President's Letter

March, 2018

Dear B/MSSCA Member:

Your Officers and Board of Trustees wish all our members a healthy and prosperous New Year for 2018. The elected board members for 2018 are:

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

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

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

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

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

Trustees: Stephen Antalics, William Duh, Phyllis Fisher, Marian Hancik, Mary Karol, Lisa Kucsan, Shirley Messics Daluisio, Charles Moretz, Jonathan Rice, Bill Sarko. and Maria Skrilec 


  Our Association had a successful 2017 with many activities completed and some of which was put on hold due to my accident on May 4th.  After spending almost 4 months in the hospital, I am back to being busy.  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 Saturday, March 18, some of our board members attended mass at St Joe’s. On May 1, we had our first trip to Atlantic City with others trips scheduled for June 1, August 28 and October 9. I want to thank Kathy Remaly, Maria Skrilec, Bill Sarko, Debi and Jon Rice for making these trips a success in my absence. Our Association was invited to attend the European Union open house in the Slovenian Embassy, Washington DC on May 13. Our Musical Ambassador, Alex Gergar, played his accordion at this event. On Friday, June 23, we celebrated 26 years of independence for Slovenia with our annual Flag Raising Ceremony on in the Rotunda for the first time. Master of ceremonies was Stephen Antalics, Slovenian Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Kolmanic was our featured speaker, as well as City of Bethlehem government officials. and a luncheon followed at Saucon Valley Acres, thanks to owners Charles and Lisa Moretz. Thanks also to the Parks Department and Jane Persa for helping to make this event possible. 

We had a Slovenian Trip planned for June 30 that was canceled due to my condition after the accident. On Sunday, October 1 we had our fund raising dinner at Saucon Valley Acres. Many thanks to Charlie and Lisa Moretz once again for hosting this event at cost. This was the first time that I was able to attend any event outside of my house.  

Murska Sobota Mayor, Dr. Aleksander Jevsek, Joze Glazar and Vida Lukac arrived late on November 16.  That Friday morning, we met with Mayor Robert Donchez.  Our guests were given a tour of City Hall. On Saturday, we had our Heritage Day, luncheon and election event. The special meal was prepared by our own Slovenian cooks, Mary Karol, Maria Skrilec and several others.  It was attended by Murska Sobota Mayor Dr. Aleksander Jevsek, Deputy Ambassador Vladimir Kolmanic and his wife, Vesna, from Washington DC, Counsel General, Andrej Gregor Rode and his wife, Monica, from Cleveland, Ohio. We viewed a video that traced our ancestors from Slovenia to Bethlehem. It was very interesting and touching and enjoyed by all.  Our Association also participated in four Steeples and Steel Tour events.

   As you can see, we had an exciting year. We are very busy planning events for 2018. This year, our Association will celebrate 22 years with our Sister City, Murska Sobota. Our Association’s activities and events are the lifeblood of B/MSSCA!  Therefore, as proud members, we should do our best to socialize with all people at all of our events not just Slovenes.  I believe, if more people attended 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 of the Sister Cities 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 Vogrincic, we hosted several Slovenian students Tilen Horvat is studying at the university. Iva Sedonja and Barbara Hull and Rok Kucan are doctors with Ziga Barbaric in his final year of medical study. He actually visited briefly in August.  Katja Krancic is finalizing her law studies and plans to visit in August. Anna Ernisa and Barbara Habot Bokan are both working hard after completing their university studies. Stefan Sedonja is an engineer and Zelko Marusic received his Master’s Degree in engineering. Matjaz Malok is studying at the university as well as Darko Kolar.  All of our Slovenian students are doing well. We welcome anyone who is interested in hosting our students either for a dinner, a day or possibly longer. I hope I 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 visiting choirs.

Other events planned for this year are: European open house in Washington DC on Saturday, May 12, Independence Day on Friday, June 22, student visitation, Steeples and Steel Tours, our Annual Fund Raiser dinner Sunday, October 14, and Atlantic City Bus trips on Mondays, May 14, June 11, August 20 and October 8, and Heritage Day on Saturday, November 17. As these activities and events unfold, we will keep you informed. The bus trip dates and all other event dates and times will be posted on our Face Book page as well as on our web site.

It is only through your assistance that our membership continues to grow. You must remember, it is not necessary to be a Slovenian to support what we do. If we plan to only include members of Slovenian descent, we will not have an association in a few years. Our goal is to educate people about this very small country and all that they do. This is what we must concentrate on to increase our numbers. We need you to achieve this goal. If each current member will bring at least one new member into our Association this year, we will continue to grow. Enclosed you will find your membership form for 2018. 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

Eugene Novak,  President 

This is the Link to view the video SLOVENES IN BETHLEHEM (in English)

by Stefan Celec and Joze Glazar: