September 8, 2014: The Holy Land, Monsignor Peter Polando, Father Vit Fiala, Mt. Carmel Banquet Center, Lou Fusillo Catering, 343 Via Mt. Carmel, Youngstown, Ohio 44505
October 6, 2014: Greece, Honorable Harry Meshel, Greek Film, Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church, church caterers, 401 12th St., Campbell, Ohio 44404
November 3, 2014: Germany, Warren Young Ph.D., Canfield Community Concert Band, Saxon Club, Saxon Club Caterers, 710 S. Meridian, Youngstown, Ohio 44509
December 1, 2014: The Vatican, Bishop George Murry, Wade Raridon Singers, St .Charles Church, Linda Livosky Caterers, 7345 Westview Drive, Boardman, Ohio 44512
March 2, 2015: Turkey, Birsen Karpak, Ph.D., Turkish Music & Dancers, Western Reserve United Methodist Church, Anatolia Catering (Cleveland), 4580 Canfield Rd., Canfield, Ohio 44406
April 6, 2015: China, George McCloud, Ph.D.,Chris Yambar - Illustrator, Embassy Center, Embassy Catering, 5030 Youngstown-Poland Rd Boardman, OH 44512
May 4, 2015: St. Petersburg, Rev. Kathryn Adams, George Kalbouss, Western Reserve United Methodist Church, WRUM church caterers, 4580 Canfield Rd., Canfield, Ohio 44406
June 1, 2015: San Salvador, Ronald Shaklee, Ph. D., Felipe Gonzalez Trio, St. Michael Church, Carolyn Catering, 281 Glenview Rd., Canfield Ohio 44406
July 6, 2015: Cameroon, Victor Wan-tatah, Ph. D., Dr. H. W. Martin, Antone’s Banquet Center, 8578 Market St., Boardman, Ohio 44512
August 3, 2015: Paris, Barbara Krauss, Jason Budd, Serbian Hall, Church caterers, 54 Laird Ave., Youngstown, Ohio 44509
September 14, 2015: Cuba, George D. Beelen. Ph. D., Fred Astaire Dancers, Holy Family Church, Madure Catering (New Castle), 2729 Center Rd., Poland, Ohio 44514
October 5, 2015: Ti bet, Y.T.Chiu. M.D., culinary exhibit, The Georgetown Banquet Center, 5945 South Ave., Boardman, Ohio 44512
November 1, 2015: Venice, Prof. Alfred Bright, art exhibit, Butler Art Museum, AVI Catering, 524 Wick Ave., Youngstown, Ohio 44505
December 7, 2015: Iceland, Dorothy Tesner, Prof. Roman Rudnytsky, Western Reserve United Methodist Church, WRUM church caterers, 4580 Canfield Rd., Canfield, Ohio 44406
The 2013-2014 twenty-seventh year of the Ohio Cultural Alliance featured the topic “Old World Traditions-Lost and Retained”. The year was a success in terms of the numbers of attendees (averaging 227 at each monthly meeting), the variety of countries explored, the speakers and cultural enrichment provided, the delicious meals and the variety of venues. A new feature for the year was inviting “difference makers” in the community to speak of their organizations for 5 minutes so we can learn more about what makes this area function and so that these leaders can learn about the OCA. We also collected and submitted to the Philippine Red Cross $1,193 to help in their time of need.
We began our year in September with Fred Ghossain as our speaker as he shared with us personal and general traditions of Lebanon and other parts of the Arab world. April Azhar , in colorful costumes and great agility shared her belly dancing talents with us.
Our October meeting featured Rosemarie Cardoso who spoke of her Romanian traditions as we enjoyed a Romanian meal, watched a film of Transylvania and Bucharest and toured the Holy Resurrection Romanian Orthodox Church and museum.
OCA members met in November to learn of Russian traditions as shared by Dr. Alexander “Sashsa” Pantsov, a native of Russia and now an American citizen who teaches at Capital and Ohio State Universities. A talented balalaika ensemble performed Russian melodies to the delight of all.
Polish traditions were featured in December as Aundrea Cika Heschmeyer related memories and traditions of Poland. Displays and memorabilia added tangible evidence of the culture and the co-presenter Larry Kozlowski, spoke of Polish Christmas traditions as he transformed himself from Santa Claus to St. Nicholas in costume, monologue and demeanor.
Our focus for January was Philippine traditions as described by Dr. Escarlito Sevilla and as pictured in the beautiful and vivid images he showed on the screen. His wife Lita Sevilla organized several individuals who did traditional dances including the bamboo dance. We also collected $1,100 which we sent to the Philippine Red Cross to help victims of the recent hurricane and tsunami in their country.
Hungarian traditions were discussed in February by Dr. Stephen Hanzely. Having been born in Hungary and maintaining many of the traditions as an American citizen he spoke poignantly of some of these traditions and memories. A Youngstown Symphony Quartet played beautiful Hungarian melodies to complete the evening.
In March we met to hear Casey Malone (Eileen Gilmartin-Angle) speak about Irish traditions as they were practiced in her family and her father’s family. She included an audio song by her deceased father, complete with a strong Irish brogue. Michael Shaffer and three brothers regaled us with abundant and melodic Irish instrumental and vocal selections.
Jewish traditions were the focus of the April meeting. Judy Solomon, architect and part of a prominent family in the Youngstown area, offered us a multi media and multiple participant approach to her extremely thorough look at Jewish traditions. From prayers to songs to memorabilia she gave us great insight into her Jewish culture. An authentic Jewish meal was prepared by Kravitz Catering and a Klezmer Band provided wonderfully appropriate music.
In May Dr. Charles Sung, a native of South Korea, now a veterinarian in Hubbard, Ohio, shared with us, with the help of powerpoint, something of South Korean traditions. Beautifully dressed in native costume Dr. Misook Yun, professor at YSU, sang for us wonderful melodies in her talented soprano voice to complete the evening.
We closed the year in June focusing on the Scandinavian countries, particularly Sweden, with Beverly Olson and Lucy Sharkey as our speakers. Each spoke of personal Scandinavian traditions and ended with a short film that depicted one of their First Covenant Church Scandinavian traditions, the famous Lumina ceremony. Concluding the evening, Professor Roman Rudnytsky offered as his piano selection his own translation of one of Greig’s works. Again, members showed their enthusiasm with a thunderous standing ovation. As many members said what a glorious ending to OCA’s 27th year.