Well, we did it again! The feeling when it is all said and done is amazing. What a fun weekend! What a great place this is!
Thanks to everyone who helped to make St Urho 2016 so great! Thanks to the army of raffle ticket and button sellers and businesses who help out with that – that’s how the whole thing is funded! Thanks to Ruby Baker for designing the button and to Jessica Moen Baker for helping get it to print. Thanks to Heather Sve for designing the bumpersticker. Thanks to Miranda Sve and Cheri Bischoff for putting together the Scavenger Hunt and all the businesses that help out! Thanks to everyone who helps out with the Float Workshop – with a special shout out to Pat Ramsdell for providing the plywood and paint this year! Thanks to the crew that puts the sign up over the highway! Thanks to the Friday night Miss Helmi Crew and all the bars for putting up with us! The title of Miss Helmi 2016 was won by Brad Barstow from Silver Bay. A big thank you to all who participated. Thanks to everyone who helped with the setup, vendors, lunch, kids games and other activities at the Clair Nelson Center. The West Branch swept the Tug of War this year, taking both the regular Tug and the Ladies-Only Tug as well. Thanks to all who participated, and to Papa Fuzz, the officialest Officiant. Thanks to Cheri Bischoff and all of the great parade floats! Thanks to Adams Autovalu for providing free sober rides! We breathe a sigh of relief when it’s all over and no one got hurt. Thanks to the many businesses and people who donated door prizes for the drawing this year and to Carol and Elwood Youngberg for all of their help with collecting door prizes for us! Thanks for all the helpers at the drawing and a huge thanks to the Wildhurst for hosting and putting up with the crazyness. Thanks to everyone who has to clean up afterwards and thanks to anyone we forgot!
Top ticket sellers were:
Miranda Sve with around 900
Owen Klinker with around 500
Honor Schauland with around 400
Heather Sve with about 300
1st Prize- $600 – Jeff Bailey of Pipestone, MN
2nd prize – $300 – Austin Kiernan of Silver Bay
3rd Prize – $200 – Kaare Melby of Finland, MN
4th – $100 – Golden Lab Snowmobilers from Twin Cities Suburbs
5th – $100 – Ted Posch of Finland, MN
6th – Pool Party at the AmericInn Silver Bay – Nicole Surla of Superior, WI
Thanks everyone who bought tickets!
Thanks to West Branch Bar and Grill, the Finland Snowmobile Club, AmericInn Silver Bay, AmericInn Tofte, Lutsen Resort, Don’s Auto, Finland Co-op, Four Seasons, Hy-Fashion, Jimmy’s Pizza, Julie’s Variety, Maple Grove Bait Shop, Beaver Bay Mobil, Norshor Agency, North Shore Barber Shop, North Shore Federal Credit Union, Co-operative Light and Power, North Shore Oil and Propane, Northwoods Family Grille, Our Place, Quilt Corner, Teddy’s Plumbing and Heating, Carol and Elwood Youngberg, Northern Lights, the Lake Bank, Vicki’s License, Wildhurst, Knotted Pine, Hugo’s, Wolf Ridge, the Organic Consumers Association and Zups for your generous door prize donations! Your support helps make the whole weekend and the raffle ticket drawing a really nice event.
Some photos by Terri Ramsdell are up on the Facebook page here. More coming soon!
Next year – 2017 – 42nd Annual – March 17th, 18th, and 19th – tell us your theme ideas!
We had a wonderful time hosting the Finland Checkpoint for this years John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon.
The timing of the race put the mushers here in the late afternoon, and a lot of spectators turned out to see the race. We opened the Clair Nelson Center Kitchen at 1pm and it was very busy until much later in the evening.
Here are some photos of the race – what we could take when we weren’t stuck in the kitchen!
The Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship Fund annually awards scholarships to individuals who are enrolled (or in the process of enrolling) in a program focusing on a vocational degree or certification. Three scholarships of $350 are awarded. This scholarship is granted to adults and high school seniors in Lake Superior School District. The application period for 2016 is Jan. 1 to March 1. More info and downloadable application here.
These scholarships are made possible by individual giving. The late Clair Nelson was a big support and inspiration for this program. Let’s keep his memory vital! Support the Clair Nelson Vocational Scholarship Fund by making a tax-deductible donation here.
The theme for the 41st Annual St Urho Celebration is St Urho’s Beach Party. Plans are already underway. As usual, festivities will include the Friday evening Miss Helmi beauty and talent competition, the Saturday Parade at noon on Highway 1 (the only state highway in Minnesota to shut down for a parade!), music, food, crafts and much more!
The St Urho’s Celebration is funded primarily by button and raffle ticket sales and also by donations. Feel free to donate online, or look for buttons and raffle tickets on sale soon at area businesses! We appreciate your support for this community event, and we look forward to continuing it for many years to come!
Official Schedule of Events
Sunday February 28th – 1:30-4:30pm – St Urho’s Photo Scavenger Hunt – Starts at Wildhurst
Fri, Sat, and Sunday March 4th, 5th, and 6th – 10am – 4pm each day – St Urho’s Float Workshop at the Clair Nelson Center
Friday night, March 11th – 6-8pm – Miss Helmi Talent and Beauty Contest – various stops around town
8pm-Midnight – Music at the West Branch by Sofa King
8:30pm-Midnight – Music at the Four Seasons by Tara Nelson and friends
Saturday, March 12th –
8-10:30am – Finland MN Historical Society’s Pancake Breakfast, and Craft Fair at the Clair Nelson Center
Noon – Tug of War across the Baptism River
Before and during the parade – Finland Fire and Rescue will be selling refreshments outside the Finland Fire Hall.
Before and during the parade – AfterProm will be selling St Urho T-shirts outside the Finland Co-op
Noon-1 pm – Parade through Finland on Highway 1. Call Cheri Bischoff at 220-9947 to register for the parade.
1-3pm – Clair Nelson Center – Craft Fair, kids games, Lunch, and music by Casey Aro
1-4pm – Music at Four Seasons by Tara Nelson and friends
1-5pm – Music at Our Place by the Curry Band
8pm-Midnight – Music at West Branch by Sofa King
8:30pm-Midnight – Music at the Four Seasons by Tara Nelson and friends
Sunday, March 13th –
5pm –Raffle Ticket Drawing and door prizes, Wildhurst
Stop in during our office hours (10am to 4pm – Tuesdays and Fridays) or any time the building is open to use the internet. We also have public computers (which were generously donated by Co-op Light and Power) available during office hours. Friday afternoons from 1-4pm, Cole Bauer, a recent transplant to the area, is offering free tech support. Stop by with questions about your device. Computer and Device Confidence classes will be offered through Lake Superior School District’s Community Education Program starting in January of 2016. Call 218-353-0300 or stop by the Center on a Tuesday or Friday for more information!
Our 2016 Community Conversation was held on January 9th with a Contra Dance afterwards.
More than 50 people attended the Conversation and enjoyed a lasagna dinner with ice cream dessert and a lively discussion on topics ranging from food and farming to housing, the economy and the arts. Each table recorded their discussion on paper and shared their findings with the larger group. Afterwards, everyone present marked community priorities with sticky dots.
Some of the priorities identified included the Finland Community Mural (currently in the works!), a coffee/tea cafe, a wild rice processing facility, a community barter book, and better onsite camping at the Clair Nelson Center.
Music by the Blackstrap Merrymakers rounded out the evening. Many of the attendees enjoyed a few dances! All in all, it was a successful evening.
Purpose for the Community Conversation
In late 2014, Friends of the Finland Community received funding from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation and the Minnesota DNR Coastal Program to do strategic planning and update the Crystal Bay Township Comprehensive Plan. We did a lot of work during 2015 and we wanted to share the results.
In addition to an updated Comp Plan, we created a Strategic Plan for Friends of the Finland Community and a work plan based on feedback we received from the community that will help achieve the goals in the Comp and Strategic Plans. We also created a marketing plan for the Clair Nelson Center and our programs, a financial plan to help us better run the Center, programs and grounds, and a fundraising plan that will guide us in the near future as we slowly begin to raise an endowment for our organization that will fund our work in the long term. We are also working to complete a short-term capital improvement plan for the Rec Site, as well as a long-term facilities maintenance plan for the Clair Nelson Center itself.
We have decided that we need to have an annual event to celebrate, thank community volunteers, and ask for community feedback and participation. Community input is the reason for and the measure of the success of our work, and we value your suggestions greatly.
Some of the ideas discussed at the Community Conversation are active projects. The Finland Community Mural is something that a group of people, namely, the Northern Lake County Arts Board is working on. There will be opportunities for community input and information on this project happening in the near future.
The other ideas discussed are not quite as active, but maybe people are still working on ideas or things are happening quietly behind the scenes. At any rate, if you are interested in becoming involved, let us know!
Change takes time, but sometimes it’s as simple as two people talking about an idea and deciding to do something about it. We also believe that people putting ideas out there is important. There is a lot of knowledge within this community. We are a resourceful bunch of folks or we wouldn’t be able to live here!
One of our goals in 2015 has been to do some outdoor improvements to make the site nicer and more user friendly. This summer, with the help of Whitetails Unlimited Cabin Fever Chapter and Crystal Bay Township, we were able to install a swingset that has been very popular with the kids (and some “big kids” too). Our International Dinner: Food and Folk Art of Mexico Fundraiser was a great success, raising over $2,000. Some of these funds were used to complete the swingset installation. The remaining funds will be used to repaint the dugouts and concession stand in Spring of 2016.
We are now working with Lake County Soil and Water to look at re-engineering key areas on site to funnel runoff away from parking areas and the septic system, build our soil to prevent erosion and remove invasive species.
Recently, IRRRB awarded a grant that will allow the completion of the RV Dump Station next summer. This will allow the installation of a cement basin for waste, and will make the Dump Station more user-friendly.
We still need gravel and topsoil for the playground, more sand for the digging toys and Gaga ball pit, heavy-duty outdoor garbage and recycling receptacles, benches, a bike rack, and maintenance work on the tennis court and ball field. We will continue to write grants and figure out ways to do this work in pieces, but we need to continue to raise money in order to do it all. Grants often need to have matching funds, so donations help a lot. We appreciate your ongoing support! Donations can be made online at https://www.givemn.org/organization/Friends-Of-The-Finland-Community
Thanks to a grant from the Northland Foundation, there are two advocates trained to provide assistance in filing protective orders, safety planning, and accessing area resources for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Those in need are welcome to walk in during the Center’s regular office hours from 10am – 4pm on Tuesdays and Fridays and ask for Honor or Joni.
The Minnesota Renewable Energy Society has a tour of solar sites across the state and this year the Clair Nelson Center is one of the stops!