Finlander Forum Year End 2019

December 30, 2019
Year End 2019 Newsletter

Finlander Forum Year End 2019

Here’s the Finlander Forum  (the Newsletter for the Clair Nelson Center and Crystal Bay Township) for the end of 2019.

Please click on the picture or the link below in order to read the whole issue.


Please share widely with your friends and neighbors! If anyone is interested in being added or removed from our mailing list, please contact us!

If you like our work, please donate online here, or mail a check to Friends of the Finland Community, Clair Nelson Center, PO Box 582, Finland, MN 55603.

2019 Featured Donor – Jean Hangartner Cook

December 15, 2019

Jean CookBy Honor Schauland

Friends of Finland recently got a nice donation from the estate of Jean Hangartner Cook, who was originally from here in Finland, MN, but who made her home in Michigan.

I met Jean back in 2008 when we both staffed the Finland Minnesota booth at FinnFest USA which was held in Duluth that year. I was representing the community center (which wasn’t built yet) and the Finland Co-op. Jean was representing the Finland MN Historical Society. I remember we had a lovely conversation about Finland’s history and where it was going, and when later that year, the newly formed Friends of Finland organization put out a call for donations for building the community center, Jean made a donation of $1,000. I remember thinking that our conversation must have really made an impression on her! After that, she made regular annual donations. I had no idea that she would remember us in her estate. What an unexpected gift!

If you are interested in supporting Friends of Finland beyond your own lifetime, you can plan for it now. It’s easy to leave a bequest of any specific dollar amount, or a percentage of your estate, by including the proper language in your will.  Please contact us for more information – 218-353-0300.


The Finland Food Chain Project 2019

December 4, 2019

Hopefully you’ve already heard about it, but 2019 marks the launch of the Finland Food Chain project, a 3 year project funded by Bush Foundation Community Innovation funds, with a mission to create an equitable and interrelated local food system that increases access to healthy foods and builds local wealth in Finland Minnesota and the surrounding area. So far we have had two large community meetings to gather input for projects, and a lot of behind-the-scenes work to get things organized and up and running. Many great ideas for projects to build our local food system are in the works and will get off the ground in the near future.

Many of these first-phase projects involve information gathering as a first step. The Food Chain recently conducted a community-wide survey to gather information on local folks food buying habits, needs and wants.

Projects so far include work on a feasibility study for local wild rice processing, creation of a directory of local food producers, research into a community garden, a planned assessment of local institutional purchasing, classes on farming and gardening, enhancing the Finland Farmers Market, grantwriting to help the Finland Co-op update infrastructure, creating a local seed savers group, and much more.

We are currently in the process of hiring coordinators to work on Infrastructure, Purchasing, Producers and Education for the project.

The Finland Food Chain welcomes participation and input for this ongoing work. There will be many opportunities to participate in the future. For more info, please visit: or and/or contact Project Coordinator Honor Schauland at 218-353-0300.


Thank You, Amy Gardner!

November 28, 2019

AmyFriends of Finland would like to thank Amy Gardner for her many years of service as the Coordinator of the Finland Community Youth Program. Amy is moving on, and we want to recognize her dedication and hard work with and on behalf of our community’s kids.

Under Amy’s direction, the Youth Program has grown beyond our wildest dreams and now includes not only Thursday Night Youth Night/Open Gym, but Camp Finland (a week-long summer camp experience in June) as well as various outings and other activities for youth and community members.

We expect all of these great activities to continue uninterrupted, because Amy has built a very capable group of people as staff who will continue to provide quality opportunities for our youth.

Nevertheless, Amy is leaving big shoes to fill. We will be hiring to fill the gaps in the Youth Program in the near future.

Thanks Amy! You will be missed!

2019 Featured Volunteers!

October 24, 2019

Marc Smith

Marc Smith

You’ve heard the expression Behind Every Great Man Is A Great Woman?  It’s dated and sexist, right?

But how about this one?  Behind Every Great Clair Nelson Center Staffperson Is A Great Partner.  A partner that “volunteers” their time to help with the Booya dishes, runs the kids’ booth at St Urho’s, helps with bingo, prepares the meal for a special event, fixes the heater, the ice machine and the…..  You get the idea!

Gary Olson

Gary Olson

This year’s Volunteer Thank you goes out to our staffpeople’s partners for the hours you have all put in helping us make the Clair Nelson Center the community jewel it is.

Jeffrey Mitchell Jr

Jeffrey Mitchell Jr

Thank you many times over to Marc Smith (Amy Gardner), Gary Olson (Nancy Anselment-Olson), Jeffrey Mitchell (Honor Schauland), Pamela Melby (Kaare Melby) and Kurt Mead (Betsey Mead).

We appreciate you! And so does our community!


Kurt Mead


Pamela Melby