FAFF group seeks help from community
March 11, 2021
The Finnish American Folk Festival group in Naselle was given the gift of a building in Naselle.They have succeeded in using it as the Naselle Community Center for over two years. They are entering their third year and because of the pandemic, they are now asking for help to continue upkeep and maintenance costs.
The local Congregational Church had been declining in membership over the years and was faced with maintenance costs and no pastor. A small group of remaining members got together and discussed possible options for their beloved church building. They wanted to donate the church to a local non-profit organization and wanted it to be used in a way that would provide a benefit to the Naselle community.
Over the past two years, they have offered the building to others to use for monthly and weekly meetings, rentals for weddings and funerals, and have offered locals and visitors alike the chance to see local talents perform in a beautiful building setting. They have had all kinds of performers, including Carl Wirkkala, folk and country singer, Kim Angelis, violinist, Jennifer Goodenberger, pianist, Richard Ellis, singer, Gene Quilhaugh, local folk singer and guitarist, and even special guests like Ruusamari Teppo, the famous Finnish pianist and great granddaughter of Sibelius. They have also featured local and visiting artists who came to display and sell their beautiful works of art during an art festival held at the Community Center.
Mike Swanson, past Finn Fest chairman and signer for the new building, said “It’s special that the congregation donated the church to the group, which holds its festival every two years. I’m just happy we have the opportunity to use it for the best interest of the community. With the shutdown of the Community Center, we are facing a critical shortage of maintenance funding. We appreciate any donations for this worthwhile community resource.”
Donations may be made to the following websites:
Facebook page: Finnish American Folk Festival of Naselle.