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On Sunday, December 4, 2022, more than 60 members and old and even more new friends of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts welcomed Jõuluvana (Santa Claus) to their annual holiday lunch. We were especially thrilled to welcome our families, growing in numbers.

This year, Astrid and Heinar Normet hosted us in the community center at their new home in Bradenton, Florida. Thank you, Astrid and Heinar! Current and former members of the KFES Juhatus/Estonian Society of Central Florida Board did yeoman’s work that led to such a successful afternoon. Thanks especially to Moonika Mägi, Monika Orumaa, Astrid and Heinar Normet, Heikki and Inne Joonsar, Anneliis Kuusik and Rein Allikberg, Triin Karr, Reet Cabrera, Vincent and Birgit DeLaidatti, and so many others who contributed helping hands and delicious foods!

Traditional holiday fare for our meal, thanks to good scouting by Monika Orumaa, included mouth watering Cuban roast pork and German verivorst. Members complemented the meal with mashed and roast potatoes, hapukapsad (sauerkraut), cranberry sauce and pickled pumpkin, and cucumbers in sour cream. Appetizers abounded.

Desserts filled a table all on their own. The centerpiece was a birthday cake to celebrate KFES Treasurer Heikki Joonsar’s birthday. Märten Vaikmaa surprised us by ordering a large selection of custom European and Estonian tortes and desserts made from scratch by the very talented Krislin Kreis, who runs Krislin’s Cakes, a cottage bakery from her home. You may also find Krislin offering tours at her home, the Wonder House, in Bartow, Florida. We were delighted and certainly grateful that Inga and Veiko Kreis, Krislin’s parents, made the journey from Ft. Myers and Bartow to deliver Krislin’s scrumptious goods!

In addition to the many adults with busy hands this afternoon, our children were also put on task. Decorating gingerbread cookies is now an annual highlight!

Marju and Dallas Dishmey supervise the children as they decorate piparkoogid. Kesk Florida Eesti Selts Lõunasöök Jõuluvanaga. 4. dets. 2022. Bradenton, FL. Foto: Lisa A. Mets

Though a traditional Estonian holiday dinner with our growing Estonian Kesk Florida Eesti Selts family is a highlight for us each December, the stars of the show were Jõuluvana himself, assisted by his trusty päkapikk. Persuaded the room was filled with good girls and boys, Jõuluvana distributed special gifts to each child. In return, we serenaded Jõuluvana with a song or two and filled the room with good cheer until the sun set and it was time once again to go home.

Enjoy these holiday photos of many of the members of our Kesk Florida Eesti Selts family who joined us today.

We look forward to seeing you again in the New Year! In the meantime, we wish you all Rõõmsaid Jõulupühi and all the joys of the holiday season as you celebrate in your own special ways.

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

This just in: Santa Claus/Jõuluvana will be stopping in during our traditional Christmas/Jõulu luncheon. We are posting this “save the date” notice so you can be sure to continue on your best behavior as you wait for Santa Claus/Jõuluvana to arrive.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

2:00 pm

Our new location this year:

Morton Village Clubhouse in Heinar and Astrid Normet’s residential community in Bradenton, Florida.

5400 34th St W

Bradenton, FL 34210

Directions to the Clubhouse: Enter the Morton Village driveway at 5400 34th Street W. Go West. At the second drive, turn right. The Clubhouse will be straight ahead.

Thank you, Astrid and Heinar, for providing the site for this event!

We will be offering a traditional holiday meal with pork roast and verivorst. Some of our members have let us know they are bringing hapukapsad (sauerkraut), kartulisalat (potato salad), and ahjukartulid (roast potatoes). For dessert, piparkoogid will be placed on the children’s table; and a birthday cake will celebrate the birthday of our esteemed KFES laekur (treasurer), Heikki Joonsar. Please bring your favorite adult beverages. Non-alcoholic beverages, coffee and water will be provided.

We invite your contributions of salads, desserts and your own family holiday favorites to round out our festive luncheon.

The cost is the same as 2021: $35 per adult, children 12 and under are free.

So we may plan to accommodate all our guests, RSVP by Monday, November 28, 2022, to Heikki Joonsar, Treasurer/Laekur of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts, and let him know the following:

(a) Your name and the names of guests accompanying you

(b) The names and ages of your children. Please bring a wrapped gift for each child so Jõuluvana may make this a happy occasion for them too.

(c) What you plan to bring for our luncheon smorgasbord

(d) Santa’s elves–Jõuluvana päkapikud–always welcome volunteers to help us host this spirited and beloved holiday gathering. Please let us know we may count you among our helpful elves/päkapikud. There are no jobs too big nor too small with many helpful hands! Please let Heikki Joonsar know if you are able to help with set-up, service during the afternoon and/or clean-up.

To make check-in easier, please make your payment in advance through Zelle to kfes1918@yahoo.com or by mailing a check made payable to “Estonian Society of Central Florida” to Heikki Joonsar. His address is below. Heikki will also accept payment at the door.

Mr. Heikki Joonsar

KFES Treasurer

14032 89th Ave

Seminole, FL 33776

Event details are communicated through email, Facebook (Kesk Florida Eestlased–a private account), and this website.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Estonian Society of Central Florida Board/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts Juhatus

Dear friends,

The Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts has a wonderful Facebook account. You may find the account by searching this name: Kesk Florida Eestlased. To enhance security features for our Facebook account members, Kesk Florida Eestlased is a private account that asks you to click on a link to join. The account is managed by KFES member Birgit Delaidatti, and she will respond to requests from prospective followers. Thank you, Birgit, for this wonderful service to Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts members!

The Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts communicates information about its activities through the Kesk Florida Eestlased Facebook account, this blog (floridaestos.blog), and email. To have your name added to the email list, please send an email to Heikki Joonsar, Treasurer/Laekur of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts.

Estonian Society of Central Florida Board/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts Juhatus

Sixty members and old and new friends of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts gathered for lunch at The Hangar Restaurant and Flight Lounge, St. Petersburg, Florida, on Sunday, November 6, 2022. This may have been the highest number gathered for a November event. Congratulations! The annual business meeting, traditionally held in November, will be scheduled in the New Year. Before then, Jõuluvana will be joining us for our annual holiday celebration, scheduled for Sunday, December 4, 2022. Please see the posting on this website for more information about that much loved gathering.

This gathering was organized and co-emceed by KFES Vice President Moonika Mägi and longtime member Monika Orumaa. Speakers included Professor Emeritus Lembit Nei, who is on a return visit from Estonia; Estonia-bound Ryan McNichols; and former KFES President Tõnu Toomepuu. A fixed price menu was offered and two scrumptious kringlid were prepared by Moonika Mägi for dessert.

Lively conversations that started before 2:00 extended through the afternoon well past 5:00 pm. It was great to be together again! Enjoy the photos!

(left to right) Helve Silah, Helen Tammela, Brigit DeLaidatti, Ester Parris, Krislin Kämärä, Mari Markus, ees on Chloe Cabrera, Moonika Mägi ja Reet Cabrera. Kesk Florida Eesti Selts, St. Petersburg, FL. 6. nov. 2022. Foto: Lisa A. Mets

The Board/Juhatus of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts is pleased to announce our first activity for 2022-2023. Please join us as our summer hiatus comes to an end:

Sunday, November 6, 2022

2:00 pm

The Hangar Restaurant & Flight Lounge

https://www.thehangarstpete.com/

(at Albert Whitted Airport)

540 First Street South

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Telephone: 727.823.7767

A private room has been reserved on the second floor, and the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts is paying the room rental fee.

11/3/2022 UPDATE

On November 2, 2022, Heikki Joonsar sent members an email with this update on event details.

Members may order lunch off “fixed menus.” Members will pay KFES $35/person, $8/child, at the door. The children’s menu is offered to children ten and under. Payment may be made by cash, check or Zelle to KFES1918@yahoo.com. A cash bar will be open.

ADULT MENU

Salad Course

Spring Green Salad or Caesar Salad

Entree

Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf

Grilled Organic Salmon

Airline Chicken Breast

or Vegetable Fettucine

Dessert

Moonika Mägi will be bringing her sumptuous kringel for dessert.

PROGRAM

We are delighted to welcome back old friends, Lembit Nei and his family. Professor Lembit Nei is a familiar face to many of us who attended our KFES events on October 6, 2013, and January 5, 2014. Lembit was accompanied by his wife and daughter, and he served as our guest speaker at the January event. Professor Nei is now a Senior Researcher and Professor Emeritus, Tartu College School of Engineering, Tallinn University of Technology, and he serves as Director of the NGO Environmental Protection Institute. Currently, Professor Nei is spending one month in the US as a Michigan State University – Erasmus+ academic visitor. Professor Emeritus Nei is a recent recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal of Tartu. Professor Nei will share his impressions on “what’s going on in Estonia.” Let’s give Professor Nei and his family a warm welcome.

Because the private room can accommodate up to 50 (and the adjoining outdoor balcony can accommodate 20) , please email Heikki Joonsar, Treasurer, to let him know if you are planning to attend so we may confirm we have enough space.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

The Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts Board

On Sunday, April 24, 2022, in the beautiful community room at Tamarac by the Gulf (Seminole, FL)–where Inne and Heikki Joonsar have a winter home–over 45 members and friends of the Kesk Florida Eesti Selts/Estonian Society of Central Florida gathered for a final luncheon before breaking for their traditional summer hiatus. Moonika Mägi, KFES’s multitalented Vice President and super chef, organized the event and offered welcoming remarks. She invited members to join her in thanking the members of the 2021-2022 KFES Board; our extraordinary musical director Kaie Põhi Latterner (and Honorary Consul of Estonia, St. Petersburg, FL); and all of today’s attendees for their participation and contributions to our potluck smorgasbord. Noting the absence of our esteemed KFES president, the members sent their enthusiastic thanks and best wishes to Merit Laansalu who has transferred for work in Portugal.

KFES also welcomed a number of special guests to our luncheon. Jüri Toomepuu introduced his old friend Ervin Pari visiting from Tartu. Ervin introduced his son, Väikko Pari, and his wife Maria (from Deltona, FL); and daughter Kadri Pari, and her daughter Kimberli, and Tomas Jonkaitis. Inne and Heikki Joonsar were joined by their granddaughter Ellie Joonsar (from Atlanta) and her friend Alexandria Buell. Performing a Polynesian hula dance, Livija Rebane was the highlight of our afternoon program. A delicious smorgasbord and lively conversations were enjoyed by all.

Please keep an eye on email in September/October, 2022, for an announcement about our next activity. Happy Summer to all!

[Enjoy these photos: Double-click on the first photo to open the photo deck. Use the right arrow key to move through the deck.]

We are delighted to invite you to our next event that is taking place on Sunday, April 24th, 2022, from 1:00 to 4:00 PM EDT, in Seminole, Florida. 

The event will be outside in the open air at Tamarac by the Gulf Club House (9099 141st Street N, Seminole, FL 33776) where Inne and Heikki Joonsar will welcome us. Their residential community is a familiar location to us.

Shuffle board and horse shoe pits are available for your entertainment. 

We will be able to use one grill, so KFES/Estonian Society of Central Florida will provide some snacks/items from the BBQ. Please bring appetizers, snacks or dessert to share and drinks to your liking.

For children, we would like to offer an egg hunt.  If you bring your little ones with you, please also bring the eggs for the egg hunt and we will organize the hunt. Pease let us know the names and ages of children who will be participating.

And we also have a special guest performing this time!

The participation fee is $15 per adult.  RSVP and make your payment by April 13th

Payment methods:

To transfer funds to Kesk Florida Eesti Selts via Zelle, add address kfes1918@yahoo.com. In the note box, put your names and what the funds are for (April 2022 gathering). When you are given the choice of “personal” or “business,” check “business.” In the name of the account put in “Estonian Society of Central Florida.”

Of course, we can receive checks made out to KFES or Estonian Society of Central Florida and we will deposit them electronically. Mail your check to:
Heikki Joonsar, 14032 89th Ave, Seminole, FL 33776. 

We look forward to seeing you in April!

KFES Juhatus/Estonian Society of Central Florida Board

Outdoor picnics are among our favorite ways of gathering! On a beautiful warm and sunny day, Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES)/Estonian Society of Central Florida–55 members, friends and children–celebrated the 104th Anniversary of Estonian Independence on Sunday, February 27, 2022, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm EST, in Walsingham Park (click on the link for park information), Shelter 8, 12615 102nd Ave, Seminole, FL 33778.

KFES President Merit Laansalu officially opened the afternoon program and offered moving personal reflections on the significance of our celebration of Estonian Independence Day in light of Ukraine’s fight for its continuing independence. Vincent Delaidatti offered a blessing for our meal and a special prayer for independence. Kersti Totsas Linask, our former KFES President, visited us from her home in Virginia and brought greetings from the Washington DC Estonian community. In a moving song of prayer for Eesti led by Birgit and Vincent Delaidatti, we stood and joined together in the singing of Hoia Jumal Eestit. Birgit Deladatti and Moonika Mägi followed with Põhjamaa. In our traditional patriotic salutes, our program began with the singing of the American National Anthem and closed with the Estonian national anthem. During our meal, Heinar Normet offered two special toasts: one to support Ukraine in its fight for continuing freedom and the second to salute Vaba Eesti. On behalf of KFES, Aukonsul Kaie Põhi Latterner offered thanks to the Märten Vaikmaa family, who have hosted prior KFES events at their beautiful home.

Jüri Toomepuu introduced his special guest joining us this day: Jaak Madison, Estonian member of the European Parliament and member of its Committee on Foreign Affairs and its delegation for relations with the United States. Mr. Madison offered greetings and remarks on current affairs and was happy to mingle with our members throughout the afternoon.

This special occasion celebrated our Estonian heritage and culture through songs lead by Eesti Aukonsul and Accordionist and Pianist Extraordinare Kaie Põhi Latterner and our talented singers Vincent Delaidatti, Birgit Delaidatti and Moonika Mägi. Aided through song sheets, everyone especially enjoyed the afternoon of ühislaulud that have become so familiar to all of us.

A main dish of traditional cabbage rolls, our usual potluck smorgasbord made possible through our members and friends, and drinks were organized by the KFES Juhatus (Estonian Society of Central Florida Board). In addition to the adjacent playground and open fields for our children to play, KFES President Merit Laansalu supervised an activity table for children, who were proud to make Estonian flags. Thank you to all who made this another memorable event in the life of the Kesk Florida Eesti Selts. Enjoy the photos that reflect the joy we felt to be together on this special occasion.

Outdoor picnics are among our favorite ways of gathering! Kesk Florida Eesti Selts/Estonian Society of Central Florida will celebrate the 104th Anniversary of Estonian Independence on Sunday, February 27, 2022, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm EST, in Walsingham Park (click on the link for park information), Shelter 8, 12615 102nd Ave, Seminole, FL 33778.

We plan to use this special occasion to celebrate our Estonian heritage and culture through folksongs, music and folkdances. Please share your talents and join others who may lead us in song and dance! Please also let us know the names and ages of children who will be attending with you and share your suggestions for activities children may enjoy too!

Main dishes and warm drinks will be organized by the KFES Juhatus (Estonian Society of Central Florida Board). We especially welcome appetizers and/or desserts you would like to contribute to our luncheon. Please let us know what you plan to bring so we may coordinate our meal. When bringing your own drinks, please note that alcoholic drinks are not permitted in this park.

By February 15, 2022, please send an email to Merit Laansalu Alvarez to let her know you will be coming. The cost of participation is $15 per person, paid in advance. Children under the age of 12 are free.

Payment methods: To transfer funds to Kesk Florida Eesti Selts via Zelle, add the address kfes1918@yahoo.com. (1) In the note box: (a) Insert your names and (b) purpose of the funds (EVA 104). (2) There also is a choice of personal or business: Check business. (3) In name of account: Type in “Estonian Society of Central Florida”.

Of course, we can receive checks made out to “KFES/Estonian Society of Central Florida” and the Treasurer will deposit them electronically. Write the names of all participants and “EVA 104” in the Memo line. Please mail your check to:
Mr. Heikki Joonsar, KFES Treasurer, 14032 89th Ave, Seminole, FL 33776. 

More information about our celebration will be sent by email as the day approaches.

See you soon!

KFES Juhatus

Eesti Vabariigi Peakonsulaat viib 8. märtsil 2022 läbi konsulaarmissiooni St. Petersburgis (Florida). Eesti kodanikel on võimalik taotleda uut passi või ID-kaarti, uuendada aeguvaid dokumente ning saada kätte eelnevalt tellitud dokumente.

Info konsulaarteenuste, dokumentide taotlemise, taotluse vormide jms kohta on leitav peakonsulaadi veebilehelt.

Peakonsuli vastuvõtt toimub aadressil 241 173rd Avenue East, North Redington Beach FL 33708. Vajalik eelnev registreerimine Eesti aukonsuli St. Petersburgis pr. Kaie Tiina Põhi Latterneri e-postiaadressil kaiet@earthlink.net.

The Consulate General of Estonia in New York will conduct a consular visit to St. Petersburg, Florida, on March, 8, 2022. Estonian citizens will be able to apply for a passport or ID-Card, renew their passport or ID-Card and receive previously ordered documents.

Information regarding consular services, application forms etc. can be found on the website of Consulate General in New York.

The Consul General will conduct business at 241 173rd Avenue East, North Redington Beach, Florida 33708. Please pre-register for an appointment by e-mailing the Honorary Consul in St. Petersburg, Florida, Ms. Kaie Tiina Põhi Latterner at kaiet@earthlink.net.

NOTE: 5. märtsil 2022, Eesti Vabariigi Peakonsulaat viib konsulaarmissiooni Miamisse (Florida)https://newyork.mfa.ee/et/events/konsulaarmissioon-miamisse/. Peakonsuli vastuvõtt toimub aadressil 1384 SW 18 St, Miami, Florida 33145. Vastuvõtule registreerimiseks palun saatke e-kiri aukonsul Jorge L. Vierale joviro47@hotmail.com. The Consulate General of Estonia in New York will conduct a consular visit to Miami, Florida, on Tuesday, March 5, 2022.  https://newyork.mfa.ee/events/consular-visit-to-miami/. All meetings will be held at 1384 SW 18 St, Miami, Florida 33145. Please pre-register for an appointment by e-mailing to the Honorary Consul Mr. Jorge L. Viera at joviro47@hotmail.com.