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American Nationalities Movement of Ohio
53rd annual Captive Nations Dinner
July 17, 2014

The 53rd annual Captive Nations Dinner of the American Nationalities Movement was held in Wal-Tam's Grand Ballroom in Garfield Heights on July 17, 2014. Over 250 people attended the event to see the Freedom Awards be presented and a keynote address by US Senator Rob Portman.

Many in the audience have roots in countries that have been or are under increased tensions from Russia and other powers.

Judge Ralph (Rocky) Perk Jr. is president of the American Nationalities Movement of Ohio.

Judge Ralph (Rocky) Perk Jr.

Judge Ralph (Rocky) Perk Jr.


He welcomed the crowd to the 53rd Captive Nations Dinner and reminded them that as they gathered to commemorate the freedom of the Captive Nations from the Iron Curtain, they should be wary because of how easy it is for freedom to be lost in a generation or less.



The 53rd Annual Captive Nations Dinner was held during Captive Nations Week which was signed into law in 1959 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Every successive U.S. President has declared the third week of July to be Captive Nations Week to raise public awareness of the oppression of nations under the control of Communist and other non-democratic governments.

There were three recipients of the Freedom Award: Katalin Gulden, Francis Rutkowski and Senator Rob Portman.

Freedom awards group at Captive Nations Week event - Judge Perk, Senator Rob Portman, Katalin Gulden, Irene Morrow, Francis Rutkowski and Councilman Mike Polensek

Judge Perk, Senator Rob Portman, Katalin Gulden, Irene Morrow,
Francis Rutkowski and Councilman Mike Polensek


Katalin Gulden receiving the Freedom Award - photos and video

Francis Rutkowski receiving the Freedom Award - photos and video

Judge Ralph Perk Jr. presented US Senator Rob Portman with the Freedom Award.



Irene Morrow, former president of the American Nationalities Movement of Ohio, introduced US Senator Rob Portman as the keynote speaker. Irene Morrow spoke of the Senator's love for America and hard work on behalf of the US and its allies including Ukraine. She called Senator Portman "our Go To person in Ohio."



Senator Portman began his remarks by noting the city of Cleveland's recent success with Johnny Manziel, LeBron James and hosting the Republican National Convention. He said that it is Hot in Cleveland and that the swagger is back and Cleveland is back.



Senator Portman said that while the American Nationalities Movement was founded in 1959 and the Soviet Union fell, its work is not done and will never be done. Current troubles in Ukraine and elsewhere are examples of this.

Senator Rob Portman speaking



Senator Portman spoke about foreign policy and America's role in the world. He said America should be like the sheriff and lead a posse, not just be the policeman. Red lines must be drawn very thoughtfully but once drawn we must stand by them.

Senator Rob Portman speaking

Senator Rob Portman speaking



Senator Portman said "We need to take sides. We need to be with the Ukrainian people." Senator Portman presented a calendar he purchased on his recent trip to Ukraine that was signed by both he and the Ukrainian Ambassador, to the Ukrainian Museum and Archives. Leaders of the Ukrainian community thanked Senator Portman for his help with the situation and said that people in Ukraine know him.




Enjoy these other images from the 53rd annual Captive Nations Dinner.

Ernie Mihaly

Ernie Mihaly


CAMEO table

CAMEO table


Senator Rob Portman and Debbie Hanson

Senator Rob Portman and Debbie Hanson


Alex and Carol Machaskee

Alex and Carol Machaskee


Father John Loejos

Father John Loejos


Francis Rutkowski group

Francis Rutkowski group


Irene Morrow group

Irene Morrow group


Margaret Wong and Senator Rob Portman

Margaret Wong and Senator Rob Portman


Renate and David Jakupca

Renate and David Jakupca


Lucy Stickan with Maria and John Megyimori

Lucy Stickan with Maria and John Megyimori


with Councilman Mike Polensek

with Councilman Mike Polensek


Aavo and Erika Puussaar

Aavo and Erika Puussaar


Judge Rocky Perk and Senator Rob Portman

Judge Rocky Perk and Senator Rob Portman


Mary and Pierre Bejjani

Mary and Pierre Bejjani


with Mara Kisis

with Mara Kisis


Vik Stankus and

Vik Stankus and


Vlad Rus and Joe Wendell

Vlad Rus and Joe Wendell


Judges and Seantor Portman

Judges and Senator Portman


Captive Nations dinner


Mike Wojtila with accordion

Mike Wojtila


Freedom Awards

Freedom Awards



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