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History

An American Voice of Support

The American Friends of the Czech Republic (AFoCR) was founded to educate government leaders, the media, and other opinion makers across America about the goals and aspirations of the Czech people. AFoCR fosters closer ties between the United States and the Czech Republic in the areas of business, trade, security, culture, law reform, and education. Since its founding in 1995, AFoCR has been the voice of the American constituency that supports the Czech Republic.

AFoCR sponsors events and special projects that promote interest in the Czech Republic and facilitates programs in a variety of fields.

AFoCR advocates for the Czech Republic, especially for its admission to the key institutions that assure security and partnership with the western democracies, most notably NATO and the European Union. AFoCR sponsors events and special projects that promote interest in the Czech Republic, and facilitates programs in a variety of fields.  Mostly notably, AFoCR made substantial grants to Czech cities and town to deal with the 2002 floods.  In 2002 it built the Masaryk Memorial in Washington and in 2011 rebuilt the Woodrow Wilson Monument in Prague.  AFoCR has organized and held six Gala Award Dinners and has participated in three White House State Dinners. It has hosted numerous visitors from the Czech Republic, including the President and Prime Ministers.

First AFoCR founders were Milton Cerny, Robert Doubek and Phillip Kasik with early supporters including Vladimir Kabes, Thomas Gibian, Jack White and Milan Fabry, all who later became Directors. The first Board of Directors consisted of Milton Cerny, Robert Doubek, Phillip Kasik, Robert Dufek and Joseph Moravec. The first President of AFoCR was Robert Doubek followed by Milton Cerny, Phillip Kasik, Michael Rokos, Peter Rafaeli, and Thomas Dine.

History of Accomplishments

  • Advocacy to promote Czech membership in NATO (’95-“99) 
  • Participated at White House Briefing and Discussion for Central and Eastern Europe (’96)
  • Testimony before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on NATO enlargement ('97)
  • Chaired panel on NATO enlargement at Czech Embassy conference ('97)
  • First business event: Doing Business in the Cech Republic, American University ('98)
  • Briefing for US Senate Foreign Relations Staff (’99)
  • Briefing for Congress and State Department (’00)
  • Statements on terrorism after September 11th (‘01)
  • Educational reception for US government leaders visiting Prague (‘01)
  • Capitol Hill luncheon for staffs of House and Senate Foreign Relations Committees ('02)
  • Interview on Radio Prague (‘04)
  • Visa waiver for Czech citizens (’07-“08)
  • Expand Czech Caucus in Congress (’08)
  • Internet website on the Czech/US relationship (continuing since ‘97)
  • Facebook page (continuing since ’10)
  • Publishing AFoCR quarterly Newsletter - 5,500 circulation (US and international) (continuing since ’95)
  • Letters to media on Czech Republic related issues (continuing since “95)
  • Raised funds for Czech student at Gallaudet University, Washington, DC ('01)
  • Flood Relief for 2002 Floods - Organized fundraising and raised over $300,000
  • Flood Relief for 2002 Floods - Made grants to 20 schools, churches, museums, hospitals, and towns in the CR ('02)
  • Developed and distributed a video presentation on Tomas Masaryk for educational purposes (‘01) 
  • Built and dedicated Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk Memorial in Washington with President Havel, Secretary Albright, Slovak President Michal Kovac and US Ambassador Craig Stapleton ('02)
  • Developed general educational programs with universities and international secondary school (‘02)
  • Provided replica of Masaryk Statue to Czech Embassy (‘02)
  • Constructed Masaryk Memorial Wall of Honor at Czech Embassy (’03)
  • Published 17,000 copies of book on Sir Nicholas Winton, who saved 700 Czech Jewish children in 1939 (’08)
  • Built and dedicated Woodrow Wilson Monument in Prague ('11)
  • Completed Walk of Freedom at Woodrow Wilson Monument (’12)
  • Facilitated planning, development, and opening of Aspen Institute Prague (‘12)
  • Dedicated Walk of Freedom Plaque in tribute to Václav Havel (‘12)
  • Distributed 7,000 copies of book on Sir Nicholas Winton for free to educational institutions to date (continuing since '08)
  • Supported New York events honoring Havel ('12)
  • Havel Place Memorial dedicated at Georgetown University, Washington, DC ('13)
  • Havel Bust in U.S. Capitol dedicated with Vaclav Havel Library Foundation ('14)
  • Sokol gymnasium groundbreaking with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Texas Governor Rick Perry and Fred Malek, West, Texas ( Oct '14)
  • Sokol gymnasium dedication, West, Texas (Nov '15)
  • Woodrow Wilson Monument transferred to City of Prague (Oct '15)
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  • Gratias Agit from Czech Foreign Ministry for NATO Advocacy ('98)
  • Churchill Award to AFoCR Chairman Fred Malek from (‘12)
  • Reception for U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Czech President Václav Havel, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (’95)
  • Congress of Prague for the New Atlantic Initiative ('96)
  • Represented at White House discussion on Central and Eastern Europe ('96)
  • State Department ceremony for Czech President Václav Havel (’97)
  • Breakfast meeting with visiting delegation of Czech senators (’97)
  • Meetings in Prague with US Ambassador and Czech Deputy Foreign Minister (’97)
  • White House State Dinner for Czech President Václav Havel ('98)
  • NATO Enlargement Ceremony ('99)
  • White House State Dinner for NATO Enlargement ('99)
  • White House State Dinner for President Václav Havel (‘02)
  • Reception for Prime Minister Vladimír Špidla (‘04)
  • Meeting in Prague with President Václav Havel, Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda, and Deputy Prime Minister Martin Jahn (‘04)
  • Meeting with Prime Minister Miroslav Topolánek (‘08)
  • Conference on Czech Jews in America at the Czech Embassy (‘10)
  • National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library Grand Reopening (‘12)
  • NATO Summit in Chicago (‘12)
  • New York Events Honoring Václav Havel (‘12)
  • Memorial Events in Washington Celebrating Life of Václav Havel (‘12)
  • Turnover Ceremony of Woodrow Wilson Monument in Prague to City of Prague ('15)
  • 20th Anniversary Celebration of AFoCR in Prague, with Visits to Various Ministers, and Prime Minister with Educational Panel Discussions ('15)
  • FaceBook page representation since 2008
  • Website active on Czech/US relationship, cultural activities and Czech/US news since 1997
  • Chaired 80th anniversary celebration of Czechoslovakia (’98)
  • Attended White House State dinner for Czech President Havel ('98)
  • Concert - 10th Anniversary of Velvet Revolution, Washington ('99)
  • Attended NATO enlargement ceremony and White House State dinner ('99)
  • Civil Society Vision Awards Dinner - Plaza Hotel, New York, NY – Honoring Madeleine Albright ('00) 
  • 2nd Civil Society Vision Awards Dinner – World Bank; Masaryk Memorial Dedication, Washington, DC – Honoring Fred Malek, Hank Greenberg, & James Wolfensohn ('02)
  • Attended White House State dinner for President Havel ('02)
  • 3rd Civil Society Vision Awards Dinner – CR Membership in European Union, JW Marriott Washington, DC – Honoring Václav Havel ('04)
  • 4th Civil Society Vision Award Dinner – Returning Wilson Monument to Prague, JW Marriott Houston, Houston, TX – Honoring James Lovell & Eugene Cernan presented by President George H.W. Bush (’08)
  • 5th Civil Society Vision Award Dinner – Returning Wilson Monument to Prague, Ritz-Carleton Hotel, Chicago – Honoring Mayor Richard M. Daley (’09)
  • Woodrow Wilson Monument Dedication Masaryk-Wilson Award Dinner—Rudolfinum, Prague – Honoring People in Need and its Director and Co-founder, Šimon Pánek, (’11)
  • Dedication Ceremony and related events for the Woodrow Wilson Monument in Prague (‘11)
  • Wreath laying ceremony on National Day with Prime Minister Petr Nečas – Washington, DC (‘11) and continuing since with other government officials
  • Tomáš Masaryk Birthday Commemoration Ceremonies (continuing since ‘03)
  • Winston-Salem, NC ('96)
  • Presentation on NGOs at Congress of Society of Arts and Sciences, Brno, Czech Republic (’96)
  • Temple, TX ('97)
  • American University, Washington, DC ('98)
  • Washington, DC, with US Chamber of Commerce (‘04)
  • Czech student at Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. ('01)
  • Český Talent, musical organization in the Czech Republic (donor advised) ('02)
  • Charles University Dobruška Czech Language Institute (donor advised) ('03)
  • For flood relief to schools, churches, museums, hospitals, and town public facilities in the Czech Republic (‘03)
  • Donor advised to the Jewish museum for a holocaust education program and presentation (‘04)
  • Donor advised to the Jewish Museum for renovation of a synagogue in Prague (‘04)
  • Donor advised to Charles University Medical Faculty for educational materials (‘04)
  • Oldřich Škácha for Václav Havel photographic exhibit at Czech Embassy (donor advised) (‘04)
  • Donor advised to Charles University Medical Faculty for educational materials ('05)
  • Katrina relief, donated by City of Ústí nad Labem ('05)
  • Donor advised to the Jewish Museum for renovation of the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague (‘05)
  • Donor advised (Littauer Foundation) for publication Czech translation of Nicholas Winton book (‘05)
  • Donor advised (Kraftcares) to the Nadeje organization for humanitarian aid - food bank in the Czech and Slovak Republics (‘03-‘07)
  • Donor advised (Urbanek Family Educational Fund) for projects at Charles University in Prague (‘02-‘11)
  • Donor advised to the City of Holice for young Czechs to pursue study of law (‘10)
  • Czech Premier Vaclav Václav Klaus ('95)
  • Czech Ambassador Alexandr Alexandr Vondra ('96)
  • Apollo 13's Captain James Lovell ('96)
  • Lord Mayor of Prague, Jan Koukal ('96)
  • Czech Ambassador Michael Žantovský ('97)
  • Czech Prime Minister Vladimír Špidla ('99)
  • Czech Senate Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee ('00) 
  • Lord Mayor of Prague Jan Kasl (“00)
  • Czech Trade Representative ('00)
  • Czech Foreign Minister Jan Kavan ('01)
  • Czech Prime Minister Miloš Zeman ('01)
  • Czech Minister of Culture Pavel Dostál ('02)
  • Prime Minister Vladimír Špidla (’04)
  • Prime Minister Miroslav Topolánek (’08)
  • Czech President Václav Klaus – Washington, DC (‘10)
  • Ambassador Petr Kolář (‘10)
  • Supported conference on Czech Jews in America at Czech Embassy ('10)
  • Czech Senate delegation, led by Vice Chairman PaedDr. Alena Gajdůšková (‘11)
  • Stanislav Kázecký, Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs section for Czech Organizations Abroad (‘11)
  • Various Delegations from the Senate, Parliament, and government (continuing since '95)
  • Czech Ambassador visit to New Orleans ('97)
  • CzechInvest trade initiative in Chicago ('00)
  • Opening of CEELI Institute in Prague ('00)
  • Unity Dinner for Czechs and Slovaks ('01)
  • Historical educational project - University of Nebraska ('01) 
  • Salute to President Václav Havel - New York University ('02)
  • Honoring Martin Bútora, Slovak Ambassador to the U.S. ('03)
  • Honoring Sir Nicholas Winton in Prague ('07)
  • Central European Energy Forum at CSIS ('08)
  • Cosponsored American Dvorak concert tour in the Czech Republic (‘10)
  • Cosponsored Defiant Requiem commemorating 50th anniversary of performances at Theresienstadt concentration camp (‘10)
  • Woodrow Wilson Annual Remembrance in Prague on date of death -Feb 3 (‘12)
  • "Nicky's Family" Screened at Bohemian National Hall, New York (‘12)
  • Sokol Ceremony at Wilson Monument in Prague - July 4, 2012 (‘12)
  • Cosponsored concerts, plays, art exhibits, films and other cultural events in Washington area (continuing since ‘02)
  1. 1. Michael Novak (11/9/2000) on “The Struggle for Freedom 10 Years After in the Czech and Slovak Republics” --- the role of intellectuals in the struggle
  2. 2. Madeleine Albright (11/19/01) on Central European – US relations --- the importance of NATO enlargement and cooperation in the fight against terrorism while maintaining our shared values
  3. 3. Adam Michnik (12/5/02) on “The Czech and Slovak Legacy in the Struggle for Freedom” --- the importance of contacts among dissidents throughout Central Europe in building resistance to Communism
  4. 4. Václav Klaus (11/19/03) on the Czech Republic and the EU --- the importance of market oriented economic reform
  5. 5. Timothy Garton Ash (11/11/04) on “What Velvet Revolutions Now” --- the legacy of the Velvet Revolution and its relevance for countries in transition today.
  6. 6. Martin Palouš (11/17/05) on “Czech-US Relations at the Beginning of the 21st Century” --- the need for maintaining close US-Czech ties and building a “pro-American Europe and a pro-European United States”
  7. 7. Ivan Mikloš (11/13/06) on “The Political Economy of Reforms in the Slovak Experience: Do Reformers Have to Lose?” --- the approach of the Slovak government towards implementing its economic reform program.
  8. 8. Alexandr Vondra (11/16/07) on the “EU and US in the 21st Century: What Identity for Transatlantic Relations” --- the importance of maintaining US-European security, economic, and energy cooperation.
  9.  9. Jan Kubiš (11/21/08) on "Strengthening U.S. - Slovak Relations and the Transatlantic Partnership: Opportunities and Challenges in Today's World" --- Slovakia’s role as a full partner in NATO and the EU and in the transatlantic relationship.
  10. 10. Miroslav Topolánek (12/10/09) on  "Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution" 
  11. 11. Iveta Radičová (11/10/10) on "Freedom, Democracy, and Prosperity in Central Europe: Story of Transformation and Integration of Slovakia"
  12. 12. Petr Pithart (11/17/11) on “Does the Czech Constitution Provide a Solid Base for the Nation’s Political Health in Comparison with the U.S. Constitution?”
  13. 13. Martin Butora (11/16/12) on "Twenty Years of Independence: Reflections on Freedom and Democracy".
  14. 14. Pavol Demeš (11/14/14) on "Slovakia's Road to Freedom and Democracy"
  15. 15. Tomáš Halík (10/20/15) on "The Role of Religion in the Transition from Communism to Democracy"
  • Administrative support to the Czech Embassy for cultural projects (continuing since ‘97)
  • Maintain the Masaryk Memorial in Washington DC in partnership with the Czech Embassy (continuing since ‘02)
  • Maintained bank account in Prague to manage funds for the Wilson Monument project (’10-“11)
  • Management support and advice for Czech NGO “Woodrow Wilson Monument Fund” (’10-’11)
  • Annual audit and review of AFoCR finances and financial management (continuing since ‘00)
  • Annual IRS Nonprofit organization tax returns (continuing since ‘95)
  • State nonprofit organization registrations (continuing since ‘95)
  • Regular and Annual Board of Directors Meetings (continuing since ‘96)