Tuesday, December 06, 2011

December 2011

From the President’s Desk

Iceland is recovering

 ‘Iceland is recovering’ reads the headline of a great article by Jake Halpern in a recent issue in The New York Times magazine.  It’s a must read for everyone interested in what happened and is happening in Iceland after the crash.  Icelanders are slowly shifting their focus from the fall of the banks and more and more folks are rediscovering the nation’s cultural roots, values and rich heritage.  This is good news for all of us who worried about Iceland’s future and our friends and family living on that great island of ours. 

Like Icelanders back home, our little society in the Midwest is thriving.  I’m proud to announce that our scholarship fund is up and running as you can read more about in this newsletter.  I thank everyone involved for their unselfish and relentless work; a true accomplishment. Our goal is to give out the first scholarship at the next Þorrablót.  We had a successful General Meeting and I‘m truly happy to report that every board member agreed to stay on the board for one more year.  This board has done a great job building up the IAC and with fewer expenses and a strong fund for a non profit organization, we decided to lower our annual membership fee. All members will still enjoy access to discounted tickets to Þorrablót and a free 17th of June festival.  It was the right thing to do.  The date for Þorrablót 2012 is Saturday, the 25th of February, see details below in this newsletter.  Lastly, our Christmas Tree is up at the MSI and this year we’re tree number one :).  It‘s the first tree you see as you go up the escalator, and it looks great!     

Have a splendid holiday season and I hope I’ll see all of you at some or all of our events next year.

Einar Steinsson


From the Editor

Hello members! It's that time of the year where we look back at the year that's coming to an end while slowly getting excited about the new one. We make plans, decide to improve things that may not have worked out so well in the past. A clean start. We join a gym, learn a new instrument, change our hair color and buy a juicer to make our own organic health smoothies while deciding to never eat preservatives again. Good luck, I'm sure your life changing plans will make a difference in your life -- but don't forget a sure thing to make 2012 your best year ever: renew your IAC membership so that you don't miss out on all the fun. You'll get a discount when you buy your þorrablót ticket, celebrate the Icelandic Independence Day eating the tastiest hot dogs in the world, get a chance to apply to our new scholarship fund (keep reading for more infomation and how to apply)!

The Icelandic Embassy just sent out its most recent newsletter which is attached for your information.

Sign up for both the membership and þorrablót below where Lena has lovingly put together all of the þorrablót information along with a little treat (Skyrterta recipe).

We will be taking the Christmas tree down on January 15th at 1:00 PM, followed by a brief board meeting which all members are invited to attend.

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season and looking forward to seeing everyone in 2012 and make sure to "like" us on facebook to get all of the latest updates.


Þorrablót 2012

The Þorrablót 2012 will be Saturday, February 25, at the Svithiod House (www.svithiod.org), located at 5518 W. Lawrence Avenue, close to the I-90/94 and accessible by public transportation. Parking is plentiful and the building is easily accessible at street level. The ballroom seats 80 guests for dinner, which sold out last year, so buy your tickets early! The format will be similar to past successful years – We’ll open the house at 6 P.M., and start with a welcome punch and gravlax, and for the brave of heart, Brennivin and rotten shark.  We’ll serve a buffet style dinner with delicious Þorrafood, flown in from Iceland, and some traditional and less traditional dishes prepared by members.

We’ll have our famous and ever popular raffle where you can win a ticket from Icelandair to the Old Country plus many more prizes from Iceland. The great musician Sveinbjörn Grétarsson or better known as Bjössi in Greifarnir (a popular band in Iceland) will entertain us throughout the evening and make sure that everyone hits the dance floor or the stage, for a song or two :-)  We’re delighted to have Bjössi back for the third time and are proud to call him a friend of Chicago!  Of course, the Þorra Quire will sing, as will everyone else.

Save the date or, better yet, purchase your tickets now for Þorrablót 2012 on our web site.

Online Membership Form
Pay for Membership Online
Þorrablót Tickets
Donations (specify if it's a general donation or for the scholarship fund)

If you prefer, you can fill out the attached Membership form and send payment by mail to:
Lawrence O. Shaw
147 N. Buckingham Drive
Sugar Grove, IL 60554

Please note we will not sell tickets at the door.

Price of tickets:
Members: $50
Guests: $60
70 and older: $40
12-18 and Students: $40
11 and younger: Free

Membership is $20 per family or $10 per person/student.

We’re excited about our Þorrablót and look forward to a memorable Icelandic night with all of you good folks.


The Þorra-committee

How about a typical Icelandic treat for the holidays?

Now that we enjoy the luxury of SKYR being sold in the greater Chicago area, let me tell those of you who don’t know, you can use it to make a healthy, nutritious and a very popular dessert in Iceland, SKYRTERTA!  It’s similar to the cheesecake, but oh so much lighter and refreshing.  I recommend using SIGGI’S SKYR as his product is all natural and no sugar added, leaving it up to you to make what you fancy.  In short, you make the crust from your favorite cookies and make sure to mix with ICELANDIC BUTTER.  For the cake itself you mix SKYR, sugar, egg yolks and flavorings, then fold in whipped cream.  Use gelatin to stiffen.  For a topping use gelatin and whatever jam/berries/liquo retc., that fits your cake.  No baking involved and ready after a few hours in the fridge.  You can find plenty of recipes on the web or feel free to email me if you want more details/measurements.  SIGGI’S SKYR is sold at Whole Foods and some other grocery stores.

Bon Appétit

New!! The Icelandic Associationof Chicago Scholarship Program


The Icelandic Associationof Chicago [hereinafter referred toas the IAC] Scholarship Program [i.e., the Program] shallhave a broad mandate to:  encourage,facilitate, and fund formal and informal educational opportunities to promoteknowledge of Iceland,its language, culture, history, and current affairs.  It shall also recognize exceptionalcontributions to same by members of the Icelandic-American Community which theIAC represents and serves.


A.          The elected Chairperson[i.e., the Chair and its Committee [i.e., the Committee]shall:

1.    Recommendthe scope of its current activities consistent with available and anticipatedresources, opportunities, and the needs of the Icelandic-American Communitywhich the IAC represents and serves;

2.    Solicitand review applications for approved scholarship aid;

3.    Recommendgranting of scholarship aid and/or special recognition;

4.    Only the IACBoard of Directors [i.e., the Board] shall have authority to approvethe recommendations of the Chair and Committee regarding actual awarding ofscholarship aid and special recognition(s);

B.           Funding sourcesfor the Program shall include individual and corporate contributions andfund-raising activities approved by the Board;

C.          The Chair shallrecruit a Committee, by the first of January following the Chair’selection/re-election to the Board, to include at least two IAC members, withrelevant input welcome from all interested parties;

D.          Preference in theawarding of scholarship aid shall be given to IAC members and family members ofsame;

E.           Recipients ofscholarship financial aid shall be required to present a suitable reportfollowing their supported activity, preferably at the next Annual GeneralMeeting [i.e., the AGM], and will be encouraged to become and remainactive in the IAC and to assist the Program. Such report(s) will be disseminated via the IAC Newsletter and/or on itswebsite;

F.           Committee orBoard members and their immediate family members are eligible to receivescholarship aid, the only restriction being recusal from voting on one’s ownapplication or that of an immediate family member;

G.          Absent compellingreasons to the contrary, scholarship financial aid on behalf of the awardeeshall be paid directly to the relevant, bona fide academic, cultural, orscientific institution with which the supported activity will beundertaken.  Scholarship aid may be usedfor tuition, travel, living expenses, books, supplies, etc., relevant to theaid approved;

H.          Scholarshipfinancial aid not accepted or not used within two years of the award shallrevert to the Scholarship Fund;

I.            The Program shallbe reviewed annually;

J.            If the Program isever rescinded or the IAC ceases to operate as a not-for-profit organization,all Scholarship Program funds not already committed or disbursed shall betransferred to bona fide, not-for-profit institution(s) whose activities areconsistent with the Program’s above-stated objectives.


The Chair shall give a reportto the AGM and Board Meeting (oftener to the Board if exceptional financialresources and opportunities or challenges warrant).  This report shall be disseminated via the IACNewsletter and/or its website:

A.          Scholarshipawards and special recognition(s) granted in the past year;

B.          Scholarship fundsavailable, significant sponsors and donors, anticipated funds, andrecommendations regarding new fund-raising opportunities;

C.          Recommendationsfor current scholarship funding priorities and relevant deadlines forapplications, award announcements, and preferred venue for final awards orspecial recognition(s), e.g., at the next Þorrablót;

D.         Recommendationsfor special recognition(s).

Last but not least:

UNICEF has asked us to encourage our members to visit their web site and share the following message, which we are more than happy to share:

Visit UNICEFUSA.ORG for news and updates on UNICEF USA's campaigns towards saving the lives of millions of children all over the world. Through the assistance of individuals, organizations and communities, more and more children are being saved from famine, malnutrition, diseases, violence and illiteracy. However, while many children are being given a chance for a more promising future, there are many more who need the help of UNICEF. Please extend your generousity and support UNICEF USA in its efforts to save children's lives. Please visit UNICEFUSA.ORG for information on how you can lend a helping hand to save the world's most vulnerable children.