Enjoying the 83rd year of uninterrupted presence in Southern California, our organization, continued accomplishing its mission and vision by offering its members and followers new activities, by achieving the highest status of visibility and recognition from the top offices of the motherland and by enlarging its “family” welcoming new members.
Since 2009 was an election year, the General Assembly of February 7th, seated a new board of directors for the next two years, promoting Prof. Ileana Costea and Mrs. Laura Carmen Popa to the officers board in the capacities of Vice-President and Secretary, respectively, while Mr. Viorel Petrescu was rejoining the officers’ roster as Director/Member-At-Large.
The Assembly reelected myself, Mr. Sarbu, Mrs. Kloes and Mr. Bonca in the positions of President, Financial Secretary/CFO and Auditors, respectively.
The Assembly recognized the participation of Miss Yvette Fulicea, the Cultural Director of the Ministry of External Affair, who was touring some Romanian communities in the US, offering the cooperation of the Ministry and of the ICR (Institutul Cultural Roman) in developing programs of common interest to promote the Romanian values in Los Angeles.
In April, the board of directors reassembled at the president’s residence for a planning meeting for the year and for setting up the society’s June picnic geared towards the youngest of our community. The board recognized the positive contribution of several other non-board members present at the meeting, who volunteered their time and ideas to help the board work towards a successful event.
On June 13th, 2009, benefitting from the gracious hosting of the Kloes family, Kids Fun Day on Saturday became the event that lived up to its expectations. Entirely sponsored by the Board of Directors (there was no cover charge), the event drawn some sixty participants, both tall and small, who really enjoyed the party of wii games, water games, board games, balloon games, jumpers, hoops and bubbles, as well as the delicious hamburgers, hot dogs and mititei, till late in the night.
After the summer recess, the Society was represented by its Vice-President, Prof Ileana Costea, who met with Eugen Tomac, Minister/Secretary of State in the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was visiting our community in Los Angeles, on September 13.
Responding to a top level invitation from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department for Romanians Living Abroad, I was honored to represent our Viitorul Roman Society, participating in a 12 people delegation of leaders of Romanian-American organizations from the United States, in Bucharest, between the 29th of September and the 3rd of October, 2009.
I had the chance to introduce our society and what it stands for to the top level Romanian political leadership, during meetings with Traian Basescu, the President of Romania, at the Ctroceni Palace, His Eminency IPF Daniel, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, at the Patriarchy Palace, Eugen Tomac, Secretary of State and Dan Stoenescu, Director of the Department for Romanians Living Abroad, Valeriu Zgonea, the Secretary of the House of Representatives, Titus Corlatean, the President of Foreign Policy of the Romanian Senate, Catalin Mardare, Senator and Mircea Lubanovici, Depoty for the 3rd Collegiate of Diaspora (covering the United States) and the leadership of the Romanian Television (state-owned), with whom we shared our views on a variety of issues. The delegation ended the week with a working dinner offered by our hosts on October 2nd, 2009, which summed up the conclusions of our meetings.
On November 6th, 2009, I joined several hundred participants, including former Secretary of State George Schultz, first Lady, Nancy Reagan, political advisors, generals and staff from the Reagan Administration, the President of the Czech Republic, and many others for commemoration, at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, of the 20th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. The Romanian Consul General, Catalin Ghenea, the Hungarian Consul, Gabor Kaleta and Los Angeles County Commissioner, Frank de Balogh were also present at our table. The day-long event was bountiful in first-hand views of the Cold War and the destruction of Communism, presented in two panel sessions in the morning and afternoon.
The National Day of Romania was celebrated by the Romanian Consulate General in Beverly Hills, on December 1, 2009, where, in his National Day address, The Consul General of Romania., Hon. Catalin Ghenea, declared his gratitude for the efforts of Viitorul Roman Society to continuously sponsor this event throughout the years. Members of the Los Angeles Consular Corps, Los Angeles County and City officials and distinctive members of the Romanian-American community were in attendance.
On December 12th, 2009, the Society offered a banquet at Los Angeles Athletic Club for the celebration of the National Day of Romania and the commemoration of 20 years from the fall of communism in Romania, with the participation of the Romanian Consulate General. The community response to this event exceeded our expectations, being sold out days prior and yet having to accommodate last minute requests from our Romanian community.
A letter of commendation was send from the Embassy of Romania, signed by H.E. Adrian Vierita, the Ambassador of Romania in the United States.
Before the end of year, Viitorul Roman Society and the Independent Films Channel (IFC) worked together to promote IFC’s release of a much acclaimed Romanian movie: “POLICE, ADJECTIVE” (original title:” POLITIST, ADJECTIV”).
This was the latest film from master director Corneliu Porumboiu (“12:08 East of Bucharest”). “POLICE, ADJECTIVE” opened Wednesday, December 23 in L.A. at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Theater and was a double-winner at the Cannes Film Festival, being Romania’s official entry to the 2009 Academy Awards.
The varied activities and the growing interest in our organization resulted in an increase of membership this year, as we are happy to welcome Radu Georgescu, Jerry W. McDaniel, Mihaela Trocan, Anca and Mircea Balasu. We wish everyone a heartfelt welcome!
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, 21 February, 2010.