For Immediate Release – January 10, 2013
Washington, DC: National Federation of Croatian Americans Cultural Foundation (NFCACF) members were pleased to attend the Croatian Embassy’s Christmas reception to honor US Congressmen Elton Gallegly (R-CA) and Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). Croatian Ambassador Josko Paro hosted this event in Washington to honor the outgoing Co-Chairs of the Congressional Croatian Caucus who were retiring from the US Congress. In addition, the Ambassador presented Mr. Edward A. Andrus - former President of the National Federation of Croatian Americans from 2004 to 2009 - with the ‘Order of Stjepan Radic’ Medal. This award is named for the distinguished Croatian nationalist, founder of the Croatian People’s Peasant Party, and ardent proponent of independence for Croatia. Stjepan Radic was shot on the floor of the Croatian Parliament and died several weeks later in August 1928. The Republic of Croatia honored Mr. Andrus for his five years of steady leadership services amongst the Croatian American diaspora and for his valuable contributions to the national, political, economic, and social success of Croatia and her people.
The Ambassador’s expert diplomatic congeniality, with the support of his lovely wife Jasna and talented Embassy staff in Washington, helped make the event a joyous Christmas celebration for the two retiring Members of Congress. In attendance were their supportive wives, Janice Gallegly and Elizabeth Harper, and many from their Congressional staffs who were able to attend the celebration on Embassy Row. Mr. Andrus was pleased to have in attendance from Philadelphia his wife Betty, and their daughter Connie and son Michael.
Ambassador Paro conveyed to the two long lasting friends and supporters of Croatia who were retiring from the US Congress an appreciative message in the form of a personal letter from Croatian President Ivo Josipovic. The President’s letter expressed his appreciation to the Congressman for their dedicated service and their role as a strong voice for Croatia on Capitol Hill. Congressmen Gallegly and Kucinich each spoke to the gathered crowd. They highlighted how far Croatia has progressed internationally in a fairly short time and the bright future the Republic has as a reliable European ally of the US.
Mr. Andrus also spoke to those assembled. He thanked President Josipovic and Ambassador Paro for the ‘Order of Stjepan Radic’ award and recounted the NFCA’s strong support for legislation that passed the US House of Representatives and US Senate highlighting the readiness of the Republic of Croatia to ascend to full NATO membership, which officially culminated in April 2009. Mr. Andrus also reminded the attendees of the difficult push for passage in the US Senate of the NATO Treaty for Croatia and Albania in late September of 2008. This end-of-year Treaty push was compounded by the US national economic crisis that was peaking while Congress was attempting to adjourn for the Presidential and Congressional elections in early November. Current NFCACF President Bill Vergot also took note by stating: “The Republic’s acknowledgement of our organization’s persistent support for Croatia’s western integration, her expanding democracy, and the steady development of her free markets is truly appreciated with the receipt of Mr. Andrus’ medal tonight. I believe the entire Croatian American diaspora is pleased this evening.”
Mr. Andrus’ acceptance speech is attached as well as official photographs from the Embassy’s event. If you have additional inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact NFCACF Public Affairs Director Joe Foley in Washington on telephone .
The NFCACF is the national umbrella organization of Croatian American individuals, professional associations, and fraternal lodges that collectively represents approximately 130,000 members. For additional public affairs information, please contact NFCACF Headquarters by telephone or by email via firstname.lastname@example.org . For important NFCACF membership information, recent newsletters, and other Croatian American news please visit our web site: www.nfcacf.org . Also, please consider donating to the NFCACF - and/or becoming an individual or group member – by visiting the website and using the easy PayPal button to do so.
National Federation of Croatian Americans
Cultural Foundation (NFCACF)10125 Colesville Rd, Suite 276
Silver Spring, MD 20901-2457
Web link: www.nfcacf.org
|Ambassador Josko Paro, Janice & Elton Gallegly, Dennis & Elizabeth Kucinich, and NFCACF's Joe Foley|
|Former NFCA President Ed Andrus thanking Republic of Croatia for the 'Order of Stjepan Radic' Medal|
|Longtime NFCACF members Tom Steich and Anne Pavlich with Congressman Elton Gallegly and Janice Gallegly|
|Mike, Connie, Betty and Ed Andrus at Croatian Embassy|
|NFCACF's Ed Yambrusic, Zvonko Labas & Joe Foley with Croatia's Deputy Prime Minister Neven Mimica|