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.
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
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
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
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,