Latest News in 2013



Past Newsletters
2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
October 2010

August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
March 2010
February 2010

We are always looking for interesting stories to add to the monthly ASF Newsletter!
If you have any Scandinavia-related news/events stories that we can add to our monthly newsletter, please submit your written content and pictures to Susanne Nagy via email

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

We would like to know if we could find a few volunteers from our membership as the Board performs many tasks. We would love to have your help!

We would also like help with publishing our newsletter, This task can be broken down into several tasks to share so no one is stuck with full responsibility.

Would you like to write Birthday Cards and get well cards to members?

Would you be willing to call on other Scandinavian friends to become members?



Past Young Vikings !
Young Vikings of Santa Barbara was a group of young college students from 18-25 with Scandinavian Roots or interest in Scandinavian culture.


» CLICK HERE TO READ OUR NEWS STORIES FROM 2013 ASF NEWSLETTER
Click here to download the November ASF Newsletter (pdf)

» CLICK HERE TO READ OUR NEWS STORIES FROM 2012
» CLICK HERE TO READ OUR NEWS STORIES FROM 2011
   
» Reflections on the Future
» Nu Er Det Jul Igen!
» It was 70 years ago: A Story of Scandinavian Courage
» Art Kvass: A Man of Many Talents
» Calling all artists!
» Visiting an Alpaca Farm in Carpinteria
» In Memory of Faiza Fawaz Estrup, Ph.D., M.D
» 2013 ASF Scholarship Recipients
» Summer updates from ASF
» Linnea Domz turns 100!
» Brooke Van Der Kar has been elected president of the
American Sscandinavian Foundation of Santa Barbara.
» New works of our member Helle Scharling-Todd
» Annual Meeting
» Courtlin Stoker at the Island Brewery
» Christmas Party
   

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Reflections on the Future
By Peter Haslund

LINNEA DOMZ
One reality keeps chipping away at my heels; we are all growing more, eh... ”chronologically gifted.” And that’s a wonderful thing! There is much about “getting older” to be celebrated aside from those annoying aches and pains that tend to accompany us all as we advance in age. But I remember my high school physiology teacher, Mrs. Dorris Siddall, who looked me straight in the eye as she said, “Don’t feel sorry for me; I’ve had a lot of fun getting to my age!”
She was, of course, right! I may not have learned much about physiology, but she taught me something about life. I learned to appreciate the different stages of life and to take nothing for granted.
And I truly enjoy meeting the next generation. They appear to be so eager to learn about “yesterday” and so determined to frame tomorrow! My questions: can they learn? Are the rest of us ready to pass the torch? Will we be willing to help them find their own path? My answer to all three is “yes!”

This year, we are hosting our Christmas Party at the Montecito Country Club. I remember this venue with great fondness as this is where I first encountered the American Scandinavian Foundation about 40 years ago.

It was 1969. I had just arrived in Santa Barbara from active duty service in Vietnam, and was about to engage in graduate school. I had taken a part-time teaching job at SBCC and I was eager to find others whose Scandinavian heritage could serve as a common bond. I can still remember the smell of Scandinavian food brought out from the Club’s kitchen, and the taste of the gløg – ah yes, it had a kick to it! And in 1975, it was my daughter, Melitta, who was selected to wear that coveted Santa Lucia crown.

So I’m happy to return to this festive venue. Of course, much has changed over the last 40+ years...including the cost of attending! Our Board of Directors took note of how this increased cost might discourage young people living on a tight budget, so it has authorized subsidized rates for all students in order to underscore our commitment to bringing youth to our functions – that next generation that will help assure that there will be an American Scandinavian Foundation in the future. Frankly, without young families, without their laughter and enthusiasm, our events would not be the same.

The bottom line is that we want all of you to come to the party. Old, young, in-between, COME enjoy the festivities, the auction, the music, good food, the unique Scandinavian humor (I have been so accused!), Santa Claus as well as Santa Lucia....and a whole lot of fun.
Need a little help? Give Melitta a call at 320- 3613.

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Nu Er Det Jul Igen!
By Brooke Van Der Kar

LINNEA DOMZ
The American Scandinavian Foundation Christmas Party and Santa Lucia Procession is being held this year on December 1 at The Montecito Country Club at 5pm.

This Christmas Dinner and Santa Lucia Pageant has been a tradition for many years. My Mother Evangeline orchestrated the Lucia Pageant at The Montecito Country Club when my nieces played the role of Santa Lucia and their cousins all followed in the procession. We now have a new generation of children to wear the gowns, carry the candles and share in the festivities. Once again they are the children of our larger ASF family and we delight in bringing us all together to celebrate and share in a Santa Barbara tradition that began in Sweden.

Gløgg will be served from 5-6pm followed by the Santa Lucia pageant with all the children following behind our lovely Lucia for 2013, Alexandra, daughter of our Board Secretary, Melitta and grand daughter of Peter Haslund. Dinner will be served following the Procession. We will enjoy Swedish Meatballs, Roasted Turkey Breast with Gravy, Salmon and the favorite red cabbage, cucumber salad, green beans, Yukon gold mash potatoes and a mixed green salad with blue cheese, candied walnuts, tomatoes, shaved carrots and basil vinaigrette dressing. Rice pudding and coffee will be our dessert. Children will be served macaroni and cheese. The cash bar will be open all evening.

Papa Heinz will once again entertain us with his musical ensemble and children and adults can dance to his tunes. Santa will stop by with treats for everyone and an impressive silent as well as live auction will be part of our unforgettable evening. We will usher in the holiday season with Christmas Carols played and sung by our members and friends. Please join us for this grand affair.
Our Silent auction has been the work of several of our members who have been collecting items and baskets all year long. Ellen and Cindy have shared their talents and collections with others to bring together a bountiful array of treasures to please everyone. The money we make from this goes to scholarships that are gifted to deserving high school students in Santa Barbara County. We work with The Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation each year and grant these scholarships in the spring. Thank you to everyone on the ASF Board who is working creatively to make this a wonderful event. Please join us and share our tradition.

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It was 70 years ago: A Story of Scandinavian Courage
By Melitta L. Haslund

A 5-year old Peter Haslund prepares the field for next year’s crop.

Having failed to escape to Sweden in the dark hours of October 2, 1943, my grandmother, Melitta Moth, returned with her son, to their apartment on Hammerensgade in Copenhagen. It was there that she learned her landlord had placed her name on the Nazi’s list when they came the night before to arrest Jews in her building, and worse, they would soon return to complete their task. In response, she did what would horrify any mother: she bravely entrusted the life of her 4-year old son to the care of his nanny and her parents. She envisioned that he would be safe, hidden away on a farm in Slagelse. After all, fishermen and Jewish refugees had been arrested the night before in an attempt to flee from Snekkersten, the very place from which they had tried to escape.

Melitta, Peter and his nanny had already spent four nights in hiding, moving from home to home after Rabbi Melchior had made his encoded life-saving announcement. She had dropped everything: her fashion design business and her home, bringing only the passport they shared and a toothbrush. She couldn’t bear the idea of sedating Peter for another attempt to flee. He was often sick and skinny for his age, and who knew how much sedative might be too much. In the midst of impending danger, Melitta’s priorities became crystal clear: save Peter, which is a good thing for me, as he is my father.

Fortunately, large-hearted Else Mikkelsen who was just 22 years old, didn’t hesitate to agree to Melitta’s request, risking her life by claiming that he was her own. She and Peter took the next train from Østerport Station out to the farm. Her parents, Adolf and Maren Mikkelsen brought him into their home and hearts and for three and a half years, he was an integral part of their family. They taught him to hide quietly in the hay loft when Nazi soldiers or suspected Danish collaborators came to the farm. But, the rest of the time, he was busy at work, shadowing Mr. Mikkelsen while he ploughed the soil, harvested the wheat, and fed the chickens.

The Mikkelsen Family with Peter

Once, Peter came close to dying from a lung infection in the midst of a severe winter storm. The village doctor paid a visit and refused payment, telling them that he understood the situation. Mr. Mikkelsen and their neighbor with a sleigh braved deep snow to fetch the medicine in Gorlev. Peter recuperated only to grow strong and brown in the summer sun.

Melitta finally escaped to Sweden, alone and heartsick to leave Peter. She supported her mother and brother who had escaped earlier to Sweden, but Melitta sent money and supplies to the farm as often as she could once she found employment in Stockholm. All of the letters she sent under a pseudonym were checked by Nazi control save one. A single letter was smuggled into Denmark that shared the details of her escape. The small fishing boat’s motor died half way to Sweden. Some passengers made a futile attempt to swim and drowned. Stoically, Melitta acted as the sentry, scanning the horizon for German patrol boats and mines in the early twilight as they rowed slowly to safety.

Else (Mikkelsen) Poulsen at 90

Years later, Melitta returned to collect my father, which was difficult for everyone, and they soon headed for America where she could get a fresh start. For the last 70 years, our families have continued to be in touch and to care for one another. At her 90th birthday party in Glostrup two years ago, I was honored to thank Else Poulsen publicly for saving my father’s life and for giving him a loving home. She is my hero.

This story I tell has captivated me since I was a little girl. The fact that my family had to run for their lives because they were Jewish and lost almost everything except their lives, sunk deep into my awareness. As a minister, I cannot imagine the terror of being pursed for my faith or heritage. Nor can I fathom as a mother, the agony of parting from my children to save them, not knowing if we’d survive to see one another again. On a more banal level, I can’t picture having to fling my life’s work and home into the chaos of war, leaping to safety in another country, though I know people do it every day. But there is something more to this story, beyond the tale of destruction and loss.

The world returns to this unique story of Danish courage and Sweden’s humane approach to providing refuge. These example challenges complacency that, too often, characterizes our world today. These acts of courage saved over 7,000 people in little over two weeks’ time, without the benefit of cell phones, the internet or a central organizing agency. They resisted complicity, even in the face of grave danger and the enormity of the task. Despite the obvious risks, Danish families opened their homes and hearts to hide and care for children like my father. For those who made it to Sweden, they found a safe haven. In a world filled with intolerance and ignorance that breed extremism and apathy, it is good to recall such examples and to conclude that there are alternatives.

We look to this and similar stories in Scandinavia and around the world with awe and gratitude, for they reveal our human potential to muster courage, live compassionately and act with integrity as Else and her family did, because, as she said, “It was the right thing to do. We didn’t give it a second thought!”

Editor’s Note: The subject of this story, Melitta Moth, is the Great Grandmother of this year’s Santa Lucia.

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Art Kvass: A Man of Many Talents
by Bets Wienecke

LINNEA DOMZ
Art’s parents met and married in West Orange, New Jersey after emigrating separately from Norway in their late teens. His mother, Gunhild Johnson, earned a nursing degree and his father, Thorvald, went to St. Olaf’s college and later earned a degree in civil engineering. Art was born January 8, 1919 in Des Moines, Iowa.
After working in Chicago for four years and suffering with a serious bout of pneumonia each winter, Art’s father wisely decided to move his young family west to Los Angeles in 1928.

A younger brother, Harold, joined the family after they came to Los Angeles. The family purchased a lot on which they build a house in Westwood the year before the nearby UCLA campus was started in 1927.

Art’s mother was convinced that he was destined to become a concert violinist. Between the ages of ten and nineteen he practiced the violin 4 hours a day. His parent did not install a telephone until Art left the family home because they were concerned that such a device would be disruptive to his academic focus. At his high school graduation, he played with the orchestra the Bruch violin concerto and won an Kiwanis academic scholarship for his efforts. His mother’s ambitions were thwarted when Art, as a music major at the UCLA School of Music, took a course in physics to understand the science of music. That changed his goals! In 1942 Art completed all the courses (except the dissertation) for a PhD in Physics.

Art married Nancy Clason who was a childhood friend and also graduated from UCLA in 1942, after which he went to work for Douglas Aircraft Company. Their son, Ron was born in1944 and son, Bob, in 1946. In 1945 they bought and built on a view lot in Brentwood. In 1957, Art and Nancy moved to Santa Barbara and Art lives in the house on the Riviera with an incredible view the ocean, islands and city. Nancy died from a rare form of cancer in 1994.

Art spent a good part of his career at the Douglas Aircraft starting in the engineering research department and ending up as the Chief of Preliminary Design for missiles and spacecraft. A part of his job was working with the Rand project, which started as a part of Douglass Aircraft and later spun off as its own entity. He worked for Rand but returned to Douglass in 1952.

Five years later, he and two others were recruited by General Electric to form a new research company in Santa Barbara called GE-Tempo, doing much the same planning work for them as had been done at Rand for the US Air Force. In 1969, he left GE-Tempo to form his own company, Adcon, a sophisticated think-tank operation, which was sold in 1974 when Art attempted to retire. He was lured back to work as the Chief Operations Officer and Executive V.P. of Moseley Associates from 1975 until he really retired in 1980.

Busier than ever in retirement, Art has served on the American Scandinavian Foundation Board, as Chair of the SB Harbor Commission, and President and Board member of the UCSB Music Affiliates. He chaired the Santa Barbara Fish and Game Commission for 30 years. His son Bob, at 14, developed spondylitis, a form of juvenile arthritis, and Art has worked for years to find a cure as a life-member of the Arthritis Foundation, Pacific Coast Region Board of Directors.

Art tells great stories. Ask him about his very own Kiddy Car when he was three sailing by ship to Norway; his train ride from Chicago to Los Angeles in 1923; those test flights for Douglas; the best way to see the Norwegian fjords by ship and why he never learned to type.

What’s the secret to Art’s energy, good humor and long-life? No one can say for sure but the following by Reinhold Niebuhr serves as Art’s guiding philosophy: “God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to to know the difference.”

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Calling all artists!
By Heidi Poley

LINNEA DOMZ
Saturday, October 26th bought a nice group of talent to the Parks & Recreation Ceramics Studio.

Catherine Vallance, our ceramics teacher, thought she was to give instructions on “how to” but after a little talk, folks were ready to go. 

Many had researched their designs and were ready to transfer their ideas on the clay and any questions & concerns were answered as needed.  

Many of us made a dalahäst, some flat for ornaments, some modeled, others made plates, and the kids, well, they were creative in their own designs.

For those who had trouble finishing, no problem, we stayed until we were through, the last ones leaving around 5:30pm.Thank you Catherine for a fun and creative afternoon!

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Visiting an Alpaca Farm in Carpinteria

ASF and their children were guests of an Alpaca Farm in Carpinteria. Everyone enjoyed meeting the animals up close and personal. It was a special event that will be remembered for years to come.

 
     
 

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In Memory of Faiza Fawaz Estrup, Ph.D., M.D

Faiza Fawaz Estrup, Ph.D., M.D., died on July 14th, 2013 of pancreatic cancer. She was a renowned scientist, rheumatologist, educator, linguist, chef, and painter - a renaissance woman. She leaves a loving husband, Professor Peder J. Estrup, and extended family in Lebanon, Denmark, Austria, and the USA.

Faiza grew up in beautiful Lebanon and came to the US at age 18 to study physics at Boston University. She received a Higgins Scholarship and obtained her PhD in Biophysics at Yale University. On her first day at Yale, she met her future husband, Peder, a Fulbright Scholar from Denmark, who was studying for his PhD in Physical Chemistry. They fell in love and remained that way for 56 years.

Faiza obtained her M.D. Degree from Brown University Medical School in 1975 and was a practicing rheumatologist and Medical Director of the Arthritis Center of RI. In addition to seeing private patients, she also served as Chief of Rheumatology for 20 years at the Memorial Hospital of RI. She was a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and a Founding Fellow of the American College of Rheumatology.

In 1999, Dr. Fawaz Estrup was appointed the first Associate Dean of Medicine at Brown University for Clinical Faculty. She became Clinical Professor of Medicine, was voted the RI woman Physician of the Year 2002, and was the recipient of the 2002 Brown Medical School Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Fawaz Estrup was chosen as one of America’s Top Physicians for the years 2003 to 2007.

In 2004, the Estrups retired in Santa Barbara - which reminded Faiza of beautiful Lebanon. They enjoyed the Newcomers’ Club, concerts and operas at the Music Academy, research at UCSB, and courses in Spanish at SBCC. They travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. At home, Faiza painted watercolors and became a member of the Los Padres Watercolor Society.

A memorial service will be held on August 31, 2013 at 2:30 pm at the Live Oak Unitarian Universalists Congregation, 820 North Fairview. Interment will be at a later date at Columbia Memorial Park in Columbia, Maryland.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American College of Rheumatology Research and Education Foundation, 2200 Lake Blvd, NE, Atlanta, Georgia, 30319.

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Our Scholarship Reception: Leaders for Tomorrow
by Carola Smith

LINNEA DOMZ

On Saturday, May 4th, ASFSB held its Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner at Santa Barbara City College’s Gourmet Dining Room to honor the 2013 ASFSB scholarship recipients. This year’s scholarship recipients included Rachel Bergseteren Strange, Gabriel Burdick , and Mia Nelson. The three recipients were in attendance accompanied by their families as were approximately 50 ASFSB members. A brief description on each of the scholarship recipients follows below:


LINNEA DOMZRachel Bergseteren Strange graduated in the spring with a 4.86 GPA where she enrolled in multiple GATE, Honors, Advanced Placement and Santa Barbara City College courses. She has trained in ballet and gymnastics from the age of five and has been an apprentice ballet dancer with the State Street Ballet where she has performed in many lead roles, including as Clara in the State Street Ballet’s The Nutcracker performance. As a ten year member of the Santa Barbara Gymnastics Club, she qualified five different times for the California State Championships. Rachel wrote in her essay, “The hours of work that must occur so that a moment can pass with its potential fulfilled inspires me. My life can be full of pressured decision making, but I love it.” Rachel has volunteered with Amor Ministries, the Red Cross, for the Lois Capps Campaign and also was a photography intern for the Santa Barbara Independent. Her mother, Heidi Bergseteren, is a member of the American Scandinavian Foundation. Rachel plans to pursue a career in Architecture.

LINNEA DOMZGabriel Burdick (renewal) is a sophomore at UCLA where he is currently fulfilling his pre-medicine requirements as a Biological Science major. Prior to heading off to college last year, Gabriel worked part time over the summer in construction for an architectural company, earning money to help with incidental expenses in his first year of college. During his freshman year, he joined a fraternity and is an integral member of the nationally ranked UCLA Club Volleyball team. Gabriel wrote in his essay, “Taking Introductory Chemistry in college has elevated my passion for science to new heights. Never have I been in an environment with so many peers who share the same aspirations and strive toward a common goal. I am inspired by their achievements and motivated by their diligence.” Gabriel was born in Denmark and traveled there often to visit family members. His mother, Hanne Burdick, was also born and raised in Denmark and is a member of the American Scandinavian Foundation.

LINNEA DOMZMia Nelson graduated this June from Santa Ynez Valley High School earning a 4.27 GPA in a course of study including many Honors and Advanced Placement classes. She competed as a member of the Santa Ynez Girls’ Volleyball team in her freshman year, but needed to leave the team to help her mother with the family business in Solvang following her father’s untimely death. Able to resume sports in her junior year, she competed for the past two years on the Santa Ynez Track and Field team in Shot Put and Discus. Mia was honored to represent her hometown in 2012 when she was chosen as Danish Maid of Solvang, earning countless community service hours as she spoke to large groups of people, and helping with fundraising for the Danish Days celebration. In her senior year in high school, she served as ASB Secretary at her high school and she has also served as a member of the S.Y.V. Youth Action Council, cabin leader for The Outdoor School, and was selected by the faculty to attend a Rotary Young Leadership Academy. Mia wrote in her essay, “At a young age I discovered much of what I believe will take me far in this world. I have learned to take risks and to treasure the time given to me.” She plans to major in Business.

The 2014 scholarship application cycle is now open. Please encourage any qualified applicants you may know to apply!

LINNEA DOMZ

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Updates from ASF

LINNEA DOMZ
A highlight of our annual ASF holiday party is the traditional Santa Lucia pageant. We always look forward to hearing who will be chosen to represent the beloved Saint of Light each year, and we never fail to find a beautiful young girl to wear our white dress and crown of candles. We never tire of hearing her story, and enjoy her trail of tinseled angels and star boys. Through the years I have been able to photograph many of our Santa Lucias for publicity purposes, and never fail to be impressed with each one of them. I have been able to maintain contact with some of them as they have moved on into the next phase of life, and recently I was rewarded with the opportunity to have lunch with two of our adventuresome Santa Lucias who also became Young Vikings.

We all know and followed the many recent experiences of Courtlin Stoker, and now she is already off for the summer working at Yellowstone National Park. This fall she will be heading to jolly olde England for a year of graduate work at Cambridge. Joining us was Carina Powers, recently returned from Sweden, where she studied International Business. Her studies took her to many interesting places to study and work. Carina holds dual citizenship with Sweden, and needless to say, she came home fluent in speaking Swedish. Carina is now employed as an agent with Coldwell Banker, and is currently also teaching 5 classes at SBCC.

According to her mother Susanne Nagy, UCSB graduate Vienna Chartrand, a former ASF Santa Lucias bride, former Board secretary as well as a Young ASF Viking, is working in Santa Barbara, volunteering, and preparing for a future wedding! Kristin Van Der Kar is finishing up her second year at SBCC and will attend UCSB in the fall, majoring in Environmental Studies. Another recent Lucia is Karina Jougla, granddaughter of our own longtime member (deceased) Bodil Jorgensen, is attending Columbia University in New York and plans to major inInternational Relations. How many of you know that Melitta Haslund, our Board Secretary, was one of our early Santa Lucias? I hope one day too be able to research our Santa Lucias, and dig up pictures, names, and dates. We are proud of all of them!

Evelyne Houdek

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LINNEA DOMZ TURNS 100!

LINNEA DOMZThe American Scandinavian Foundation of Santa Barbara can proudly celebrate and hail the century birthday of one of its long time members, Linnea Domz. Although she currently resides in Las Vegas, NV., Linnea has maintained her membership and continued her support of our Santa Barbara organization, and we are happy to send our best wishes and congratulations to mark the special occasion.

Linnea Johnson was born May 6, 1913 in Chicago, Illinois to her Swedish parents, both emigrants to the United States in the early 1900’s. Her mother came from Oland and her father came from Varmland, and they met while residing in a boarding house run by her father’s sister. Like many at that time, they learned English at night school while working during the day, mother as a maid and father as a milkman. After becoming citizens, her father wanted to return to the land, and bought property in Mason, Wisconsin, building a modest house and outbuildings before bringing the family from Chicago. Linnea at the time was 5 years old, a twin to a brother, in a family of 6 children. The farm “Cloverdale” prospered, and was well known in the area with its name and “E. Johnson” painted in while letters on its red siding.

Linnea graduated from Ashland High School, and received her nursing degree from Ashland General Hospital. She came to California while caring for a patient, and later met her first husband who was a patient in the hospital where she had obtained work. They were married in November, 1941, a 40 year marriage that produced three children, 2 girls and a boy. During these years Linnea became interested in floral design and sang in many choirs. LINNEA DOMZHer floral design experience and interest lead to many awards, as well as show judging, in which she is still active today.

Linnea’s second husband, the late Dr Casimer Domz , of Sansum Clinic, brought her to Santa Barbara. She was urged to join ASF by long time member Dr. Clayton Klakeg because of her Swedish heritage. Both Linnea and Dr. Klakeg are recipients of the Marie Jendresen Founder’s award, given for dedication and service to our organization. In a recent phone interview Linnea said her association with ASF is her fondest memories of her time in Santa Barbara. “Everyone was friendly, and we had such fun times”, she commented, and I can attest to the fact that Linnea was instrumental in those friendly fun times. She sends greetings and wishes for continued success. And in return we send our good wishes and congratulations on her 100th birthday. And many more, Linnea!.

Linnea can be reached at: 8209 Bay Dunes St.
Las Vegas, NV 89131-4347
Tel.# 702/247-9279

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Brooke Van Der Kar has been elected president of the American Scandinavian Foundation of Santa Barbara.

Ms. Van Der Kar teaches art at Santa Barbara High School.  A Carpinteria resident, she is a long time member of ASF and a recipient of its Founders Award for  her dedication and serevice to the group.  Other officers include Ellen Zissler, Vice President,,Heidi Poley Treasurer, and Melitta Haslund, Secretary.

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New works of our member Helle Scharling-Todd


The Ventura Parking Structure, promenade side, tile/mosaic mural 10’x9’.


A mural for the Adult Center on Venture Avenue which has not yet been mounted.

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Annual Meeting (Click here to see more images)
by Heidi Poley

It was that time again to pick new board members, keep existing board members and to change positions at the American Scandinavian Foundation Annual Meeting held on Saturday, January 19th. This year’s meeting was held at the Marmalade Café in La Cumbre Plaza with a light lunch menu of: soup, salad & sandwich.

The meeting was called to order by Ellen Zissler, President. The meeting minutes from last year were read and approved by Secretary, Melitta Haslund. Next the reports from the President and Treasurer were given. In the treasurer report Heidi let everyone know that in 2012, $3153 were raised for scholarships, of this money $1326 were raised from the silent auction during the Christmas party.

As of 12/31/12 the checking account has:
Scholarship Monies: $5817.98
General Fund Monies: $5689.22
Total Monies: $11507.20

The Nominating Committee came next and our new President Brook Van Der Kar took her place at the front of the room. The Vice President will be Ellen Zissler, Treasurer Heidi Poley, and Secretary Melitta Haslund. Board members are: Cindy Holland, Glen Neikirk, Ellen Zissler, Courtlin Stoker, Melitta Haslund, Peter Haslund, Art Kvaas, Heidi Poley, Lilli Tragos, and Brooke Van Der Kar.

Committee Reports came next: Scholarship from Art Kvaas, Program from Heidi Poley and Outreach from Lilli Tragos. After the reports and questions the meeting was adjourned.

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Courtlin Stoker at the Island Brewery, Jan. 20, 2013 (Click here to see more images)
by Heidi Poley

On January 20th Courtlin Stoker spoke at the Island Brewery on her Humanitarian trip around the world. Her love of travel, bubbly personality and experiences kept the audience captivated starting first with her experience in the American Scandinavian Foundation, her motivation behind taking such a huge travel undertaking, and then the travels. She was gone for 8 months volunteering her time from planting trees, to teaching English, whatever they needed she would greet the task with enthusiasm. Included in the talk was slide show presentation of her many countries visited and a photo book for all to enjoy.

I must also mention that the light refreshments were two tables of delicious snacks and Paul & Cheryl Wright, the owners of the Island Brewery, were incredible hosts. Upon walking into the back room, the tables were laid with red & white table cloths with flowers everywhere and tasty pitchers of beer that were refilled often. Thank you Courtlin. We will be awaiting word and pictures from your next travels.

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Christmas Party (click here to see images from Christmas Party)
by Heidi Poley


What brings us Scandinavians together but the Annual Christmas Pageant. I love the food, the wonderful children running around, the Lucia Pageant, the Glögg auctions items, the people, etc. And, most of all it’s a great time to see most of the American Scandinavian members at one event. We saw many new members too. Despite the few mishaps the event was a success with a plethora of auction items that brought in $1326 which will be used for scholarships in May. The auction items included used items, new items and donated items from local merchants. There are still 2013 calendars left…5 Danish, 2 Norwegian, 1 Swedish. Please give Heidi Poley a call if you’d like one. They are $15.

New this year was The Papa Heinz Band and a dance floor. This was a terrific addition for all, mostly the kids, but especially Jackson Min Ho who was enthralled with Papa Heinz’s accordion. The kids were not bashful and made full use of the dance floor and after most of the people had left I saw that some of the adults enjoyed it too.

This year’s Lucia, Anna Eliasson, was a Swedish exchange student from Santa Barbara High School. We were proud to have her lead the procession with the long trail of children that followed. The food was tasty and the Glögg plentiful. There were even lucky winners who found the almonds in the Ris a l'amande. Here’s to a fun way to end the ASF year. I hope those who came had a fun time and went home with the auction items of your bidding.

Click here to see images from Christmas Party


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