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Dear Friends and Members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts,

This is to let you know that, in light of the projected relentless spreading of COVID-19 over the ensuing months, we are canceling this year’s April picnic.

CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED

Picnic
Saturday, April 18, 2020
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
[Anneliis Kuusik’s condominium community]

CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED 

KFES is fully committed to our nation’s public health campaign for social distancing and good hygiene to contain and mitigate the spread. Let’s do our part to stop the spread!

Please stay in communication with each other and lend a helpful hand where needed.

We extend our very best wishes that all stay well!

KFES Juhatus

This is to let you know we are announcing the cancellation of our next event.

CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED CANCELED
Potluck Luncheon
Sunday, March 15, 2020
Lovely Home of Peep and Livija Rebane

Our nation and world are engaging strategies to contain and mitigate the transmission and effects of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19).

An important mitigation strategy at this time is one called “social distancing.”

Though our group is small, we believe in supporting the CDC and Department of Health recommendations that we all individually and collectively avoid large gatherings. For some that means >1,000. For us, that means our number no matter how small.

We extend our deep appreciation to Peep and Livija. They have let us know they will be happy to host us again at a future date when our public health concerns have subsided.

The Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts gathered together on Saturday, February 22, 2020, to celebrate the 102nd Anniversary of Estonian Independence and the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the Tartu Peace Treaty. As Estonia approached the 100th Anniversary of its declaration of independence in 2018, Estonia cleverly declared we would celebrate for three years: 2018 would be the 100th Anniversary of our Declaration of Independence, 2019 would be the 100th Anniversary of our War of Independence, and 2020 would be the 100th Anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty. And so, the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts has been following these themes at its Estonian Independence Day celebrations in 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Our luncheon at the fabulous Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater, Florida, hosted 55 members and friends of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida. We were delighted to welcome back members we usually see once or twice a year: Taivo and Anneliis Hurt, Evi and Arno Kallas, Viive and Ken Morin, Henno and Carmen Normet, Rein and Geri Raja, Helen Tammela and David Clauch, and Aino and Ants Tomson. This year we had the opportunity to welcome a new member, Liis Janusauskas; Liis and her husband recently located here from Chicago and we are delighted Liis sought out our community. We were joined by special friends too: Viviana and Tooma Paddrik from Ft. Lauderdale; Piret Komi from Toronto; and Judy Splendore, Kaie Põhi Latterner’s wonderful neighbor. We were delighted our association has hooked in these newer members: Kadri Lindemann-Owens and Mall and John Chaney; Anu Nerska Sheridan’s husband, David, came down from Montreal to join our celebration this year too. No, we did not call out all the names of those who celebrated together this year. We asked the regular members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts to stand and be recognized as the “heart and soul of KFES, who make this association thrive. They are the family members who make it possible for us to call KFES our home.”

Kesk Florida Eesti Selts EVA 102 tähistamine. 22. veeb. 2020. Clearwater, FL. Foto: Lisa A. Mets

Our program was simple this year: heartfelt, sometimes tearful, and undeniably uplifting. We began with an a capella performance of the U.S. national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner, by our member Vincent Delaidatti. Vincent took our breath away, singing the national anthem the way it has always been meant to be sung and rarely is. The anthem tells a victorious story, and Vincent sang it convincingly. Bravo and thank you, Vincent! If an organization is seeking someone to open its program with the U.S. national anthem, we highly recommend Vincent without reservation; Vincent is a treasure. Lisa A. Mets, KFES president, followed Vincent. Lisa welcomed guests and offered remarks reviewing the history and significance of our celebration of EV 102 and the 100th anniversary of the Tartu Peace Treaty. We invited Vincent to return to the podium to offer a prayer for Estonia, the traditional invocation at ceremonies such as this one. As is customary, we paused to remember our fallen soldiers. Mrs. Urve Põhi read A. Oengo Kingo’s poem Noor Sõdalane. Closing remarks were offered by Ms. Kaie Põhi Latterner, Estonian Honorary Consul (St. Petersburg, FL), and we concluded on our feet with the singing of the Estonian national anthem, Mu Isamaa, Mu Õnn ja Rõõm. Preceded by a blessing for the meal by Birgit Delaidatti, lunch followed. Ah yes, our fun loterii was held over the luncheon period. Thank you to Triin Sikemäe Karr and her daughter, Annika, for leading that successful activity! Dessert was very special this year. Our member Moonika Mägi, who could not be with us on this day, made not one but three kringels, forming the year 102. Oh my, were they delicious! As in years past, a champagne toast was lifted to Eesti, Elagu Eesti! And this year, in anticipation of Jüri Toomepuu’s 90th birthday in June, we lifted a special champagne toast honoring Jüri for his lifetime commitment to the good of Estonia and our little Kesk Florida Eesti Selts: Elagu, Jüri!

Today was special. Estonians love music and dance and, as Estonians, our Kesk Florida Eesti Selts does too! Rein Männik returned with his guitar and offered a couple ballads to our appreciative ears. Kaie Põhi Latterner picked up her accordion and, with Rein, led our entire group in the singing of a number of our favorite ühislaulud: Ma Tahaksin Kodus Olla, Tallinna Teel, Kungla Rahvas, Viljandi Paadimees, and Jää Vabaks, Eesti Meri. We concluded our musical and dance program with the Perekonna Valss. Several members dressed in Estonian traditional folk dresses; and the beautiful table decorations, each a stylized Eesti sõlg, all made by Anneliis Kuusik, were right on theme.

Next year, (tentatively on 20 February, 2021, same time, same place), the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts will be celebrating EV103 and the 30th Anniversary of the Restoration of Estonian Independence. Planning is already under way and we hope to make the celebration a little extra special. Please plan to join us; you may even see the return of the Rannapiigad.

Thirty-five hungry members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts gathered for their favorite January annual soup and sandwich lunch on Saturday, January 25, 2020, at 2:00 pm, in the lovely community room at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Seminole, Florida. A fabulous smorgasbord of Estonian-style soups, sandwiches, pasteet, Korean dumplings, meatballs, salads, and desserts were enjoyed. Yes, frikadelli supp, kapsarulli soup, and borscht delighted us all. Heeringa-, kilu- and lõhe kala võileivad were delicious. Tasty kartuli salat and rosolje were on the table too. There were desserts galore with bakers taking advantage of the Florida strawberry season, a little rum for the rum cake, warm bread pudding and unbeatable chocolate chip cookies. Oh my! It was a feast! The highlight of the afternoon was the introduction of Karneelia and Marmeelia Dishmey, accompanied by their proud parents Marju and Dallas Dishmey. Karneelia and Marmeelia are just three months old! Welcome to our community! Enjoy our photos!

Kallid Kesk Florida Eesti Seltsi liikmed ja sõbrad/Dear Members and Friends of the Estonian Society of Central Florida,

Head uut aastat! Happy New Year!

Here is information about our next two events, which we hope you will plan to attend.

1. Eesti suppi ja võileiva lõunasöök
Estonian soup and sandwich lunch
This is a potluck, and we all make Estonian-style soups, sandwiches and salads (and desserts)
Saturday, January 25, 2020
2:00 pm; $10/person, children under the age of 12 are free
ADVANCE RESERVATIONS BY JANUARY 18, 2020, ARE A MUST: Please email Lisa Mets and let her know the names of those coming with you and what you are planning to bring. If you are willing to make a soup, please let Lisa know that too. Please remember to bring your own soup bowls and soup spoons and your favorite beverages.

Here is our location:
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (we were here for our Christmas lunch)
10891 102nd Ave N
Seminole, FL 33778

2. Eesti Vabariigi Aastapäeva Tähistamine
Celebration of Estonian Independence Day
Saturday, February 22, 2020
11:00 am – 3:00 pm (for the 102nd Anniversary of Estonian Independence)
$50/adult; $25/child under 10
ADVANCE PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS TO ANNELIIS KUUSIK BY FEBRUARY 1 ARE A MUST (see address below).
Please let us know your meal choice when you make your reservation: Teriyaki Mahi Mahi or Chicken Piccata.
Our ever popular loterii returns: Please bring a prize to include on the loterii table.
Our location:
Feather Sound Country Club
2201 Feather Sound Dr
Clearwater, FL 33762
http://www.fscc.club/

Please mail your check to:

Ms. Anneliis Kuusik
KFES Treasurer
7069 Key Haven Rd., #505
Seminole, FL 33777

If you would like to volunteer to help us with our events, please let us know. The more the merrier!

See you soon!
KFES Juhatus/Estonian Society of Central Florida Board

Yes, the members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts were good boys and girls in 2019! Not one name appeared on Santa’s “naughty” list! Nearly 50 of us gathered for our annual Christmas luncheon on Saturday, December 7, 2019. We celebrated with our traditional Estonian dinner that included roast pork, sauerkraut, verivorst and cranberry sauce and all the fixings that go with that! And we sang traditional Christmas songs by the beautiful tree. And more than that, we celebrated Heikki Joonsar’s birthday! (We won’t tell you what number it was…) What a glorious way to start the holiday season! Enjoy our photos.

The Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts gathered on Sunday, November 3, 2019, at the beautiful home of Jüri, Jae, Aldo, Bree, Aleksis and Elliott Toomepuu on the Hillsborough River, in Temple Terrace, Florida. A record 39 participants came together for our annual meeting and to enjoy fellowship, potluck appetizers and desserts, and a fabulous lunch with Korean specialities prepared by the very talented Jae Toomepuu.

Minutes of the Annual Meeting of November 3, 2019

KFES vice president Lisa Mets called the meeting to order at 2:20 pm. The members agreed we did not need to elect another individual to run the meeting (an old Estonian tradition); they confirmed the agenda; and they voted to have all of them serve as vote counters. Today’s annual meeting was a little extra special. Kesk Florida Eesti Selts was founded in November 1978. With a moment of silence we remembered our founder, Henn Rebane, who passed away September 26, 2018. We celebrated the 40th Anniversary of Kesk Florida Eesti Selts with two special kringels baked by Anne Holda and Anneliis Kuusik, and we lifted our glasses in a special toast with champagne, provided once again most generously by Tõnu and Robin Toomepuu.

Remaining order of business

1. The minutes of the KFES annual meeting of November 11, 2018, were approved.
2. The Treasurer’s Report and audited financial statements for 2018-19 were approved. Once again we had a balanced budget, and ended the year a little ahead.
3. Our list of proposed activities for 2019-20 was approved. They are as follows:

Our Annual General Meeting
Sunday, November 3, 2019
2:00 pm

Home of Jüri and Jae Toomepuu

Jõuluõhtusöök ja Jõuluvana
Traditional Estonian-style Christmas dinner with a visit by Santa Claus
Saturday, December 7, 2019
2:00 pm

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (we have been here before)
10891 102nd Ave N, Seminole, FL 33778
Reservations and pre-payment will be required by Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
Adults $35 per person
Children under the age of 12 $10 per person [please let us know the children’s names and ages]
[Parents are encouraged to bring wrapped gifts for their own children.]

Eesti suppi ja võileiva lõunasöök
Estonian soup and sandwich lunch
This is a potluck, and we make Estonian-style soups, sandwiches and salads
January 2020 date, time and location to be announced

$10 per person
Children under the age of 12 are free

Eesti Vabariigi Aastapäeva Tähistamine
Celebration of Estonian Independence Day
Saturday, February 22, 2020
11:00 am – 3:00 pm (for the 102nd Anniversary of Estonian Independence)

Feather Sound Country Club
2201 Feather Sound Dr
Clearwater, FL 33762
http://www.fscc.club/
Reservations and pre-payment will be required by February 5, 2020.
Adults $50 per person
Children under the age of 10 $25 per child (children’s portions)

March Potluck
Date, time and location to be announced

$10 per person
Children under the age of 12 are free

April Piknik (potluck; our association provides grilled sausages)
Date and time to be announced

Community Center in the Seminole Isles Condominium Complex
(this is where Anneliis Kuusik lives)
7069 Key Haven Rd.
Seminole, FL 33777
$10 per person
Children under the age of 12 are free

October 2020 Potluck
End of the 2019-20 Year of Activities
Date, time and location to be announced

$10 per person
Children under the age of 12 are free

4. The budget for 2019-20 was approved. Dues will remain at $20 per person. We are the best bargain for activities and meals in Tampa Bay. The cost for all our 2019-20 activities, including dues, is $145 per adult. Please consider sending your dues and fees in one check to Ms. Anneliis Kuusik, KFES Treasurer, this month.

5. The following were elected Members of the KFES Board for 2019-20

President: Lisa Mets
Secretary: Regina Reet Cabrera
Treasurer: Anneliis Kuusik
Membership Coordinator: Marju Dishmey
Member-at-Large: Maare Kuuskvere

Audit Committee for 2019-20:
Jaan Kuuskvere
Erkki Taada
Tõnu Toomepuu

Today we were delighted to welcome back old friends Birgit Lorenzo with Santiago, Isabella and Matteo; Astrid and Heinar Normet, who spent the summer in Estonia; Lily Sinijärv, with her friend Zbigniew, from Orlando; Vaikko Pari, Maria, Kevin and cousin Kimberly; Reet Cabrera’s mother Alli from Estonia and friend Marie from New Jersey; Anne and Ken Holda from Ohio; Rein Allikberg from Cocoa Beach; and new members Merit Alvarez with son Nicholas and Professor Helis Sikk, who is teaching at USF.

The business meeting adjourned at 2:35 pm, and the festivities continued long after that.

Our next event is the following. Remember: We need to be good until then so Jõuluvana will come by to see us!

Jõuluõhtusöök ja Jõuluvana
Traditional Estonian-style Christmas dinner with a visit by Santa Claus
Saturday, December 7, 2019
2:00 pm

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd (we have been here before)
10891 102nd Ave N, Seminole, FL 33778
Reservations and pre-payment will be required by Wednesday, November 27, 2019.
Adults $35 per person
Children under the age of 12 $10 per person [please let us know the children’s names and ages]
[Parents are encouraged to bring wrapped gifts for their own children.]