he retired (1989), Turkalj worked diligently in his studio in the old Croatian neighborhood of the city of Cleveland , where friends and visitors were welcomed to see him at work and to engage with him in delightful conversation about art, the symbolism of his new works, history, and culture. He worked almost to the last day of his life, always full of inspiration and love for creating. During this phase of his life, he produced a large number of smaller and modern sculptures full of harmony, meaning, and splendor.
Turkalj has won a number of prestigious awards, including the above mentioned first prize for sculpture at the National Student's Exhibition in Milan, Italy (1954), the award for best garden sculpture at a joint exhibition of the National Arts Club and The National Sculpture Society (1961), and John Gregory award (1965), an award based on an artist's entire body of work. He was a member, and then a Fellow, of the National Sculpture Society.
Josip Turkalj was a well-known name among the Croatians in America , not only as an artist but as an active member of the Croatian American community and he belonged to several Croatian organizations, including the Association of Croatian Studies. Because of his generosity and involvement among his native people, he received (1999) from the Croatian government the Presidential Award for the Advancement of Croatian Culture.
Those of us who were fortunate to know Joso Turkalj a little closer can attest that besides his professional successes he was a wonderful human being. He was cordial, candid, soft-spoken, and above everything a humble man. His art reflects the deeply cherished values that were imbedded in him from his childhood: love of life, its beauty, and its Creator, love of family, love of his native land, Croatia , and of humanity at large. Each of his sculptures is a reflection of his beautiful soul. Through his works he expressed the most profound human values, and connected himself to the ultimate and eternal Source of love and life.
Not too many people are aware that Turkalj was much interested in studying Croatian medieval ornamental art, its symbolism, and even the question of the origins of the glagolitic script. I recall the times when I would visit him in his studio at the Gilmour Academy after school hours, and we would spend hours talking about such themes. He had a thick folder of pictures and drawings, texts from journals and books dealing with earliest Croatian art history. However, he never found time to publish his findings and conclusions.
Joseph Turkalj, or to many just Joso, had a very successful and fruitful life. He and his wife Julia raised a wonderful family, his beautiful works of art are found throughout this country and many other places, he was a well respected man in his community and among his professional colleagues. He has done God's work, done it well, and the Creator has called him home. He will be missed by his wife and his six sons, three daughters in law, his four grandchildren, his brother in Croatia , and his many friends. He has left us, but his love, his gentleness, and his art will always bear witness to his greatness as an artist and human being.
Dr. Ante Čuvalo - President
Association for Croatian Studies
22. kolovoza 2007.
Travel grants program for connecting researchers and experts from diaspora and homeland
The Unity through Knowledge Fund has started its Connectivity Program and opened two calls for travel grants. Croatian researchers and experts living abroad and young Croatians scientists and professionals may apply for this support in amount up to 10.000 EUR.
Connectivity Program aims to attract expertise and knowledge of scientific/technological diaspora to Croatia through mobility and networking of highly skilled people. The supported visits should contribute to development of science and technology in Croatia .
The calls for proposals of visits lasting up to 6 months are continuously open. Candidates can submit the proposals through the web site www.ukf.hr . Every three months the Committees of the Fund will decide about allocation of financial support.
The Gaining Experience Grant is aimed for young scientists and experts (not more then 36 years old) from Croatia to visit the excellent research and development facilities abroad in order to establish cooperation and/or acquire new skills necessary for advancing S&T competitiveness in Croatia
The Homeland Visit Grant opens opportunities for outstanding researchers and experts of Croatian origin living abroad to visit Croatian knowledge-based company, R&D organization or public institution in order to contribute to cooperation and to provide knowledge transfer to Croatia in order to advance science and technology.
The Croatian Ministry of Science, Technology and Sports has created the Unity through Knowledge Fund with the resources from the World Bank loan (5 million EUR during next 3 years). The Fund finances joint research and development projects of expatriates and Croatian researchers, institutions and companies.
We recently closed the first round of calls of the Research Cooperability, which have attracted big interest. Next round of calls will be opened during autumn 2007. The calls of the Young Researchers and Professionals Program are currently open, until 15 September 2007.
The Fund will periodically re-open the already closed calls and open new (aimed for commercialization of research, for intellectual property protection and for travel support of young researchers in industry). All supported projects will contribute to the Fund's mission of unifying scientific and professional potential of Croatia and Diaspora in the development of the knowledge based society.
All information about calls, proposals, evaluation and general about the Fund are available at the internet address www.ukf.hr .
Hrvoje Meštrić, Ph. D.
Fine artist Vlado Franjic Croat from Switzerland exhibits his Fine Art in Croatia
Opening of Vlados exhibition COLOURED VERSES in the Gallery MATESIN in Bojana ( Cazma ) - app. 70 km to Zagreb - will be on the August, 4th, 2007. After many years of Vlados international exhibitions in different countries in Europe, Asia and Meadle East, this is the first time that he has a solo exhibition in his first homeland! You can find in his Online-Gallery at ARTOFFER his new small size artworks (Nr. 1-12) which he made extra for this exhibition. The artist would love to say thanks a lot by the gallerist and artist colleague Franjo Matesin and also by all info-media which already published the information about the exhibition! On the first place many thanks to Wojtek Michalski from International Arts Contacts , Webcenter of Croatian Culture , HIC (Croatian informative) and by all other who will be free to support Vlado, a fine artist, poet and networker and also the gallery MATESIN!
CROATIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION:
A tribute to Frank McCloskey
The Board and Membership of the Croatian American Association mourn the passing of former Congressman Francis Xavier McCloskey, one of the true heroes of Croatian Independence.
Accounts of Frank's death on Monday November 3, 2003, after a long battle with cancer, were carried by the major newspapers throughout the Western World. The international press recalled him as an outspoken champion of Bosnia, and he certainly was. But even that description understates Frank McCloskey's commitment to our Western ideal of freedom and the courage he demonstrated as the first American politician to stand up against mass murder in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Washington Post came closest to getting it right. The Post obituary said that Frank was "an outspoken advocate for ending war in the Balkans" and "was one of the first to call for air strikes against Serbian positions". However, both The Washington Post and other publications omitted a crucial piece of information: that the mild-mannered Frank McCloskey was also the very first member of Congress willing to risk his own life in a combat zone so that he could verify with his own eyes that Serb forces were slaughtering innocent civilians. It was a massacre at the small town of Vocin, and the memory of that particular act of genocide, that drove Frank McCloskey in his campaign to end the mass murder of innocent people in the wars in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Post obituary reported that a "1991 fact finding trip to Bosnia grabbed his passion and attention". But that isn't correct. Vocin is in Croatia, and that is where the war was in 1991, not in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The Croatian American Association convinced McCloskey to visit Croatia and the same organization sponsored the trip. Despite the threats and objections of the Yugoslav lobby in Washington, Representative McCloskey decided to take that trip.
On a Sunday morning in December 1991, McCloskey got into a car along with the CAA's Dado Lozancic and J.P. Mackley and drove to Vocin and surrounding villages, where Vojislav Seselj's withdrawing Chetniks had murdered 53 people, most of them elderly men and women. McCloskey had a close look at every mangled body. Some of them had been shot in head, others had been burned to death, and at least one had been dismembered with a chainsaw. The first U.S. citizen to die in the war was among the dead. Her name was Maria Skender and she was born in Erie, Pennsylvania. Someone had buried an axe in her forehead.
The next morning McCloskey held a press conference at the Hotel Intercontinental in Zagreb. There were only a small number of American reporters, and about the only coverage of note was in USA Today. But the story was big in Europe, especially in Germany. During the press conference McCloskey used the "G" word. He called the massacre at Vocin, and all the others that had happened in Croatia, genocide. He was the first to put it in that context and like a lot of other things McCloskey said and did, the reference to genocide caused considerable consternation at the State Department. In fact, State did not decide to call these murders genocide until much later, after the deaths of a quarter million people in three countries.
It was after Vocin that McCloskey, who had never sought much national attention, became an outspoken critic of the Serbian campaign and of his colleagues in Washington who continued to insist the conflict in Croatia was only a "civil war", and something in which the U.S. had no business interfering. McCloskey went immediately to Belgrade and accused Slobodan Milosevic of war crimes to his face. After that he went back to Washington, contacting State Department officials at the highest levels to which he had access.
He gave Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleberger a complete briefing, and wondered why nothing was done. When the same Serbian units that conducted the massacres in Croatia began to spread their grim work around Bosnia-Herzegovina, McCloskey went to have a look for himself.
In 1992, after returning from his first trip to Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a guest of CAA, McCloskey held a press conference at the Foreign Press Bureau at Hotel Split. In the presence of a State Department representative, a US Marine Corps officer, and members of the international press corps, McCloskey called for U.S. led NATO air strikes against Serbian positions in Bosnia-Herzegovina as a way of ending the war.
When it became clear to him that support would not be forthcoming from either his party or Administration leaders, McCloskey broke with the mainstream Democratic party and made history by looking Warren Christopher in the eye during a hearing on the Balkans and demanding the Secretary of State's resignation for his conduct of policy toward Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In December 1993, at the request of Gojko Susak, the late Croatian Minister of Defense, McCloskey went to Geneva and helped broker an uneasy peace between Croats and Muslims fighting each other in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Once again, McCloskey was the first, but this time the State Department followed his lead and the peace became permanent.
Sadly, when the Washington Accords were actually signed between Croats and Muslims during the Clinton White House in 1994, McCloskey was not invited. Undaunted, he elbowed his way into the Old Executive Office Building to witness the ceremony, and said afterwards the President had grudgingly acknowledged his presence.
Part of the reason for his distance from his fellow Democrat may have had to do with the fact that McCloskey had handed President Bill Clinton his very first foreign policy defeat. But that particular battle was the beginning of a movement in Congress that transformed the British backed Clinton policy toward the Balkans. By continually drawing attention to "ethnic cleansing" in the villages and towns of ex-Yugoslavia, McCloskey managed to gain the support of a majority of Democrats who, on every issue but this one, remained loyal to the Administration's position on non-intervention.
With the help of the CAA and others, McCloskey brokered a broad coalition of Democrats and Republicans who had listened to his daily calls from the floor of the U.S. House of representatives to stop the genocide. They backed legislation called the McCloskey-Gilman bill, which was intended to lift the arms embargo first against Bosnia and then Croatia. Despite tough opposition, McCloskey-Gilman overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives.
In the U.S. Senate, McCloskey's bill was sponsored by Bob Dole, but it was Vice president Al Gore who cast the deciding vote and ended any chance the legislation would pass during that session of Congress. In 1995, however, when the bill gained the support of Ranking House Member Henry Hyde, and Bob Dole in the Senate, Frank McCloskey's bill to lift the U.N. imposed arms embargo became law in the 105th Congress.
Unfortunately, Frank McCloskey was not part of that Congress because he had been voted out of office by people in southwest Indiana who could not locate Croatia or Bosnia-Herzegovina, and really didn't care.
Since he had followed his conscience and broken ranks with the Clinton White House and with Lee Hamilton and Birch Bayh in the Indiana Democratic party, Frank McCloskey failed to garner the support he needed to win a very close election.
In 1994, not long before the elections, Frank McCloskey called Hague Prosecutor Graham Blewitt into his office. In front of several witnesses, including Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Roy Gutman, McCloskey handed Graham Blewitt the evidence collected by CAA on Vocin, which included post-mortem photographs and personal statements from survivors, priests and doctors. For many years after that McCloskey periodically asked the tribunal why nothing had been done about Vocin. Finally, when the ICTY indicted Milosevic, and then Seselj, Vocin was among the first cases in the indictments.
McCloskey stood alone when he became the first member of Congress to campaign against the genocide in disintegrating Yugoslavia. But before his career in Congress ended, he had been joined by many other people of conscience, and their combined voices caused the Clinton Administration to change its policy regarding the role the United States should play in the conflict between Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia. McCloskey's passionate determination to put the United States on the right side in this conflict, and to compel the
Administration to stand up against genocide, had made the difference. In the end, the power of
U.S. intervention that McCloskey had been calling for since 1991 was initiated in1995. The Clinton Administration began its quiet support of Croatian Operation Storm and started the bombing of Serb military targets around Sarajevo.
Frank McCloskey was a devout Roman Catholic.
Please remember to light a candle for him.
President, Croatian American Association
CROATIAN AMERICAN ASSOCIATION LOBBIES KEY DECISION-MAKERS
Washington, D.C. - During its 13th Annual Croatian Days on the Hill, May 4 - May 6, a national CAA delegation met with White House National Security Council Advisor on Croatia, Lisa Tepper, and several key Members of Congress including Henry Hyde (R-IL) to provide expertise and advice on important U.S. foreign policy issues:
ˇ Accountability of assets of the former Yugoslavia;
ˇ The inequity of debt forgiveness to Serbia;
ˇ The necessity of transparency of U.S. A.I.D. funding in the region;
ˇ The dangers of the "command responsibility" promoted by the The Hague's International Criminal Court;
ˇ Encouraging political and economic stability in Bosnia-Herzegovina (B-H).
Vis-a-vis B-H, the CAA promoted the issue of refugee return in the region based on "dual exchange," the elimination of government duplication, and a long-term proposal for economic development. The CAA additionally recommended that the U.S. State Department and international electoral organizations should not be involved in the next election in Croatia.
On May 6, Lisa Tepper, Director for Southeastern European Affairs at the National Security Council, briefed a select group of CAA members in the Old Executive Office Building on U.S. policy toward Croatia and the region. During this briefing, the CAA was able to identify disparities and risks inherent in current U.S. policy, which conflicts with several CAA positions. Furthermore:
ˇ CAA presented compelling reasoning to Tepper why the Adriatic Charter Partnership Initiative could be detrimental to Croatia's candidacy to NATO and the EU, and free trade development in the region.
ˇ CAA pointed out that while the liabilities of the former Yugoslavia have been evenly distributed, the assets have been stripped of millions of dollars and are not being evenly or fairly divided.
ˇ In response to Tepper's appeal for Croatia to be a "team player" in the region - and her focus on Serb refugee return, pensions and multiethnic development - the CAA pressed for Croatia to be considered on its own merits, and for reciprocity between Croatia and B-H on refugee return.
ˇ The CAA also encouraged support for Bishop Komarica, the Pope's upcoming visit to Banja Luka on June 22, and the rebuilding of Catholic Churches in B-H.
During the additional days of lobbying, members expressed CAA policy and exchanged ideas in meetings with Congressman Henry Hyde (R-IL), Congressman Denis Kucinich (D-OH), Congressman Peter Viscloskey (R-IN), and Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-PA), all of whom pledged their support to issues affecting Croatia. In a new format, selected officials addressed CAA in a Hearing Room on Capitol Hill, during which CAA members discussed constructive action on these issues with a key adviser to the House International Relations Committee, several Congressional staffers, and Consular Representatives from the Embassy of the Republic of Croatia and the Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
At a CAA reception, the esteemed Jeffrey Kuhner, Assistant National Editor at The Washington Times, addressed CAA members. Mr. Kuhner shared compelling and cogent arguments on the perils of international justice at The Hague and how Croatia's future existence could be at stake if the international legal issue of command responsibility, the country's economic development and other key matters are left unresolved.
During the CAA's Annual Board Meeting, consensus was reached on future objectives; and General Elections continued a trend of promoting younger members to leadership positions. George Rudman was re-elected as CAA National President.
Among other issues, CAA's 13th Annual Croatian Days on the Hill will build on Congressional support to promote the following policies and positions in the coming year:
ˇ The U.S. should remain in Bosnia to prevent an outbreak of hostilities and work with Bosnian Croat leader Dragan Covic, who assumes the Chairmanship of the Presidency on June 1st.
ˇ Oppose the overstretched theory of "command responsibility" against Croatian General Ante Gotovina, since it will be used in a case against U.S. General Tommy Franks.
ˇ Oppose financial and political favoring of Serbia at the expense of Croatia, since Serbia provided military arms to Iraq and initiated the war in the region.
ˇ Monitor the State Department Authorization Bill to avoid future funding of anti-American organizations in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Although many CAA positions are contrary to views of the current government in Croatia, the CAA looks forward to working with U.S. government officials, and individuals and organizations in the region that remain true to the goal of preserving Croatian heritage and promoting the interests of Croats worldwide.
For more information on CAA activities visit www.caausa.org
NFCA REQUEST RESULTS IN ADDITIONAL US FUNDING FOR CROATIA
Washington, D.C. - On September 12, 2002, the Appropriations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives marked up and passed legislation entitled the "Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill, 2003." A provision added to the Committee's Report -- under the heading "Assistance for Eastern Europe and the Baltic States" -- provides an additional $25 million above the President's budget request of $495 million for this region for Fiscal Year 2003. As the Committee Report to the Bill reads, "The increase above the budget request is intended for additional assistance for Montenegro, the Baltic States, Croatia and regional efforts to solidify democratic gains through the National Endowment for Democracy and other institutions." The funding measure is now on its way to the Floor of the House of Representatives and eventual approval by the full U.S. Congress.
National Federation of Croatian Americans (NFCA) President John Kraljic said that this potential increase in economic assistance for which Croatia is eligible "will help to aid the sustained stabilization and general expansion of the economy of Croatia. The NFCA in Washington, along with its lobbying firm, Foley Government and Public Affairs Inc., plans to continue to strongly support and play an active public affairs role on such important funding legislation and international affairs initiatives affecting Croatia in Washington with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Congress, and other Federal entities," Kraljic added.
Kraljic also cited the strong support of U.S. Representatives Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), who serves on the House Appropriations Committee, and George Radanovich (R-CA). Both Members of Congress petitioned the Committee to expand this significant international economic assistance program and to include additional funding for Croatia, a remarkable achievement in light of the increasingly tight budget situation in Washington. Kraljic noted that: "It is time for Croatian Americans to now write to their Congressional Representatives and ask them to protect this additional funding for Croatia as it moves through Congress. We must also ask our Members of Congress to vote to pass the Bill when it comes to the House and Senate Floors this Fall and ask their Congressional colleagues to support the legislation (please contact your Member of Congress at 202-225-3121)."
Kraljic further noted that the fight for increased aid is only half the battle. "We are also concerned that the money be spent wisely and not be used to provide funding to organizations that do not have Croatia's best interests at heart. The NFCA will continue to fight on this front as well to protect the interests of Croatians on this matter."
The NFCA is a Washington, D.C.-based national umbrella organization that represents over 20 Croatian American groups and 130,000 members.
For additional information contact:
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF CROATIAN AMERICANS
1329 CONNECTICUT AVENUE, NW WASHINGTON, D.C. 20036
PHONE: (202) 331-2830 NFCAhdq@aol.com FAX: (202) 331-0050