The year 2008, the 82nd year of our organization, was welcomed by our society revelers with a grand New Year’s Banquet, organized in Studio City, a sign for the beginning of another successful year of our society.
The General Assembly of January 27th laid out the plan for the year, with two outstanding activities lined up in the immediate future.
The first one, organized at the amazing Palladio Banquet Hall in Glendale, was a celebration of both spring and traditions by combining Valentine’s Day and the International Woman’s Day, with a sprinkle of tiny amulets with red and white threads, so dearly known to the Romanian folklore as “martisoare”, on February 24th.
The dinner dance banquet was highlighted by the return of George Rotaru, from Romania, for an exclusive concert and also provided nostalgic flashbacks during the Parade of some former Miss Viitorul Roman contest winners spanning over the last 15 years.
On March 23rd, a most distinguished Gala, organized at the same location, honored HRHs Princess Margareta and Prince Radu of Romania who were Friendship Tour of the western US. I’ve had the privilege to welcome the Royal Highnesses at their arrival in Los Angeles, on March 22nd, at which time I recalled all the other visits of members of the Romanian Royal family, hosted exclusively by Viitorul Roman, such as the visits of King Michael and Queen Anne, and those of Princesses Sofia, Irina and Maria.
The Gala, organized with the participation of the Romanian Consulate General at Los Angeles, was well attended and enjoyed the fine performances of a variety of artists that made the three hour show feel like passing incredibly fast. The event was richly covered by the media of both countries and Prince Radu’s blog rewarded us with kind remarks.
The Society was well represented at the Reception given by the General Consul of Romania honoring Their Royal Highnesses, on March 24th, in Beverly Hills and heartfelt well wishes were delivered with a bouquet of white imperial lilies on March 26th, the birthday of Princess Margareta.
Wednesday, April 9th, I and our former president Ionela Kloes were the guests of reporter Mihaela Dinca, who broadcasted live a 40 minute interview with us to the listeners of Radio Romania International, which provided an excellent opportunity to publicly review our history and accomplishments.
Viitorul Roman supported two book signing events of Romanian writer Petru Popescu, “Weregirls” and “Footprints in Time” that took place on April 26, at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and on May 31 and June 1, at Book Expo America.
Sunday, 18 May, an extraordinary show of poetry, music and dance, arguably entitled “I Want To Dance”, brought artist-producer Lidia Lazu’s astounding performance to Hollywood.
This Viitorul Roman event was made possible by the hard work of our Cultural Director Ileana Costea, PhD, whose love for, and total implication in bringing Lazu’s show from Bucharest to America was commendable.
The show was dedicated to the great Lucian Blaga, and featured music by Liviu Marinescu and a generous display of Jerry McDaniel’s art. The show was also held in Palm Springs and San Fernando Valley.
After the summer recess, an informal meeting held in Monrovia at the end of September concluded with the decision to support our Viitorul Roman’s member Constantin Timoc in his quest for a seat in the Romanian Parliament. As you all might know, our candidate has finished in the top three here in LA, but still remains truly dedicated to help Romania by all the legal means he can.
I have represented the society at the National Day of Romania celebration in Sacramento, organized on November 29 by the Miorita Society and addressed the audience conveying our well wishes and congratulations to our sister society for the impeccable way they organized the event.
The following day, November 30th, I have joined our member Ion Anton in the six-men electoral commission, chairing this commission for the Romanian Parliamentary Elections, at the Romanian Consulate General at Los Angeles.
On December 2nd , in what has become a tradition, Viitorul Roman Society sponsored the celebrations organized by the Romanian Consulate General in Los Angeles, held in Century City, occasioned by the National Day of Romania. His Excellency, Consul General Catalin Ghenea had publicly showed his gratitude, in his speech, for Viitorul Roman’s contributions.
All throughout the year, our society had been represented in the umbrella organization CELC by our former president Ionela Kloes, with increased focus on the visa weaver program for the East European countries, including Romania.
The varied activities and the growing interest in our organization resulted in an increase of membership this year, as we are happy to welcome Aurelian and Carmen Margineanu, Aurelia Saar, Katerina and Olivia Sarbu, Horea Opran, Mihai Bocancea, Agripina, Dorian Jr. and Nathanael Serban, Jesse, Mike, Rafina and Travis Edinberger, Juliet, Nicholas and Vasile Ionescu, Nathalie Ashley and Travis Popa.
Looking forward to the new year, which I hope to be even more exciting and rich in events, I wish to thank my wonderful committee for their hard work and dedication!
President of Viitorul Roman Cultural and Aid Society.
Los Angeles, 8 February, 2009.