Archive for April, 2016

Nearly 30 members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) gathered for a conversation with Toivo Tänavsuu on Saturday, April 30, 2016, from 4:00 to 6:00 (to 8:00) pm hosted by and at the home of Erkki Taada and Lisa Mets, who also serves as Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia, St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mr. Tänavsuu is an investigative journalist with Estonia’s weekly newspaper Eesti Ekspress. Mr. Tänavsuu engaged in a Question and Answer session about current events in Estonia: Who are Estonia’s newest immigrants? Is the threat from Russia real?

Mr. Tänavsuu also is the founder of “Kingitud elu” (gift of life), Estonia’s largest charitable organization. In just two years, the organization has raised over a million dollars and supported 90 individuals seeking cancer treatments that are not covered by state insurance. Those treatments have given patients the gift of extra precious time among their loved ones, hence the name of the charitable organization. Mr. Tänavsuu gave a moving presentation that told the story of his mother’s courageous battle with life-ending cancer and that recounted the founding and current success of Kingitud Elu, Estonia’s most successful philanthropic organization to date.

Mr. Tänavsuu and members of his family are on a 12-day whirlwind visit to Texas, Florida, and Illinois, and we are delighted the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts (KFES)) caught their attention.

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More than 45 members and friends of the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) had a wonderful time at their annual Jüriöö/Jaanipäev picnic and April birthday celebration on an exquisitely beautiful sunny and breezy day under the Bayfront Pavilion on Anna Maria Island, Florida, Sunday, April 24, 2016, from noon to 4:00 pm. Folks came from Tampa Bay and sort of nearby Zephyrhills and Orlando, and as faraway as Tallinn, Estonia; and two families came in a boat! We were thrilled to welcome a newlywed couple that just celebrated their marriage the preceding day.

Once again, the members provided an outstanding potluck luncheon that deliciously complemented grilled bratwurst provided by the membership and perfectly grilled by Anneliis Kuusik, Maare Kuuskvere and Markus Larsson.  Anne Holda on her guitar and Kaie Põhi Latterner on her accordion led us in festive Estonian songs. We congratulated our April birthday celebrants by singing the Estonian traditional birthday song, “Ta (nad) Elagu!” Happy birthday/palju õnne to Leena Aare (94!), Monica Orumaa Craig, Karl Noor, Triin Karr, Maare and Jaan Kuuskvere, and Aini Stephens!

This marks the end of KFES formal activities for the October-April period and the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) now goes on summer hiatus. Escaping the scorching heat and sweltering humidity of Florida in the summer, our members now scatter to cooler places up north and in Estonia. We will resume our activities formally at 2:00 pm on Sunday, October 2, 2016 (location to be determined).

If you are in our area in the meantime, please let us know. Those of us who are still here would love to spend some time with you!

Happy summer!

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