Given the hard issues and challenges Viitorul Roman Society was faced throughout 2004, we were still able to have many activities and events that kept the society active in the Romanian-American community here in Los Angeles.
The year started with a very successful celebration of January 24 event held at the Glendale Hilton Hotel, where the Ambassador of Romania to Washington, His Excellency Mr. Sorin Ducaru was our guest of honor. In addition, we had the General Consul, Mr. Claudiu Lucaci along with other members from the consulate. For the first time, this event was organized together with the Romanian-American Council of Los Angeles.
Shortly following this event, we’ve organized the 1st Annual “Balul Martisorului”. On February 29th, over 100 people were able to celebrate the coming of spring, in the traditional Romanian way, along with George Rotaru who delighted all present with song and dance. Consul, Mr. Catalin Ghenea graciously provided us with the traditional “martisor” for all the ladies.
2004 marked a significant year for Romania as being one of the 7 countries to be admitted in NATO.
To mark this momentous occasion, The Embassy of Romania in Washington, organized a series of events that coincided with White House ceremony. I had the honor of being invited to Washington and to participate together with representatives from Romanian-American communities throughout the US at the festivities held on March 29, 2004. The celebration started at the Embassy of Romania, where I participated at a press conference with Prime Minister, Mr. Adrian Nastase and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mircea Geoana. This was followed by a lunch sponsored by the Embassy staff.
The highlight of the day was the actual invitation and ceremony to the White House, on the South Lawn, where President Bush and his cabinet formally announced the acceptance of Romania (and the other 6 countries) in the NATO Alliance. This was a unique opportunity for me personally as well as for Romanian community, her in Los Angeles to be represented to such an important event.
During the summer of 2004, many of the society’s activities were focused on dealing and resolving the pending lawsuit. The Litigation Committee, during our meeting will present a separate report on this issue. The most significant outcome of this lawsuit was the fact that we were able to retain, without any encumbrances the name of Viitorul Roman and were able to re-posses the 6 Nechita Lithographs. This will give us the opportunity to raise funds needed to pay outstanding legal costs.
In addition, Cristian Calugarita and Ionela Kloes worked with Denise Davies on completing the design of our Web site. Unfortunately, we were not able to capitalize on this free offer and we are still working on it. We hope to have it completed very soon. A dedicated Web Master will be needed in the future to maintain the Web site.
In late October, we had the opportunity to have again among us George Rotaru and decided to hold our traditional autumn ball at the Dunarea Restaurant. The event called “La Cules de Struguri” was held and we had over 70 guests celebrating with us.
Each year, on December 1st, the Consulate General office holds the celebration of Romanian National Day. This year, the Consul General honored Viitorul Roman Society with a mention during the program of the many contributions and outstanding service to the Romanian American community. A copy of the plaque, which was mailed to us along with the congratulatory letter from Mr. Claudiu Lucaci, was published in the media, Meridianul Romanesc.
On December 5th, 2004 the renowned poet and writer Carmen Firan and her husband Adrian Sangeorzan, also an accomplished writer, visited us from New York and Viitorul Roman sponsored a literary evening with them. During the evening, readings of their works were presented by both of them. All proceeds of the event were donated to Viitorul Roman. In addition, Ms. Firan donated 4 Romanian VHS movies.
During the month of December, we have moved forward in establishing the organization as a 501(c) organization. This new status will enable us that any future donations, contributions and membership costs be tax deductible. Our attorney, Roger Adams, submitted the necessary forms and updated by-laws of the organization late December. The IRS has acknowledged the receipt of the documents and we are now awaiting the final confirmation from IRS.
This change in status of our organization will enable us to better organize future fund raising activities and hopefully help us raise necessary funds to continue the
very existence of this society. The 2005 membership drive should emphasize the benefit of having dues being tax deductible.
As in the past, the last activity/event of the year culminated with the celebration of the New Year’s Eve. This year, we have decided to hold it at the Beverly Garlands Holiday Inn Hotel, at Universal City. The event was full to capacity and had 103 guests. Ms Lia Lungu from New York was the evening attraction and Mr. Veronel Dragomir donated his time and equipment to supply the music for the evening.
I want to thank all that has helped during the year and especially Cristian Calugarita whose contributions were and continue to be of immense value.
Thank you all the members, old and new, for your continued support.
Ionela Kloes, President, Viitorul Roman Society – January 23, 2005