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Toledo Sister Cities celebrates 30th Anniversary agreement with Szeged, Hungary amidst Covid-19 concerns

TOLEDO, Oct. 9, 2020: Hilde Daugherty, President of the Szeged Committee with Toledo Sister Cities International, announced that despite challenges associated with the Covid-19 virus, the cities of Toledo and Szeged, Hungary still managed to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their Sister Cities agreement with events in both cities.

The agreement between the two cities was fostered by the Rev. Martin Hernady of St. Stephen’s Church and Ann Galloway, then vice-president of Sister Cities International. The sister city agreement was signed in October 1990. The founding members included Ms. Galloway and Judy Balogh.

Peter Ujvagi, a state representative at the time, was instrumental in strengthening the relationship by leading trade delegations to Szeged and welcoming Hungarian leaders in Toledo.

The two cities had planned on celebrating the milestone anniversary starting last May, but the Covid-19 outbreak made that impossible. A Toledo delegation was scheduled to travel to Hungary last May, but that trip was cancelled due to travel restrictions.  The delegation hopes to travel to Hungary in May 2021.

As a result, the City of Toledo honored the agreement during the week of Oct. 4 – 10 with a Proclamation from Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and a gift of Toledo-made glass art for Dr. Laszio Botka, mayor of Szeged. A reception for 150 guests was scheduled for Oct. 10 at The Toledo Club but that too had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus.. 

In a letter to Dr. Botka, Mayor Kapszukiewicz stated, “Toledo and Szeged have always enjoyed a strong relationship and many Toledoans embrace their Hungarian heritage.  Our exchange of people, programs, and ideas has greatly benefited Toledo and I look forward to many more years of this amazing partnership that has culturally enriched our residents.”

The Toledo-Szeged agreement started with the mission to preserve and promote the Hungarian heritage in Toledo.  It evolved to support educational exchanges on both the secondary and university levels with the University of Toledo, Lourdes University, and the Szeged-Csongrad County Friendship Association.

Other programs included a Christmas gift project that provided gifts to orphans and underprivileged families, participation in the Birmingham Festival, and cultural programs such as concerts, galas, craft demonstrations, and lectures by visiting dignitaries.

There have been economic exchanges between the two cities.  Since 1999, the dual relationships with Szeged and Csongrad County have received additional support from the Great Lakes Consortium for International Training and Development.

“The interchange of people, programs, and ideas has produced amazing results and culturally enriched our future leaders,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz wrote in his Proclamation.

The agreement, as well as other Toledo Sister Cities International partnerships, may take on a new role in response to the Covid-19 virus. “The challenges we faced in 2020 have greatly changed the role our sister city agreements play going forward,” said Jim Hartung, President, Toledo Sister Cities International.  “As we saw earlier this year with our Chinese committees, we must stand ready to help each of our sister cities as partners in this fight.  That’s one of the reasons we are here—To unite.”

For more information on Toledo Szeged Sister City Committee, contact Hilde Daugherty, president, at 419-936-8429 or e-mail: Toledoszeged@bex.net. Also, visit Facebook at Toledo Ohio USA-Szeged Hungary Partnership.

For more information on Toledo Sister Cities International, visit ToledoSisterCities.org. 




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Revised: 10/13/20 20:29:29 -0700.




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