A thank you from Mike Swanson

Thanks to all who attended and participated in the 18th biennial Finnish American Folk Festival.  Anna Wirkkala Ehrlund is tremendously proud of each and everyone of you!

We could not do this event without all the help from volunteers within the community and from those who came from out of town to set up, man the registration tables, sit in the exhibits, clean up and tear down.  We especially want to thank the twenty volunteers who came from North Creek Church in Vancouver, WA, and stayed all week to assist us.  The Naselle High School volleyball team, plus individual students  also provided much assistance.

Our sponsors were especially generous this year:  4 Anonymous donations totaling $7,200;  Fred & Sadie Lehr Trust;  Pacific County Lodging Tax Grant;  FinnWare;  Mike Swanson Realty;  Bank of the Pacific;  Barr-Johnson Hill Post 0111;  Finlandia Foundation Columbia Pacific Chapter;  Finnish American Historical Society of the West;  Naselle Rock & Asphalt Company;  Wahkiakum West;  Susan Holway;  Morgan Hamilton;  Okie’s Select;  Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce;  Appelo Archives Center;  Bayshore Animal Hospital;  Brenda Caudle Memorial;  Deal’s Only;  Topi’s Plumbing;  Wesley Raistakka  Memorials; Pirjo & Dirk Schulbach;  Brenda & Alan See; Steve Ullakko;  Deep River Finns.  Please thank and support these entities and individuals.

“In Kind” donors also provided valuable support.  They were Gary Anderson, the Naselle Assembly of God Church, Robbie Johnson, Jose Rodriguez, the Scandinavian Festival Association, and Victoria Stoppiello.

Becky Underhill, thank you for coming from Portland each week to teach our youngsters to sing in Finnish with confidence and enthusiasm.  The Laulaa Out Loud Kids Choir brought joy to our hearts and is one of the best activities to preserve our festival.  Thank you, parents and grandparents, for transporting them to all the practices and performances.

Kittos, life time members, current members and all who generously supported us with donations at the registration tables.

Food and Tori vendors, hugs to you all.  Thanks to the ESA, the Grays River Grange, and the Lutheran Church Priscilla Circle for all your hard work.

To those who cut flowers from their gardens, assisted in arranging them, brought hanging baskets and other flower pots, delivered benches and handmade tables, we are thankful.

We are grateful to all who contributed items to the numerous exhibits.  They certainly were noticed and appreciated by the festival attendees.

We want to recognize Harvey Johnson, Jr. and Doug Sandell for the impressive load of logs and Lloyd Wirkkala who brought his log truck all the way from Portland.  Thanks, too, Dave Alford, for bringing the Viking ship from Portland and providing a wonderful photo op.

We appreciate the Naselle Ambulance and Fire Department for their hours of being right there and the Pacific County Sheriff’s Department for providing security.

Finally, we want to thank the Naselle-Grays River Valley School District for allowing us to use their facility. Kudos to Karl Johnson and Greg Nelson who helped with the audio-visual equipment, and to Rob Dalton for running the sporting events. Nick Zimmerman, Justin Laine, and Lynette Mullins, you are awesome!

Mike Swanson, chair, FAFF