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2020 Chairperson's Letter

Updated: Jan 4, 2021

Chairman Glenn Carlstrand reflects on the year 2020.



God Jul Svea #253 Members and Friends,


The year 2020 is quickly coming to a close. Wow! What a challenging and stressful year! We have experienced many emotions and hardships.


Even so, we have had many bright moments and accomplishments. Let us recap the year here.


January, February and March were regular months working up to the May Lake Michigan District 8 Convention. In mid-March we made the sad decision to cancel the convention and requested release from our Renaissance Hotel contract.


April until August passed with no activities then one day a bright idea of “Why not have a Virtual Kräftskiva?” It was a huge success with many first-time users on Zoom. We had over 35 members and guests join to listen to Jonas Björk talk about the historical and cultural significance of Kräftskiva.


September, October and November we have also had virtual programs on Zoom. In September, Brian “Fox” Ellis gave a program entitled, “A Storyteller’s Tour of Bishop Hill, Illinois.” In October, Hannah Lindgren and Judi Carlstrand talked about the cardamom spice and making Kanalbullars. And in November, Dr. Daron Olson gave a program on “Longing, Nostalgia and Missing Mother: Norwegian-American Male Visitors to Norway during the 1914 Eidsvoll Centennial.” Wow, these were excellent programs and we thank them for their time and efforts to present to our members.


Many of our members told us that they felt connected to SVEA and were pleased that we provided these programs virtually.


For December, SVEA will have a special event. The Annual Luciafest will be presented virtually! Hannah Lindgren along with Katie Blodgett and Jordan Huffer have put together a superb program recorded for viewing on Zoom. This event will take place on December 6, 2020 at 2pm EST. SAVE THE DATE. The box you received this letter in is your “Lucia Kit!” Save your cookies and candle for when you attend the Virtual Luciafest.


This year also, SVEA is going to have a Christmas (Jul) raffle. This will be done virtually. All of you have received a letter with a list of the raffle baskets for your selection and instructions on how to purchase tickets. An email was also sent out to display all of the items in each of the five baskets. If you missed the deadline of Thanksgiving and would still like to purchase tickets, contact Hannah directly so that your selections make it in time.


We would like to wholeheartedly thank all of the wonderful people who made our Virtual Luciafest event a success.


Hannah Lindgren - Planning, Filming, Editing, Helping Deliver the Lucia Kits

Jordan Huffer - Planning, Singing, Helping Deliver the Lucia Kits

Katie Blodgett - Planning, Performing the Poem, Helping Deliver the Lucia Kits

Annette Johansson - Planning

Ann Carlson - Singing

Steve Zimmerly- Guitar, Singing

Diane Haines - Piano

Jonas Björk - Singing

Sarah Topletz - Flute Performance

Crystal Kramer - Reading “The Tomten”

Judi Carlstrand - Baking Cookies

Carin Blodgett - Baking Cookies

Jim Lindgren & Brenda Myers - Helping Deliver the Lucia Kits

John & Faye Bevelhimer - Helping Deliver the Lucia Kits

Our Processional Participants:

  • Molly Reagan

  • Miles Reagan

  • Ava DeLuca

  • Gretchen Swanson

  • Reagan Sweeney

  • Kaylee Hoffman

  • Adeline Collar

  • Claire Collar

  • Fritz Kramer

  • Scout Strand

And everyone who donated items to the raffle!


This year our Lucia is Molly Reagan. Molly is 15 years old and a sophomore at Carmel High School. She volunteers as a costumed interpreter at Conner Prairie. Her great great grandparents were from Sweden and immigrated in the late 1890s. Her family has continued their Swedish Christmas traditions every year.


Lastly, the executive board has decided to continue to have our meetings and programs virtually into the new year. Our current plan is to have Zoom meetings until April or until further notice depending on the state of the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch your email inboxes for information!


Thank you all, and wishing you all a wonderful holiday season. God Jul!


Glenn Carlstrand, Chairman

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