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On January 16, 2022, Rein Raja, our friend and long time member and treasurer of Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES)/Estonian Society of Central Florida, passed away at the age of 90 in St. Petersburg, Florida. Kesk Florida Eesti Selts/Estonian Society of Central Florida offers this tribute, In Memoriam to Rein Raja. We extend our deepest condolences to Rein’s beloved wife Geraldine (Geri) and to Geri and Rein’s families here and in Estonia.

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.

On Saturday, December 11, 2021, 53 members and friends of the Kesk Florida Eesti Selts/Estonian Society of Central Florida, and 11 children aged from 10 months to 10 years, gathered at long last since 2019 at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Seminole, Florida, to celebrate the Christmas season with a festive traditional Estonian-style Christmas meal (including verivorst, pickled pumpkin and sült and kringel, piparkoogid and roosamanna) and an early appearance by Jõuluvana (Santa Claus) just for our good girls and boys (aged 10 months to 90+ years). Our guests drove from as far away as Brooksville, The Villages, Naples, Orlando and Cocoa Beach; as near as Tampa Bay; and Viivi, Mia and Elli flew in recently from Eesti. How happy we were to see each other again!

While we waited for all our guests to arrive, children were busy decorating piparkoogid at an activity table designed just for them. Merit Laansalu Alvarez guided the activities though it appeared the children were quite experienced already!

Once we settled in, Vincent Delaidatti offered a blessing for our meal. Then hungry folks lined up to pass through our wonderful luncheon table.

Our program began once the meal concluded. Kaie Põhi Latterner, our very talented resident musician and Honorary Consul of Estonia, accompanied our musical program. We sang to well known tunes with familiar lyrics whether our songs were in Estonian, English and Spanish. We even paused to sing Nad Elagu! (Estonian Happy Birthday!) to Urve Põhi (who celebrated her 90th birthday in August) and our December birthday celebrants Heikki Joonsar, Heidi and Nico Laansalu Alvarez.

Our children waited patiently for Jõuluvana to arrive and at long last his knocks were heard at the door. Oh my! What joy!

Once Santa departed, KFES Vice President Moonika Mägi invited us to reflect on the Christmases of our childhood. We had three generations of Estonians and Estonian Americans in the room and what a treat it was to remember bringing in the freshly cut Christmas tree on Christmas Eve and adorning it with candles lit in the dark. We closed our program singing Püha Öö (Silent Night).

Our thanks go to our new KFES Juhatus-Estonian Society of Central Florida Board (Merit Laansalu Alvarez, Moonika Mägi, Inne Joonsar, Triin Karr and Heikki Joonsar). We also thank our members and friends who enhanced our meal, our program and our clean-up through their participation.

The members of the 2021-2022 KFES Juhatus/Estonian Society of Central Florida Board thank you for participating in the survey we emailed in October to collect your contact information and ideas for activities. If you have not yet done so, we invite you to visit this link to our survey so we may be sure we have your up-to-date contact information and ideas too: https://forms.gle/GjP9VJmdR6HAc5US9. We value you and your participation.

We look forward to seeing you at upcoming events in the New Year. Please stay tuned to your email and this website for information as it becomes available.

In the meantime, we wish you all rõõmsaid jõulu pühi ja head uut aastat! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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

PLEASE JOIN US FOR OUR TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION!

JÕULUVANA WILL BE JOINING US TOO AND HE IS LOOKING FORWARD TO GREETING THOSE WHO HAVE POEMS, SONGS, OTHER TALENTS, GIGGLES AND GOOD WISHES TO SHARE!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

2:00-5:30 pm Eastern Time

In our familiar location:

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd

10891 102nd Ave N

Seminole, FL 33778

As in the past, we welcome appetizers, desserts and beverages you would like to bring and share to enhance our celebration.

Our KFES elves will be working hard to support this event, and they welcome your participation too if some of you are able to arrive an hour early to help set up or stay a little later to help clean up.

Reservations and pre-payment will be required by Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
Adults: $35 per person

Youth aged 11 to 18: $10 per youth

Children under the age of 11: Free

Please let us know the names and ages of our children and youth who are accompanying you.

By November 30, 2021, please make your check payable to The Estonian Society of Central Florida and mail it with the names of guests (and children and youth ages) to:

Mr. Heikki Joonsar

14032 89th Ave

Seminole, FL 33776

Electronic payment is also possible; please check your email for instructions.

Parents are encouraged to bring wrapped gifts for their own children so Jõuluvana is prepared.

Questions? Please contact KFES Sekretär Triin Karr by email at triin.karr@gmail.com.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

On Sunday, November 7, 2021–a beautifully warm, sunny and breezy day typical of November in Florida–28 members and friends of the Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES)/Estonian Society of Central Florida–from as near as Tampa Bay and as far away as Cocoa Beach, The Villages and Orlando–gathered for their first activity of the 2021-22 season.

KFES Brunch, 7. nov. 2021. Lake Seminole Park, Seminole, FL. Photo: Erkki Taada

A fabulous potluck brunch under Shelter 12 at Lake Seminole Park, Seminole, Florida–planned by our new KFES Board members–was enjoyed by all.

Congratulations to our new 2021-2022 Board members: Heikki Joonsar, treasurer; Inne Joonsar, vice president; Triin Karr, secretary; Moonika Mägi, vice president; and Merit Laansalu Alvarez, president. KFES Brunch, 7. nov. 2021. Lake Seminole Park, Seminole, FL. Photo: Erkki Taada
Shelter 12 on the edge of Lake Seminole provides our beautiful brunch setting. KFES Brunch, 7. nov. 2021. Lake Seminole Park, Seminole, FL. Photo: Erkki Taada

Thank you to all the members for the delicious smorgasbord we enjoyed! What a great way to start off our new year! Enjoy the photos!

SAVE THE DATE FOR OUR TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY CELEBRATION:

Saturday, December 11, 2021

2:00-5:00 pm Eastern Time

In our familiar location:

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd

10891 102nd Ave N

Seminole, FL 33778

Reservations and pre-payment will be required by Tuesday, November 30, 2021.
Adults: $35 per person
Youth aged 11-18: $10 per youth

Children under the age of 11: Free.

Please let us know the names and ages of the children and youth accompanying you.

By November 30, 2021, please make your check payable to The Estonian Society of Central Florida and mail it with the names of all your guests (and your children and youth and their ages) to:

Mr. Heikki Joonsar

14032 89th Ave

Seminole, FL 33776 

Parents are encouraged to bring wrapped gifts for their own children so Jõuluvana is prepared.

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

We are pleased to announce that our 2021-2022 year of activities is kicking off on Sunday, November 7, 2021.

PLEASE JOIN US FOR OUR

NOVEMBER SUNDAY BRUNCH

Sunday, November 7, 2021

11:00 am

Lake Seminole Park – Shelter 12

To locate Shelter 12, please see the map in this link for better guidance.

10015 Park Blvd (74th Ave N)

Seminole, FL 33777

The fee is $10 per adult to cover the costs of the shelter rental and supplies. We will collect the fee at the shelter.

Please bring a breakfast/lunch/brunch dish to share and your favorite beverages. We will be providing hot coffee.

So we may plan for the right number of guests–and if you would like ideas on what to bring–please let us know you are coming by sending an email to KFES Secretary Triin Karr at triin.karr@gmail.com.

PLEASE SAVE THE DATE FOR

OUR TRADITIONAL HOLIDAY PARTY:

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Time to be announced

Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd

10891 102nd Ave N

Seminole, FL 33778

More information will be shared as the event approaches.

PLEASE PARTICIPATE IN OUR SURVEY:

The members of the 2021-2022 KFES Juhatus/Estonian Society of Central Florida Board thank you for participating in the survey we emailed in October to collect your contact information and ideas for activities. If you have not yet done so, we invite you to visit this link to our survey so we may be sure we have your up-to-date contact information and ideas too: https://forms.gle/GjP9VJmdR6HAc5US9. We value you and your participation.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Merit Laansalu Alvarez, President

Inne Joonsar, Vice President

Moonika Mägi, Vice President

Triin Karr, Secretary

Heikki Joonsar, Treasurer

The 2019-20 Juhatus/Board of Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES)/Estonian Society of Central Florida hosted the peakoosolek/annual meeting, virtually through Zoom, on Sunday, September 26, 2021, from 4:00-5:00 pm Eastern Time. Nineteen voting members, constituting a quorum, participated in the meeting.

The meeting agenda included reports from the President, Treasurer, and Auditors. The members voted to accept the Auditors’ report; elected the new president and Board members below; and voted on other matters brought before the membership.

2020-21 (Sept-Oct 2021) and 2021-2022 (Nov 2021-Oct 2022) Board:

President: Merit Laansalu Alvarez

Vice Presidents (2): Inne Joonsar and Moonika Mägi

Secretary: Triin Karr

Treasurer: Heikki Joonsar

The Auditors were re-elected.

The new contact for the KFES/Estonian Society of Central Florida is Triin Karr, Secretary. You may send all inquiries to Triin through email to Triin.

The new President led a lively conversation with members offering suggestions for the upcoming year. The new Board will be emailing a survey to the full Estonian Society of Central Florida members’ and friends’ email list inviting recipients to share updated contact information, affirm their continuing interest in communications, and offer suggestions for program activities and locations. Please stay tuned to your email in October, and please participate in the survey!

The members expressed their appreciation to the 2019-20 outgoing Board for their service and their gratitude to the members who have stepped forward into their new roles commencing today as Board members.



2019-20 KFES Juhatus/Board

On August 28, 2021, the 2019-20 Juhatus/Board of Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES)/Estonian Society of Central Florida emailed a scheduling poll to the voting membership and, on September 1, 2021, based on responses received, announced the peakoosolek/annual meeting will be held:

Sunday, September 26, 2021

4:00-5:00 pm Eastern Time

On September 1, 2021, a zoom link was emailed to the voting membership.

The meeting agenda will include reports from the President, Treasurer, and Auditors. The members will be asked to vote to accept the Auditors’ report; to elect a new president and Board members, who will assume their roles effective following the meeting; and to vote on any other matters brought before the membership.

2019-20 KFES Juhatus/Board

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

In Spring 2020, the pandemic (Covid-19) sent our association into our usual summer hiatus early and in hiatus we have continued since then. We were unable to mount the annual members’ meeting and new elections in November 2020 due to outside demands placed on the members of the KFES Juhatus/Board and a lack of volunteers during the demanding pandemic time.

The 2019-2020 Board invites you–the members of our association–again, as we did in November 2020 and spring 2021, to offer your assistance by taking the lead in offering information and programming to our membership and by volunteering to serve in elected Board positions. We are confident you have good ideas and the means to keep our members engaged and our Selts/Association ongoing.

We mourn the loss of family and friends who have fallen this past year and we share your grief. We hope you have been, are and continue to be in good health. May we look forward with optimism.

The 2019-2020 Juhatus

Lühiajaline konsulaarmissioon St. Petersburgis, FL.

Eesti Vabariigi Peakonsulaat viib 14. ja 15. mail 2021 läbi konsulaarmissiooni St. Petersburgis, Floridas.

Eesti kodanikel on võimalik taotleda uut passi või ID-kaarti, uuendada aeguvaid dokumente ning saada kätte eelnevalt tellitud dokumente.

https://newyork.mfa.ee/et/

Peakonsuli vastuvõtt toimub aadressil 241 173rd Avenue East, North Redington Beach, FL 33708.

Vajalik eelnev registreerimine Eesti aukonsul St. Petersburgis, FL, pr. Kaie Põhi Latterneri e-postiaadressil kaiet@earthlink.net.

Consular Visit to St. Petersburg, FL.

The Consulate General of Estonia in New York will conduct a consular visit to St. Petersburg, Florida, on May 14–15, 2021.

Estonian citizens will be able to apply for a passport or ID-Card, renew their passport or ID-Card and receive previously ordered documents

https://newyork.mfa.ee/estonian-passport-and-id-card/

The Consul General will conduct business at 241 173rd Avenue East, North Redington Beach, FL 33708.

Please pre-register for an appointment by e-mailing the Honorary Consul in St. Petersburg, FL, Ms. Kaie Põhi Latterner at kaiet@earthlink.net.