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

You are invited!

Midsummer’s Eve John’s Day Ligo/Jaanipäeva Celebration!

Saturday, June 22, 2019

5:00-10:30 pm.

Program:
5:00-7:30 pm
Clubhouse Ballroom
Music, degustation of cheese, wreath making, and potluck meal
All guests are asked to bring along food to share picnic style (potluck).
Estonians: Please bring Estonian-style dishes.

7:30-10:30 pm
Outside around the firepit (a real gas-fueled fire)
Music, singing, dancing, libations and Latvian snacks
Traditional setting sun ceremony

Music will be led by Latvian accordionist Kaspars, our own wonderful Kaie Põhi Latterner, and local musicians.

The Latvian Association will provide piragi, cheese and American beer. Please bring your own beverages of choice.

$10.00/adult suggested donation. Children under the age of 16 are free.

Our wonderful host is Latvian Dace Nebare.

This event is taking place in a gated community off the Pinellas Bayway (the state road that runs between the Don CeSar Hotel and I-275, 54th Ave S exit). It is near the Isla del Sol properties. The address will be provided in an email to those who RSVP. Note: You will pass through a toll booth on the Pinellas Bayway.

If you are planning to come, and we hope you are, RSVP by June 12, 2019. Please include the names of all members of your group and your children and their ages in your response.

We hope to see you there!

KFES Juhatus

On Saturday, April 13, 2019, more than 30 members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts gathered for our traditional April birthday celebration and potluck picnic. Once again, we gathered at the lovely waterside picnic grounds that are part of the Seminole Isles condominium association where Anneliis Kuusik lives. Thank you, Anneliis, for making this possible! It’s the perfect size for us and we love it here!

Our potluck lunches are always a delight! Our wonderful members continue to offer Estonian-style traditional dishes (Anneliis Kuusik’s sauerkraut, Astrid Normet’s and Kaie Põhi Latterner’s rosolje, and Reet Cabrera’s potato salad); Jae Toomepuu’s herring and rye and salmon and white bread sandwiches; and Marju and Dallas Dishmey’s empanadas, Virve Kai Bulla’s porgandi pirukas, and Anne Holda’s kringel. This year, for dessert, we also enjoyed three traditional French pastry tarts; thank you, Vincent Delaidatti! And oh yes, there was champagne generously contributed by Tõnu Toomepuu and perfect for our birthday celebration. Sincere apologies to those whose names and dishes aren’t listed; we lost track of the details!

Our members enjoyed the time together in great conversation. This is the last official event of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts “academic” season and our opportunity to send everyone off for summer with our best wishes. We are on break now for the summer and plan to see each other again “officially” in October.


Please visit our web site in September for information about the date and location when we meet again in October. If you’re in our area before then–drop us a line! We always love to get together in “unofficial” ways too! In the meantime, have a great summer!

Potluck Piknik

The Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts invites you to join us for our annual April Potluck Piknik. The Society/Selts provides grilled sausages and buns, coffee and water; please bring a dish to contribute to our lunch.

Saturday, April 13, 2019
2:00 pm
$5/adult; children under 16 are free; this may be paid at the door.

ADVANCE RESERVATIONS ARE A MUST BY MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2019.
SEND AN EMAIL TO ANNELIIS KUUSIK AT KUUSIKA09@AOL.COM.
THE GATE CODE WILL BE SENT BY EMAIL.

LOCATION
Community Center in the Seminole Isles Condominium Complex
(this is where Anneliis Kuusik lives)
7069 Key Haven Rd.
Seminole, FL 33777
Please bring lawn chairs.
Dogs are allowed but they must be on leashes.

We welcome volunteers to help us set up and clean up! Thank you!

On March 24, 2019, more than 30 members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES) gathered at the home of Estonian Honorary Consul Kaie Põhi Latterner to welcome spring and share a potluck lunch. By the time everyone arrived, the table was truly a sight to see with delicious food of all kinds–both for the main meal of smoked ham, meatballs, crab cakes, empañadas, rosolje, shrimp fried rice, kapsapirukad, salads, and fruit; and ohhhhh, the desserts including French apple tarts, homemade cookies, Tiramisu and Napoleons!!! Thank you to our organizers: Anneliis Kuusik, Kaie Latterner, Eric and Reet Cabrera, Dallas and Marju Dishmay, and Vincent and Birgit Delaidatti. And thanks to everyone who helped with serving and cleanup the day of the party!

We were blessed with a warm and beautiful day. Whether inside or outside, it was comfortable and fun for everyone who enjoyed the foods and beverages, swimming (especially the kids!), singing in the house at first and later around the outdoor fireplace, and just socializing together. The hour was late when the final guests left, already talking about the next get-together.

Far exceeding the attendance guesstimates of the Kesk Florida Eesti Seltsi (KFES) juhatus/Estonian Society of Central Florida Board, 71 guests attended the association’s celebration of the 101st anniversary of the Republic of Estonia. The weather and the setting couldn’t have been more perfect: It was another grand blue sky hot sunny day as we gathered in the lovely ballroom in the beautifully situated Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater, Florida. Starting with cocktails at 11:00 am, the event was well paced to its 3:00 pm conclusion giving guests plenty of time to enjoy our engaging program, delicious lunch, and spirited conversations.

Lisa A. Mets, KFES asepresident/Estonian Society of Central Florida vice president (we decided not to elect a president this year), served as emcee for the formal program. She welcomed four distinguished guests who joined us in our celebration: Hr. Jaak Treiman, Eesti Vabariigi Aukonsul/Estonian Honorary Consul in Los Angeles; pr. Kaie Põhi Latterner, Eesti Vabariigi Aukonsul/Estonian Honorary Consul in St. Petersburg (FL) for the northern counties of Florida; The Honorable Mrs. Kairi Künka, Eesti Vabariigi Peakonsul/Estonian Consul General in New York; and Ms. Kersti Eesmaa, Konsulaarosakonna peadirektor/the Director General of the Consular Department, Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who brought greetings to our assembly. KFES was especially honored and privileged to introduce our beloved member, Kaie, as the Estonian Honorary Consul, St. Petersburg (northern counties of Florida); the Honorary Consulate was officially re-opened when Kaie took her oath of office on Friday evening, February 22, 2019, in her home. You may read the Foreign Ministry’s press release about the event here. KFES was especially delighted too to welcome back Lgp. pr. Künka, who had participated in the KFES celebration of EV100 last year.

In response to Ms. Eesmaa’s greetings, Lisa asked Ms. Eesmaa to convey the gratitude of Kesk Florida Eesti Selts for the recognition conveyed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Citizen’s Day, November 26, 2018, on the organization we know and love as KLENK: Kesk Lääne Eesti Noorte Koondis, affectionately called Kesk Lääne Endise Noorte Koondis, now 60 years old. Many KFES members lived in the Midwest and were active participants and organizers of KLENK gatherings. In 2011, to keep KLENK alive, Kesk Florida Eesti Selts hosted KLENK in St. Petersburg and transformed KLENK for snowbirds. Out of that the KLENK-IEP Caribbean cruise was born under the amazing leadership of Anne and Rein Luning. Many of us will be on the ship when the KLENK cruise sets sail for its third voyage on March 2, 2019. We thank and applaud the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for choosing KLENK as a recipient of this distinguished award.

Lisa designed her remarks around this theme: Why do we do what we do when we celebrate Estonian Independence Day? After all, the format of our program likely matches the programs hosted by numerous other Estonian associations taking place across America this month. Do we do what we do because it has always been done this way? What is the thought behind each element in our program? Lisa guided the guests through each step in the program with introductory remarks primarily focusing on Estonia’s history and culture. Kaie Põhi Latterner accompanied all of the musical elements of our program.

The first element in our program was the singing of the national anthem of the United States, not only because we live here but to pay tribute to a country whose ideals we share. Honoring Estonia’s spiritual and faith-based traditions, Monika Orumaa Craig led us in prayer, the second element in our program. The third element was a keynote address by Eesti Vabariigi Peakonsul/Estonian Consul General Künka. Pr. Künka delivered her address in Estonian; a printed English translation was available so all the guests could follow along. It was significant that pr. Künka made her remarks in Estonian: 2019 is the year of the Estonian language, kicked off on January 24, 2019, at a conference in Tallinn titled, “The Century of Estonian as the state language.”

In her remarks, pr. Künka noted that Mart Meri, a member of the board of the Estonian Institute, expressed a dream of “increasing the number of Estonian language speakers in the world to at least 1.5 million.” [Kesk Florida Eesti Selts is doing its part! Our musical program featured songs sung in Estonian by Rein Männik and our usual energetic Estonian Ühislaul/sing-a-along. Three of our favorite songs were enjoyed: Viljandi Paadimees, Ma Tahaksin Kodus Olla and Kungla Rahvas.] Pr. Künka concluded her remarks saying, “We have to continue working for the security and prosperity of our country, preserving its rich cultural heritage and keeping our language, all together, Estonians at home and abroad.” In today’s program, Kesk Florida Eesti Selts, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, recommitted itself to doing just that.

“In Memoriam” is the fourth element in our program. In her introductory remarks, Lisa reviewed the history of the Estonian war of independence fought from November 2018 to December 2019; the tragedy of World War II on the Estonian population; and the ultimate sacrifice made by Estonian soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. All of our guests stood to honor our fallen heroes by singing together “Puhake Paremad Pojad.” The closing element in our formal program was, as always, the singing of the Estonian National Anthem. We stood and heartily sang with joy in our hearts and tears in our eyes “Mu isamaa, mu õnn ja rõõm.” Elagu Eesti!

A delicious lunch followed with fabulous service by the Feather Sound Country Club staff. Kaie Põhi Latterner then took over the remainder of the program. She noted that, as the custodian of the book, she brought the lovely History of the Eesti Kroon and placed it on display for all to enjoy. This was a gift to KFES by the author for EV100.

The precious book, The History of the Eesti Kroon, on display. Kesk Florida Eesti Selts. EV101. 23. veeb. 2019.a. Clearwater, FL. Foto: Erkki Taada

We offered a champagne toast to Estonia: Elagu Eesti! Thank you, Robin and Tõnu Toomepuu, for the champagne.

Then we had fun with the loterii: Triin Karr and her daughter Annika and son Logan drew the winning tickets. Thank you to all our KFES members for bringing contributions to our loterii table!

We engaged in our musical program. Rein Männik, our featured musician this year, serenaded us with several lovely songs, each with a story of significance to Rein.

Ühislaul, as always, was enjoyed by all who end up rocking, rolling and clapping along.

Though we didn’t offer a rahvatants/folk dance program this year, we concluded our musical activity with a huge circle of guests dancing the Perekonna Valss.

Closing remarks were offered by Aukonsul/Honorary Consul Kaie Põhi Latterner. As is customary in Kaie’s remarks, she had all of us standing at the end because we were born in Estonia, we were born to Estonian parents, we married an Estonian, and/or we love an Estonian. That covered 100% of our guests.

Bringing our celebration to an end, we adjourned outside for a group photo on the balcony and conversation that didn’t want to end.

We hope you enjoy our photos. Please plan to join us next year!

By Florida standards, it was a cold, rainy and windy day–just the perfect setting for our annual supp ja võileiv lõunasöök (soup and sandwich luncheon). Just about 50 members gathered together, and we were delighted to see old friends and welcome some new ones too! Everything everyone contributed to the luncheon was simply Esto-so-delicious! A highlight of the afternoon in what has become a favorite and customary activity for us was our ühislaulmine (group singing) energetically led by Kaie Põhi Latterner on the accordion. Though we have lots of great activities ahead of us, we’re already looking forward to this annual event next year. Enjoy the photos!

Dear Members and Friends of Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES)/Estonian Society of Central Florida,

This year, the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts will be celebrating the 101st Anniversary of Estonian Independence. The year 1919–100 years ago–was a year of battles on our beloved Estonian soil that adds great significance to this year’s commemoration of our independence and our valiant fighters.

Eesti Vabariigi Aastapäeva Tähistamine
Celebration of Estonian Independence Day
We will be joined by special guests:
Eesti Vabariigi Peakonsul lgp. pr. Kairi Künka (Estonian Consul General in New York City)
Konsulaarosakonna Peadirektor pr. Kersti Eesmaa (Director General, Consular Department)
Eesti Vabariigi Aukonsul (Los Angeles) hr. Jaak Treiman (Estonian Honorary Consul in Los Angeles)
Saturday, February 23, 2019
11:00 am – 3:00 pm (for the 101st Anniversary of Estonian Independence)
$40/adult; $23/child under 16
ADVANCE PRE-PAID RESERVATIONS TO ANNELIIS KUUSIK BY FEBRUARY 2 ARE A MUST
Feather Sound Country Club
2201 Feather Sound Dr
Clearwater, FL 33762
http://www.fscc.club/

WHEN YOU RESPOND TO ANNELIIS KUUSIK WITH YOUR RESERVATION, PLEASE LET HER KNOW YOUR MEAL SELECTIONS: Teriyaki Fish (Mahi Mahi) or Chicken Piccata. Children will be served chicken fingers.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

KFES Juhatus