President's Letter

  

February, 2019

Dear B/MSSCA Members and Friends:

Your Officers and Board of Trustees wish all everyone a healthy and prosperous New Year for 2019.

The elected board members for 2019 are:

President............................................................ Eugene Novak

Vice President................................................... Lisa Moretz 

Treasurer............................................................ Susan L. Vitez

Corresponding Secretary................................ Kathy Novak

Recording Secretary......................................... Debi Rice

Trustees: William Duh, Shirley Messics Daluisio, Mary Karol, Lisa Kucsan, Michelle Lewis, Charlie Moretz, Jonathan Rice and .Maria Skrilec 


Our Association had a very successful 2018 with many activities completed. We thank you for your support and cooperation in fostering relationships with our roots in Slovenia and delivering with pride the Slovenian heritage to many here in Bethlehem. 

       

  

On July 3, Slovenian student, Ziga Mekis Recek, arrived. Thanks to volunteers, he visited Washington DC, Philadelphia, Hershey, New York and some local sites. This was thanks to our volunteer members

      

 On Saturday, March 24, we attended the celebration of St, Joes’ Day. On May 12, our association was honored at the European open house in the Slovenian Embassy, Washington DC. Our Musical Ambassador member, Alex Gergar, played his accordion at this event. We had several local attendees: Renee  & Tara Gergar Mary Karol, Kathy Novak, Debi & Jon Rice and Maria Skrilec. Since the theme was “Save the Bees”, they wore printed yellow shirts with a bumble bee. We had trips to Atlantic City in May, July, August, and October. 


On Friday, June 22, we celebrated 27 years of independence for Slovenia with our annual Flag Raising Ceremony on Payrow Plaza. Special thanks to Alex Gergar playing the accordion, singers Frank Podleiszek and Betty Sylva. Slovenian flag raised by Stephen Antalics and the American flag by Liliana Brockway. A luncheon followed at Saucon Valley Acres thanks to owners Charles and Lisa Moretz. Thanks to City of Bethlehem Parks Department and Jane Persa for helping to make this possible. Our event was well attended and Slovenian Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Vladimir Kolmanic and his wife Vesna. City of Bethlehem, Chief of Staff Mr. Alex Karras were our speakers.      

       

In August, Katja Krancic and Damjan Seruga came for a visit. Katja was one of our visiting Slovenian students from seven years ago. .When she returned home she was to take final exams to become a lawyer. Kathy and I were honored by their visit. Unfortunately, there wasn’t time to visit longer.

In September, Slovenian Andreja Bezjak did interviews on folklore by descendants of Slovenia.  

  

On Sunday, October 14th. we had our fund raising dinner at Saucon Valley Acres.  Many thanks to Charlie and Lisa Moretz for hosting this event at cost for us.  

 Slovenians Klaudija Sedar and Joze {Dodo} Glazar did research on old photographs, newspapers and documents in St. John’s Archives with the help of Frank Podleiszek.

     

 On Saturday, March 24, we attended the celebration of St, Joes’ Day. On May 12, our association was honored at the European open house in the Slovenian Embassy, Washington DC. Our Musical Ambassador member, Alex Gergar, played his accordion at this event. We had several local attendees: Renee  & Tara Gergar Mary Karol, Kathy Novak, Debi & Jon Rice and Maria Skrilec. Since the theme was “Save the Bees”, they wore printed yellow shirts with a bumble bee. We had trips to Atlantic City in May, July, August, and October. On Friday, June 22, we celebrated 27 years of independence for Slovenia with our annual Flag Raising Ceremony on Payrow Plaza. Special thanks to Alex Gergar playing the accordion, singers Frank Podleiszek and Betty Sylva. Slovenian flag raised by Stephen Antalics and the American flag by Liliana Brockway. A luncheon followed at Saucon Valley Acres thanks to owners Charles and Lisa Moretz. Thanks to City of Bethlehem Parks Department and Jane Persa for helping to make this possible. Our event was well attended and Slovenian Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Vladimir Kolmanic and his wife Vesna. City of Bethlehem, Chief of Staff Mr. Alex Karras were our speakers. 

        

As you can see, we had an exciting year. We are very busy planning events for 2019. This year our Association will celebrate 23 years with our Sister City, Murska Sobota. Our Association’s membership, activities and events are the lifeblood of B/MSSCA!  Therefore, as proud members, we should be doing our best to socialize with all people our events, not just Slovenes.  I believe, if more people attend these functions, individuals would discover the many good things that our Association has done and is planning for our future. We are the largest established Sister City in Bethlehem, with the best and greatest number of members.  Many are surprised at what we have accomplished, and how many events and festivities we have within our Association each year.

  

   

Thanks to the assistance of Romana Vogrinic, we hosted Slovenian students:  Rok Kucan and Ziga Barbaric who are working toward their medical degrees; Iva Sedonja and Barbara Hull are both doctors; Katja Krancic ; Anna Ernisa and Barbara Habot Bokan, are both working hard after completing their university studies; Stefan Sedonja is an engineer; Zelko Marusic received his Master’s Degree in engineering; Tilen Horvat, Matjaz Malok and Darko Kollar are studying at the university. Every one of our Slovenian students are doing well. We welcome anyone who is interested in hosting a student, either for a dinner, a day or possibly longer to contact us. I sure hope we didn’t miss naming anyone that the Sister Cities Association sponsored. I know there were students who stayed with us for only one or two nights, as well as members of a visiting choir.

Other events being planned this year are: St. Joe’s day on Saturday, March 23, International Bazar on Saturday, April 27 at Lehigh University Center, European Union open house in Washington DC, on Saturday, May 11, Atlantic City Bus trips on Mondays, May 20, June 17, August 19 and October 14, Slovenia’s Independence Day on Friday, June 21, Steeple and Steel Tours, on Saturdays, June 29, August 31, September 21 and November 2, Heritage Day/Elections on Saturday, November 16.  Student visitation is usually the end of June or July/August.  Our Annual Fund Raiser dinner  and other events will be included in later communications. The bus trip dates and all other event dates and times will be posted on our Face Book page as well as our web site.


It is only through your assistance and support that our membership continues to grow. You must remember, it is not necessary to be of Slovenian heritage to support what we do. If we plan to only include members of Slovenian descent, we will not have an association in a very few years. Our goal is to educate people about this very little country and all that they do. This is what we must concentrate on to increase our numbers. Without you, this goal cannot be achieved. If each current member would bring at least one new member into our Association this year, our numbers would double. Enclosed you will find a 2019 membership form. Please send all checks made out to B/MSSCA, along with the completed form to Treasurer, P.O. Box 5242, Bethlehem PA 18015.

Thank you and God Bless,

Eugene Novak

President