On Saturday, November 2, the Cathedral Board, Fr. Djokan and Church Stewards held their annual fundraising banquet, dedicated to the gathering of funds for the restoration of the St. Sava Center. Because seating was limited, only 130 guests could be accommodated, although a number of people requested tickets. The dais was graced by HRH Prince Alexander and HRH Princess Katherine, Consul General of Serbia, Mirjana Zivkovic, Director of the Washington, DC Office of Republika Srpska, Obrad Kesich, V. Rev. Fr. Alexandar Vlajkovic (Boston) and V. Rev. Fr. Velisa Vasic (Stockholm, Sweden).
A blend of talented musicians, pleasant environment and enthusiastic guests created a joyful ambiance which lasted throughout the evening. The Master of Ceremonies was Nenad Milinkovic, President of the Cathedral Board. World-renowned pianist and composer, Marina Arsenijevic, opened the evening’s festivities with a medley of her compositions, accompanied by a video presentation about Nikola Tesla, followed by an ethno-jazz duo. The evening ended with kolo dancing.
After greetings by honored guests and compliments on the activities and accomplishments taking place in the New York community, Dr. Zorka Milich spoke about the early years of the New York community, and the restorative work done on our spiritual center. She expressed her gratitude to all those who have monetarily supported our huge and ongoing restoration projects, urging them this evening to donate within their means so these projects can be advanced. Love of their church and its prosperity was reflected in their spectacular response, adding $50,000 to the renovation fund. Included in this collection was a $5,000 gift from Their Royal Highnesses. Essentially, they offered to auction lunch at the Royal Palace in Belgrade with the Royal family, and a personal tour of the White Palace and places of interest in Belgrade by the Royal couple. Two families, members and stewards of St. Sava Cathedral, accepted the offer, thus adding $5,000 to the restoration fund.
Organizers of this incredibly successful banquet sincerely thank our many donors and the large number of participants, indicative of unity and peace in their community and love for the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava. Also, we thank all who, in various ways, have aided in this project. To quote Fr. Djokan,“ United in love, we are restoring our Holy Church as our Holy Church restores us. May God’s blessings be with us”: “To follow God, to unify, to multiply,” said St. Bishop Nikolai.