Sel aastal Kesk Florida Eesti Selts tähistas Eesti Vabariigi 99. aastapäeva 25. veebruaril, 2017, Clearwater, Floridas. Nagu eelmistel aastatel toimus see ka sel aastal Countryside Country Club’is. Meil oli põnev ja tore kava külalistele!

Meie aukülalised olid tantsijad tantsurühmast Saare Vikat.

Kavas oli langenute mälestamine, maitsev lõunasöök, loterii, eesti muusikat, ühislaule, ja rahvatants. Saime kokku vanade ja uute sõpradega ilusas päikesepaistelises soojas Floridas!

Kesk Florida Eesti Selts, EV99, 25. veeb. 2017, Clearwater, Florida. Foto: Countryside Country Club.

Saare Vikat and Rannapiigad Enliven Estonian Society of Central Florida’s (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) Celebration of Estonia’s 99th Independence Day

This year 50 members and friends of the Estonian Society of Central Florida commemorated the 99th anniversary of Estonia’s Independence Day on Saturday, February 25th, 2017, in Clearwater, FL. As in previous years, the event was held at the Countryside Country Club. We had a fun and interesting program to engage our guests! Our event began with champagne generously donated by Tõnu Toomepuu and a lunch enlivened with raffle drawings led by Marju Dishmey and festive group singing led by exceptional accordionist Kaie Põhi Latterner.

Before lunch, our formal program began with a welcome from the president of the Estonian Society of Central Florida: Ms. Kersti Linask. Honoring the United States, we sang the Star Spangled Banner. Ms. Kaie Põhi Latterner offered the invocation. We then paused for a delicious lunch. After lunch, Ms. Linask then read greetings from the Estonian American National Council (Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendriikides (ERKÜ)). In a special tribute in memoriam, Monika Orumaa Craig and Markus Larsson presented Marie Under’s poem Mälestus ja Tõotus. The singing of the Estonian national anthem concluded the formal remarks in our program.

Then the centerpiece of the program was offered: Eesti rahvatants! At last year’s 98th anniversary celebration, we experienced a surprise visit by the KFES dance group Talutütred, whose folkdance enchanted the audience with their spirited sharing of secrets and gossip (Tühjajutu tants). They were so well received, we decided to plan this year’s program around folkdancing, and we invited “real” folkdancers, two couples from the Estonian dance group Saare Vikat.

Saare Vikat was established in 1971 in New York Eesti Maja. Dancers and directors have come and gone over the years, but its reputation for presenting high quality folk dance performances remains sterling. Saare Vikat has performed in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Sweden. Liisi Vanaselja is its current director. Today’s performers included Ivan Kavoleff, Linda Kangro, Andres Olvet, and Liisi Vanaselja. To our delight they danced Jooksupolka, Reilender, and Meremeeste Valss.

To everyone’s surprise, KFES’s own dance troupe reappeared and under a more appropriate name: Rannapiigad (beach babes). Living nowhere near farms, the group decided this year to eject its former name Talutütred (farm girls) and, though more appropriate to our Gulf of Mexico setting, they rejected the seriously considered moniker Näkineinud (mermaids).


Dancing barefoot as only beachgoers do, Rannapiigad (Marju Dishmey, Reet Cabrera, Anneliis Kuusik, Kersti Linask, Maare Kuuskvere, and Lisa Mets) did their best to present what is considered Estonia’s most difficult folkdance Tuljak; needless to say, there were some comedic moments. Saare Vikat and Rannapiigad joined together for the more gentle Kalamies dance. To conclude the dance program Saare Vikat and Rannapiigad invited members of the audience to dance together the Perekonnavalss. What fun!

To bring the festivities to an end, closing remarks were then given by Lisa A. Mets, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia, St. Petersburg, Florida. Her theme was 99: Looking back and forward.


Ms. Mets thanked the members of Saare Vikat and Kersti Linask and Lisa Mets presented a bouquet of flowers to their director, Ms. Liisi Vanaselja. In this photo, you’ll see Saare Vikat (Ivan Kavoleff, Linda Kangro, Liisi Vanaselja and Andres Olvet with Kersti Linask and Lisa Mets; photo by Erkki Taada.


Ms. Mets also thanked donors who underwrote Saare Vikat’s travel expenses: Leena Aare, Richard and Ann Ashley, Eric and Reet Cabrera, Heikki and Inne Joonsar, Anneliis Kuusik, Jaan and Maare Kuuskvere, Kaie Kaie Põhi Latterner, Kersti Linask, Henn and Norma Jean Rebane, Erkki Taada and Lisa Mets, Jüri and Jae Toomepuu, and Tõnu and Robin Toomepuu. Additional thanks went to Tõnu Toomepuu for his generous contribution of champagne; Reet Cabrera and Anneliis Kuusik for the lovely floral arrangements at each table; Mrs. Urve Põhi, who has become KFES’s Independence Day celebration photographic chronicler; and Evi and Arno Kallas from the Estonian Society of South Florida.

Finally, with resounding applause, everyone thanked Ms. Kaie Põhi Latterner and Ms. Anneliis Kuusik, the leaders who organized our celebration and provided our musical and folkdance energy.

We ended our festivities with a group photo on the balcony. Everyone’s waving at photographer Erkki Taada.


It was a great afternoon. Here’s a sampling of our photos.

If you are in Florida now, please continue to visit this website; we have activities planned in March and April before our summer hiatus. We’ve also begun our planning for EV100!

Tere kaasmaalased/Dear Estonian friends!

The Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is pleased to share this greeting from The Honorable Kersti Kaljulaid, President of the Republic of Estonia, on the occasion of Estonia’s 99th anniversary of independence, February 24, 2017. Her greeting is in Estonian, with English subtitles. Please share this with your friends!


Happy Anniversary to the Republic of Estonia!

Lisa A. Mets
Honorary Consul of the Republic of Estonia,
St. Petersburg, FL

The Consul General of Estonia in New York City will be in Miami, Florida, on April 24, 2017, to perform consular duties.

Estonian citizens may apply for or renew their passports or ID Cards and receive previously ordered documents. Application information may be found here: Consular Information for Estonian Passports and ID Cards. Please pay particular attention to the photo requirements. The information on the website of the Estonian Consulate General may be viewed in Estonian or English.

Appointments for the consular visit will take place at 1384 SW 18 Street, Miami 33145, from 10.00 am until 5.00 pm. Please note: Due to construction in the area, the mission will NOT be held at the Estonian Honorary Consulate office address listed on consular websites.

To make an appointment, please send an e-mail to Mr. Jorge Viera, Estonian Honorary Consul, at joviro47@hotmail.com.

If you have questions about the process, please contact:
The Estonian Consulate General in New York City
3 Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza
Suite 6B
305 East 47th St
New York, NY 10017-2001
tel. (+1 212) 883-0636
fax: (+1 212) 883-0648
e-mail: nyconsulate@mfa.ee

NB! Please be aware that passport and ID-card delivery times are up to two and a half months.


Luncheon Celebration
99th Anniversary of Estonian Independence
Eesti Vabariigi Aastapäev
Saturday, February 25, 2016
11:00 am to 3:00 pm
Countryside Country Club
3001 Countryside Blvd
Clearwater, FL 33761
Telephone: (727) 796-2153
Lunch: $40 per person; $23 for children older than 3-years-old


The Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) will gather for its annual luncheon celebration of Estonian Independence Day (Eesti Vabariigi Aastapäev) on Saturday, February 25, 2017, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, at the Countryside Country Club in Clearwater, Florida.

A special musical and folk dance program will be offered as we welcome members of the New York City Estonian folk dance group SAARE VIKAT and the return of our own Rannapiigad (endised nn Talutütred, who debuted in 2016). The ever-popular loterii returns. Please bring a contribution to the loterii table!

Reservations and pre-payment are musts!


Guests need to pay in advance by sending a check in the amount of $40 per person for each lunch; $23 per child over the age of 3. Please express your preference for chicken marsala or mahi with dill champagne sauce. Also, this would be a good time to include payment of the 2016-17 annual membership dues of $20 per person if you have not yet done so. KFES is also welcoming sponsors who would like to make donations to help underwrite the costs of this program; sponsors’ names will be listed in the program. If you would like to be a sponsor, please include your donation in your check.

Please mail checks to KFES Treasurer Ms. Anneliis Kuusik, 7069 Key Haven Rd., #505, Seminole, FL 33777. Please make the check payable to “Estonian Society of Central Florida.” We are sorry, because of our commitment to the country club, we are unable to give refunds after February 10, 2017.

If you do not pre-pay, you will not have a reservation. If you show up at the door on the day of the event, we cannot guarantee the country club will be able to accommodate you.

We are committed to paying the Country Club for all reservations made by February 10, 2017. We regret the Estonian Society of Central Florida’s budget cannot be responsible for meals for individuals who have not sent in their payment in advance or for individuals who cancel after February 10, 2017. We appreciate your support of the country club’s policies and the KFES budget.

You may print an invitation to this event in Estonian and English through this link: Invitation to the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts Celebration of the 99th Anniversary of Estonian Independence.

For information about the Kesk Florida Eesti Selts, please contact:
Ms. Kersti Linask by email at kklinask@gmail.com
Ms. Triin Karr by email at triin.karr@gmail.com


More than 30 members and old and new friends gathered together at 1:00 pm, Saturday, January 7, 2017, for the popular Second Annual Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) special potluck of Estonian soups, salads and sandwiches, and desserts prepared by participating members according to traditional Estonian recipes. This is called the KFES Eesti Supp ja Võileiva Lõunasöök.

Inne and Heikki Joonsar hosted our New Year luncheon celebration in the fabulous clubhouse in their condominium complex, which is TAMARAC BY THE GULF in Seminole (FL). What a great community! Thank you Inne and Heikki!

Our smorgasbord was beyond delicious: rosolje; kartulisalat; lõhekala, kilu, sproti, suitsu kala, ja maksa vorsti võileivad; tomati supp; frikadelli supp; riisi salat; õuna kook; roosa manna; ja veel! If you’re Estonian, you recognize all that traditional fare; if you’re not, please plan to join us in the future and explore Estonian cuisine with us!

We were delighted to welcome back Birgit and Vincent Delaidatti, who vacation in our area; Viive and Ken Morin, who may be becoming regular seasonal visitors to our area; and a new snowbird friend, Alexandra (Remelgas) Kroon, who is researching her Estonian heritage. Conversations were absolutely delightful throughout the afternoon. Once again, led by musicienne extraordinaire Kaie Põhi Latterner, we sang lively Estonian songs that many remember from their scout and guide days around the fire (lõkke). All agreed we really enjoy this annual gathering and look forward to it again in January 2018. Please keep an eye on this website after November 2017 for a schedule of our 2017-18 activities.

Our next event is the celebration of the 99th Anniversary of Estonian Independence on Saturday, February 25, 2017. Please view the Events Calendar link on this website for more information.

For information about the Kesk Florida Eesti Selts, please contact:
Ms. Kersti Linask by email at kklinask@gmail.com
Ms. Triin Karr by email at triin.karr@gmail.com

Jõuluvana (Santa) or verivorst (Christmas sausage)? What were our members’ priorities for this year’s holiday celebration? This year, both Jõuluvana (Santa) and verivorst (Christmas sausage) returned to the Estonian Society of Central Florida/Kesk Florida Eesti Selts for our annual Christmas celebration.

Nearly 40 members of the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) gathered together for our Christmas celebration at 2:00 pm on Sunday, December 11, 2016, in a new location: the Fellowship Hall at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 10891 102nd Avenue North, Seminole, FL 33778.

Kersti Linask, President of the Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) welcomed everyone to our annual Christmas celebration and offered a poetry reading. Pastor Priit Rebane offered words of Christmas inspiration and a blessing for our meal.

Have you been good this year? Jõuluvana (Santa) knows who’s been naughty and nice! Jõuluvana and his very musically talented Päkapikk (Elf) led us in merriment. Some members came prepared with songs, poems and other entertainment to earn their gifts.

Kaie Põhi Latterner and Anneliis Kuusik in Kaie’s home and Maare Kuuskvere (assisted by Erkki Taada and Lisa Mets) in her home prepared the verivorst for this wonderful meal.

The meal was catered by the German Bistro of Largo (FL) and included a full array of roast pork, traditional sausages, mashed potatoes, spaetzle, potato salad, red cabbage, and sauerkraut (thanks to Anneliis Kuusik). Dessert included cake and Anneliis Kuusik’s delicious homemade piparkoogid.

Please join us as we worship together on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2016, at 2:00 pm in Trinity Lutheran Church, 401 Fifth Street North, Saint Petersburg, FL 33701 Phone: 727-822-3307. The service, with Estonian hymns and English sermon, will be led by Pastor Priit Rebane. A brief period of fellowship over refreshments follows the service.

Please visit our Events Calendar  or Monthly Meetings for events in 2017.

In the meantime we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and joyous New Year! 

Rõõmsaid Jõulu Pühi ja Head Uut Aastat!

The Estonian Society of Central Florida (Kesk Florida Eesti Selts) kicked off its activities for the 2016-17 membership year on Sunday, November 13, 2016, in the beautiful community room in the Seminole Isles condominium complex that serves as the residence for KFES Treasurer Anneliis Kuusik and her mother Linia Elmend. Twenty-four members and two children (who enjoyed the swimming pool!) were gathered for the annual business meeting and fellowship over home-made goods that created quite a spread for the smorgasbord table.

During the annual business meeting, the members achieved these results:

1. Remembered in prayer two beloved members who passed away during our 2015-16 year of activities.
2. Approved the Minutes of the meeting of November 1, 2015.
3. Affirmed the full year of engaging programs celebrated in 2015-16.
4. Approved the 2015-16 Treasurer’s Report.
5. Approved an increase in membership dues from $15 to $20 per person per year, effective this year (2016-17).
6. Approved the 2016-17 Treasurer’s Report, which includes approval of the activities outlined for 2016-17. To view our events, please visit this link: Calendar of Events.
7. Accepted the Auditors’ Report confirming their audit of the 2015-16 Treasurer’s report and bank records.
8. Elected the 2016-17 Board:
President: Kersti Linask
Vice President: Lisa A. Mets
Secretary: Triin Karr
Treasurer: Anneliis Kuusik
Membership Coordinator: Marju Cabrera
Member-at-Large: Maare Kuuskvere
Auditors: Jaan Kuuskvere, Erkki Taada and Tõnu Toomepuu
9. New Business: KFES President Linask gave a report of her recent trip to the annual meeting of the Estonian American National Council (Eesti Rahvuskomitee Ühendrikkides) in San Francisco. She asked members to support the campaign to raise funds to help Estonian-American children choirs planning on participating in the 2017 international choir festival in Tallinn, Estonia. She also asked members to donate generously to the Estonian American National Council, which works on our behalf.

To help KFES meet its financial obligations throughout the year–especially those events requiring advance deposits–the Treasurer encourages all adult members to pay their dues of $20 per person now and, if possible, to include in their checks payment for reservations for the Christmas celebration/Jõuluvana+verivorst ($30 per person, $10 per child under 12), Suppi ja Võileiva Päev ($10 per person), Estonian Independence Day/Eesti Vabariigi Aastapäev ($40 per person, $23 per child over the age of 3), Music night/Muusikaõhtu ($10 per person), and the April picnic ($5 per person). Taken together, KFES is offering monthly programming from December through April at the modest price of $115 per adult. What a great bargain!

Please note: Reservations for our events must be paid in advance. There is no reservation without prepayment. We will post reservation deadlines for each event. We regret we may need to turn you away at the door if you have not prepaid your reservation because catering and space will be limited. We also regret we will need to set deadlines for refunds because catering commitments will have been made and need to be honored. We strive to provide the most reasonably priced programming possible. We appreciate our members’ support of the KFES budget and budget constraints.

The members are excited about the events planned for the upcoming year. We hope you will plan to join us if you are in the area!

For information about the Kesk Florida Eesti Selts, please contact:
Ms. Kersti Linask by email at kklinask@gmail.com
Ms. Triin Karr by email at triin.karr@gmail.com