The Most Important Source of Support for Finnish Culture in the United States
Photo by Anita Smiley, Smiley Tour of Finland 2022
Did You Know...

...that in Oregon in June, Miss Finland was crowned Miss Scandinavia at the Astoria Scandinavian Midsummer Festival?

Olivia Esnard, who was Junior Miss Finland in 2013, is heading into her senior year at Seaside High School. She is the daughter of Sari and Matt Esnard of Surf Pines, Oregon.

Congratulations, Olivia!

I trust that you are enjoying the wonderful summer weather and variety of festivals and outdoor activities that come with the season.

At this time of year we are hearing about the many projects funded with the assistance of grants from Finlandia Foundation. Here you'll read about three beneficiaries of these awards.

Do you have or know someone with a talent or expertise on a topic related to Finland and/or Finnish America? We are inviting recommendations and applications for the FFN Performer of the Year and Lecturer of the Year for 2023. (See calendar box below).

And, we are planning for the Joint Chapter Meeting in New York City in October, where talks will include succession planning to keep our organizations viable for future generations.

Keep cool!

Anne-Mari Paster
ampaster @ rcn. com
Finnish sprinter Samuli Samuelsson had a dream: to set Finland's record for men's 100 meters.

On July 10 at the Topgames Sprint in Porvoo, Samuli achieved his goal, finishing at 10.16. He shattered the previous record of 10.21, set in 2001, by five hundredths.

An optometrist with a passion for running---and multiple medals for his ability on the track---the 27-year-old sprinter received a grant from Finlandia Foundation's Jaakko Tuominen Memorial Sports Fund to assist him in training.

The fund is named for the Finnish athlete who studied in the U.S. and moved from Finland to Oregon in 1991. Jaakko Tuominen (1944-2001) ran the men's 400 meters hurdles for Finland in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.

Cranbrook Recognizes Artist Loja Saarinen
A new documentary, Room for a Lady: Loja Saarinen at Cranbrook, highlights the life and work of Loja Saarinen as "a Finnish immigrant, pioneering entrepreneur, and extraordinary designer."

The film, produced by the Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, celebrates the talent and accomplishments of Loja, who headed the Department of Weaving and Textile Design at Cranbrook Academy of Art. She also lead Studio Loja Saarinen, a commercial weaving studio. And, she was the wife of architect Eliel Saarinen and mother of Eero Saarinen, also an architect and designer.

Loja created textiles, including the May Queen tapestry (right), seen throughout the campus of Cranbrook Educational Community in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, north of Detroit.

New Nordic Park in Oregon
After seven years of planning, fundraising and countless volunteer hours, the Astoria Nordic Heritage Park was dedicated on June 17, the weekend of the Astoria ScanFest.
The waterfront park is a permanent tribute to the Nordic immigrants to this corner of the Oregon coast. 

It features a soaring arch with the flags of Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, informational signage, and hand carved trolls that delight children of all ages. The plaza is dramatically lit at night.

The $1.5 million project was funded by donations from individuals and organizations including FFN, which has supported it with grant funds. 

The park is a project of the Astoria Scandinavian Heritage Association, a cultural non-profit organization.

July 26: Virtual Joint Chapter Meeting
September 1: Performer of the Year 2023 application deadline; click here
October 1: Lindfors Law Scholarship application deadline; click here
October 1: Lecturer of the Year 2023 application deadline; click here
October 21-23: Joint Chapter Meeting, New York City
January 17, 2023: Grant application deadline; click here
February 1, 2023: Scholarship application deadline; click here
February 1, 2023: Lindfors Law Scholarship application deadline; click here
February 19-25, 2023: National Sauna Week; click here
Your Gifts Make it Possible
Artist Loja Saarinen's textile designs, such as this delicate woven curtain, grace the home that her husband, Eliel Saarinen, designed in the 1920s as their Cranbrook residence. Eliel was the president of the Cranbrook Academy of Art.

a grant from FFN to assist with the Saarinen House Second Floor Hallway Seating Alcove Curtain Reproduction.

It is your generous gifts that allow FFN to offer financial support to worthy projects such as this, the development of Astoria Nordic Heritage Park, and Samuli Samuelsson's dedicated effort, through its grant awards and other programs.

Your contribution is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Paloheimo Foundation (up to $100,000 annually).

Finlandia Foundation National, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Thank You! Kiitos!
February 19-25, 2023