Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 2012

Farsælda Frón

From the President’s Desk

The Icelandic Association of Chicago turns 90 next year!

Next year is going to be big for us Icelanders in Chicago, people of Icelandic heritage, and other members and friends of Iceland. The Association turns ninety years old, which calls for celebration! Our organization is only as strong as its members and for the past 15 years we have flourished thanks to the unselfish work and contributions from all of us. Our members volunteer their time with no monetary benefits; everyone pays a membership fee and everyone who works at the Þorrablót also pays for their Þorrablót ticket. Next year, you can expect it to be different as I will suggest to the board we grant those who organize and help with Þorrablót a complementary admission. I am sure the board and all of our members will agree. We will celebrate our 90th Þorrablót in February and I am convinced it will be the best to date!

But why do we volunteer for the IAC or why even become a member? We may have different reasons but we all share the passion to hold out a strong organization to support the Icelandic-American community in Illinois and neighboring states. We want to maintain a strong connection to our culture and to help represent immigrants and others who show interest in their Icelandic background. We want the children in the community to learn about Iceland and Icelandic culture. Last but not least, we want to enjoy each other’s company and have good times with our friends. That speaks volumes and if at the same time we can create something good and help people to learn about Iceland, that is a bonus. I encourage you to consider an application to the Scholarship fund and if not for you, spread the word.

Take care and have a great rest of 2012 and happy 2013!

Einar Steinsson


From the Editor

We have picked a winner for our logo contest! Congratulations to Kenneth Beckwith, our official winner. His logo will be featured on our web site, Facebook page and any other materials related to the IAC.

He will be officially congratulated by our President Einar Steinsson at the Annual Christmas Tree Decoration event this coming Sunday, as well as being presented with his well deserved prize. 

Here is how he described the logo: 

The logo features the giant, dragon, eagle, and bull present on the current logo, but given an almost propaganda-style screen printed treatment. I wanted to keep the clear communication of a logo, while appealing to a contemporary audience. 

We would love to hear ideas from our members to find out how you would like to use our new logo. Some ideas that came up during the last board meeting were t-shirts, bags, cards ... Post your ideas on Facebook

Renew Your Membership

Dear members, it's that time again where we ask that we all renew our memberships to keep our wonderful organization running. $20 for family membership and $10 for individuals and students.  Please fill out the attached form, or you can pay online via PayPal

Christmas around the World!

Once again it’s time to decorate our tree at the Museum of Science and Industry.  Please join us at 12 noon, Sunday November 4th for this annual tradition and festive event.  You must sign up with Lena as this year we’re to enter through the main Entry Hall and must show a wristband for a complimentary admission.  Unfortunately, free parking is no longer offered.  Parking in the museum’s garage costs $20 BUT there are other options.  For example, metered parking in the east parking lot where we used to park; metered parking in the Park District lot just east of the Museum (enter off Lake Shore Drive just south of 57th street – the same lot we use for our 17th of June Celebration at Promontory Point; or free street parking within short walking distance from the Museum in the Hyde Park neighborhood.

Hlökkum til að sjá ykkur!

The 7th Greater Chicago Icelandic Open

Heavy rain forced us to reschedule the original date of The Icelandic Open to September 23rd which turned out to be a good move as we had more players than previously planned.  Everyone had a great time at our new location, Hilldale in Hoffman Estate.  The Icelandic Open Masters 2012 are the daughter father team, Kathy Mehl and our treasurer, Larry Shaw, with a great score of 34.  In second place, a father son team, Dave and David Mehl, not far behind with a score of 35.  Third place winners, a wife husband team, Melissa Finley and Eric Thompson with a score of 39, but Melissa also won the longest drive for women.  Axel Nielsen won the longest drive for men.  David Mehl won the longest putt and Marvin Ray won closest to the pin.  No one took the ticket to Iceland this year for a ‘Hole in One’ – Better luck next year!

I’d like to thank everyone for playing and hope I’ll see all of you next year.

Message about Scandinavian Day from Joni: 

Thanks to all who participated in Scandinavian Day at Vasa Park this year.  Lena and Einar represented Iceland in the Opening Ceremonies - carrying the flag and singing our National Anthem. Joni played the keyboard for the Worship Service.  A great time was had by all who sold Icelandic Glacial water and pop in our booth - Ole and his boys, Will and Luke; Lena and Einar; Elizabeth, Biggi and Magnus; Kenneth Beckwith, who artistically set up our booth, and his friend Sergio; Joni and Larry; and John.  Thanks to John who saw to it that we had the water and Larry, who went and picked it up from the distributor.  All this effort goes to the Scholarship Fund to help further Icelandic studies and culture among students both young and "older". And - the weather cooperated.  It was a beautiful day.
Have a great day,  Joni

INL Convention  in Chicago in 2017?

INL meetings are held once a month by Conference Call.  Last month they were looking forward to future Conventions and we were asked if we would be willing to host the Convention in 2017.  This year it will be in Seattle April 4th - April 7th.  They are traditionally held in April or early May to preceed vacation rates.  They can host between 150 - 200 people.  Some venues are large cities, such as Seattle this year and some are small, such as Wynyard.  Each has its own unique flavor - and costs. The larger cities being more costly for the attendees.

Some things we would be responsible for are: speakers; accommodations; publicity; local activities/attractions; general area information; anything one can think of to make a successful convention.  Check out these websites to see what Seattle is doing this spring - www.inlofna.org and www.icelandseattle.com. Chicago has a lot to offer and many different locations to consider.

Tentativly they are looking at Wynard in 2014, Vancouver in 2015, Mountain/Fargo in 2016, Chicago in 2017, and Markerville in 2018.

This idea is up for discussion.  Please direct input to Einar or Joni Shaw (delegate to the INL).


Monday, May 21, 2012

May 2012

Farsælda Frón

From the President’s Desk

Things are heating up in Iceland

Icelanders elect a president June 30th!  Eight candidates have announced their candidacy but some of them still need to collect enough signatures to be eligible to be on the ticket.  This is more interest in the presidency than we have seen before. Current president, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, is running for his fifth term.  The person closest to Mr. Grímsson in the latest poles, or actually a little bit ahead of him, is a news anchor from RUV, Þóra Arnórsdóttir.  Þóra is about to give birth any day now to her third child but between she and her husband they have 6 children.  Historically, the post of the Icelandic president is a position without much power even though the constitution allows for rights such as to veto laws the Parliament has approved and send to referendum.  Mr. Grímsson is the only president who has exercised the right to veto a law, not once, but twice, which has changed the way people look at the position and, possibly, explains the interest and record number of candidates. Interesting news so make sure you stay tuned on June 30th.

In other news, our Þorrablót 2012 sold out just as it did the previous two years. This motivates us to look for a new venue that could welcome more attendees.  Most of you know by now that our Þorrafood was confiscated in Boston but our great musician, Bjössi, was able to retrieve some of it before coming to Chicago.  We did our best to make up for the loss and were lucky one member had some Hangikjöt to donate.  Plans are in place to ensure the food for 2013 Þorrablót will make it.

We are excited to celebrate the Icelandic Independence Day on the 17th of June, the actual day.  Again we will import Icelandic hot dogs and do not worry, they are pre-cooked, thus will make it through customs!  Hopefully, we will see most of you by the Lake on June 17th.  Look for more information about the event below in the newsletter.

Gleðilegt Sumar – Have a great summer. 

Einar Steinsson

From the Editor

One month before the National Icelandic Independence Day (see Lena's write up about our beloved, annual hot dog festival), the Chicago Tribune's John Keilman did a write up about the IAC and its members: Tiny Icelandic Community Keeps Up Traditions. If you haven't read it already, it's a bitter-sweet article for us, as the photo that accompanies the piece is of our Swany and her and Bert's youngest son Eyjolfur. They are moving to Victorville, CA next month. We wish them the best of luck out there and we look forward to hearing about their adventures out West!

Warm up your computer design program and/or your sketchbook and get set! We want you to design our logo. See instructions below.

Iceland's Independence Day '17di Júní'– by the Lake,Sunday June 17th.  Icelandic Hot Dogs!

All members are invited to celebrate our Independence Day at Promontory Point,locally known as ‘The Point’.  Please join us for a picnic style festival and a fun afternoon by the Lake. The IAC will treat everyone to hot dogs, pylsa, from Iceland, Icelandic style – eina með öllu – which includes dried fried onion and remolade!  What makes Icelandic hot dogs unique and oh so good, is that they’re made from lamb meat.  Please note that other than the hot dogs, the event is a BYO, so please bring drinks, sides, salads, sweets, or other plates you'd like to eat or share.  Remember to bring picnic gear: blankets, lawn chairs, sunscreen, umbrellas...  And, if anyone owns flags or other 17th of June decorations, please bring it with you – takk!

We’re excited to celebrate 17di júní on the 17th of June and look forward to see you at 2 PM.  This year we’re due for sunshine and, hopefully, warm enough weather for a quick dip into the lake!  We'll have our parade with flags and balloons. A beach with life guards is close by for those who want to bring swim suits and go for a dive. Sign up by e-mailing einarandlena@ameritech.net or call 773-489-4621. If the weather is questionable we will move the celebration to Lena and Einar’s house on Rockwell. Thus, it’s important you sign up so we can alert you of a different location.

Directions and Parking:

The Point is off 55th Street, Eastof Lake Shore Drive (LSD). Use 5500 S Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637 for driving directions (Mapquest.com; Google Maps, etc.). You’ll find a metered parking lot on 55th street,by Bar Loui, or you may find free street parking. The walk to the Point takes about 6 minutes through a tunnel, which passes under Lake Shore Drive at the east end of 55th street. Upon emerging from the tunnel you’ll see a statue and a fountain. Turn right and walk south until you see our flag. We’ll try to find a spot as close to the field house as possible. For more information, photos, and the history of the Promontory Point, check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promontory_Point_(Chicago).

IAC Logo Design Contest

The IAC needs a logo and we are holding a contest. The prize is $100, but more importantly bragging rights. All entries need to be received by September 15th, 2012 and should be sent to: siggyosk@gmail.com. The winner will be chosen by the board members and revealed in the fall issue of Frón.

The fine print: The IAC will have exclusive rights to the logo and it may not be re-used without permission by the board members.

The 7th Greater Chicago Icelandic Open August 26th @ 2:00PM

The 7th Greater Chicago Icelandic Open (TGCIO) will be held at a “new” course, Hilldale Golf Club in Hoffman Estate this year.  This is one of our favorite golf courses that our Swedish friends introduced us to some years ago.  The course is one of Robert Trent Jones Sr. designs and used to be a sportsman club owned by the Marshall Field’s family.  You can read more about it on their web page> http://www.hilldalegolf.com/index.php

As before, we will max out at 32 players and we have sold out for two of the six years.  I am proud that we are able to lower the fee this year, $35, which includes 9 holes of golf, a cart, sleeve of TGCIO golf balls, and great prizes, including an airline ticket to Iceland with Icelandair for a hole in one.

Deadline to pay is August 15th as that is the day I have to confirm number of players to the Hilldale Golf Club.  First come first served – You can mail a check* or pay on our web page www.icelandchicago.org with a credit card: http://icelandchicago.org/IAC2012IceOpenPymtMethods.html

The TGCIO is a 9-hole Texas Scramble tournament in teams of two players, with many of the teams being a couple or a parent and a child. We give a trophy for first place, medals for 1st 2nd and 3rd places, plus various prizes for the Longest Drive men/women, Closest to the Pin, Longest Putt, and Hole in One.

For any questions, email me at einarandlena@amreitech.net

Have a great time out there,

Einar Steinsson

* If paying by check, make your check payable to the Icelandic Association of Chicago and mail to Lawrence O. Shaw, 147 N. Buckingham Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554

Vasa Park Summer Fun

Time to get your picnic blankets and head to the park to celebrate with Vikings of all ages this summer. June 23rd is the annual Midsommar Celebration. For details go to the website: http://www.vasaparkil.com/