November 16, 2015

2015 – AoM

The following SCA Awards of Merit were announced at the 2015 Spring SCA Council Meeting in Hilton Garden Inn and Suites in Rockford, Illinois, on Saturday, April 24, 2015.

Eric and Erin Anderson

It is my pleasure to bring before the awards committee Eric & Erin Anderson as candidates for the Swedish Council’s Award of Merit. I submit their names jointly as their contribution to Swedishness has been a combined effort to advance the sport of KUBB. The Anderson’s are a young couple who moved to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in January 2A07, and began their quest to make Swedish KUBB a game being advanced and played in America. Early that year, they decided to begin with a KUBB tournament held in Eau Claire. The KUBB tournament had 15 teams and just over 30 players.

Since that day it has outgrown and expanded to three city parks. ln 2010 Eau Claire held the U.S. National Kubb Championship. On December 13, 2011, the City Council passed a resolution making Eau Claire the official Kubb Capital of North America.

The August 2007 tournament, the only one in the U.S. that year. The number of tournaments in the U.S. has grown substantially, with over 25 tournaments planned in the U.S. for 2015.|n 2014, the U.S. Championship had well over 300 players. Dallas, Wl held an Oktoberfest tournament. Eric & Erin are responsible for beginning and now publishing the Kubbnation Magazine. They were very instrumental in the organizing and directing the Rockford, IL tournament from 2010 to 2013. During the last two years Eric has lead a team to the World KUBB Championships in Gotland, Sweden.

Over the course of the past several years, Eric & Erin have made their way to numerous schools, organizations, and other groups in Eau Claire.

What is great is since that first tournament in 2007 in Eau Claire Eric and Erin have seen KUBB reach out and now being played in:

  • Captain Ken’s Kubb Tournament – January 31 – Minneapolis, MN
  • Ely Winter Festival Kubb Tournament – February 7 – Ely, MN
  • The Leinenkugel’s Kubb Championship – April 25 – Chippewa Falls, Wl
  • Rockford Swedish Historical Society Tournament – May 2 – Rockford, lL
  • Chippewa Valtey Kubb League Spring Fling – May 16 – Eau Ctaire, Wt
  • Vasa Order Of America DL 8 – May 29 – Bloomington, Ml
  • U.S. Midwest Kubb Championship – May 30 – Madison, Wl
  • Canadian Kubb Championship – June 6 – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Kubb ln The Zoo – June 13 – Kalamazoo, Ml
  • Kubbing to Kick Gancer – June 13 – Kasson, MN
  • Lindsborg Midsommar Tournament – June 20 – Lindsborg, KS
  • Co-Ed Kubb Chatlenge – June 20 – Madrid, lA
  • Pre-U.S. Championship Tournament – June 28 – Eau Claire, Wl
  • Kid Kubb 2014 (U.S. Junior Championship) – July 10 – Eau Claire, Wl U.S. National Kubb Championship – July 11 and 12 – Eau Claire, Wl
  • lowa Games – July 18 – Ames, 1,4
  • Corn-O-Kubbia – July 18 – Stoughton, Wi
  • Nordic Fest – July 25 – Decorah, lA
  • Beioit Kubb Tournament – August 8 – Betoit, Wl
  • Fox Valley Clash Of Kubb – August 15 – Appleton, Wl
  • Kubb in the Kettle – September 5 – Delafield, Wl
  • Kubb at the Beach – September 6 – Milwaukee, Wl
  • Great Lakes Kubb Championship – September 12 – Alanson, Ml
  • Des Moines Fall Kubb Klassic – September 19 – Des Moines, lA
  • Chippewa Valley Kubb League Kubbfest – September 19 – Eau Claire, Wl
  • Daltas Oktoberfest Tournament – October 3 – Dattas, Wl
  • North American Singles Championship – October 24 – Chaska, MN

This list has been inserted to emphasize the accomplishment by the persistence of these two young Swede-Americans to realize a dream of keeping Swedishness alive through the game of KUBB. They are members of the Swedish Historical Society of Rockford and I respectfully request the Award Committee recognize these two young Swedes with the Award of Merit.

Eric & Erin Anderson were nominated by SCA Treasurer Richard Bryntenson on behalf of the Swedish Historical Society of Rockford, Illinois.

Ronald Alfred Johnson

On behalf of the Dalesburg Scandinavian Association, we wish to nominate Ronald Alfred Johnson to receive the SCA Award of Merit. Ron is of Swedish heritage. He was instrumental in organizing the Dalesburg Scandinavian Association in 1978 and has served as president of the organization. He plays a major role in panning the annual Saint Lucia Tradition in December, the Pea Soup and Pancake Luncheon and the Travelers’ Afternoon. Ron also helps organize and works tirelessly on the annual Midsommar at Dalesburg Festival. This year the 146th time Midsommar will be celebrated in Dalesburg. Ron is blessed with a beautiful voice and shares his music in English and Swedish in his church and throughout the Dalesburg community. He worked for one year in Sweden and he continues to be in contact with friends, associates and various organizations in Sweden. He is very interested in genealogy and spends countless hours researching family histories upon request and without compensation. Ron is very deserving of the award, as he willing gives of his time and talent in preserving the Swedish culture in our organization and the community.

Ronald Alfred Johnson was nominated by Connie Richards, Treasurer, Brenda Richards, Board Member, and Loraine Carlson, ASI Liaison, on behalf of the Dalesburg Scandinavian Association.

John C. Nelson

It is my pleasure to bring to before the SCA Awards & Recognition Committee Mr. John C. Nelson, a member of the Swedish Historical Society of Rockford as a candidate to receive the SCA Award of Merit. John has been a member of SHSR for well over 50 years. However, it is very difficult to go back and pinpoint each and every Swedish event or activity where John’s assistance quietly and skillfully fulfilled the need. There is never a meeting or event in the Rockford Swedish community where John is not in attendance and lending his support. Several years ago, the SHSR wanted to establish a Sister City relationship with the town Borgholm on Öland in Småland. The relationship was successfully established and it was John who was very instrumental in the process. He continues to be involved in the Sister City activities in Rockford. As part of this, he has travelled to Borgholm several times to cement the relationship. In addition, Rockford has established an economic relationship with Lidköping, Västergötland, and John, in his quiet manner, has been one of the supporters of this movement. On the fourth Tuesday of each month at the Stockholm Inn in Rockford, is a meeting called “The Öland Club”. It is John Nelson and Barbara Lunde who have made this meeting so successful. Because John works so hard to keep Swedishness alive in Rockford, I sincerely hope that Swedish Council of America will recognize all his efforts with an SCA Award of Merit.

John C. Nelson was nominated by SCA Treasurer Richard Bryntenson on behalf of the Swedish Historical Society of Rockford, Illinois.

Ruth Anne Erickson Hartman

Ruth Anne has been on the board of the American Scandinavian Association at Augustana for eleven years. She served as president 2007-2010 and again 2014-2016. She has also served as Vice President for Programs.

She is active in all our events, including Easter Workshop teaching Swedish wheat weaving to adults and children, assisting students making Swedish decorations for our Swedish tree at the local Festival of Trees, directing the Midsummer event and Jenny Lind Concert in June, and displays of Swedish memorabilia at the Scandinavian Festival in Rock Island. In 2012 she created a large Scandinavian Christmas display for “Silent Night in Many Lands” for the German American Heritage Center in Davenport, Iowa.

She has been a member of the Augustana Heritage Association, attending the Gatherings since 2006. She also served as registrar for Augustana College in 2010. She is a member of the Swednson Swedish Immigration Research Center and has participated in the annual Swedish American Genealogist Workshops in Salt Lake City for 12 years researching her Swedish Heritage. She is on the board of the Augustana Historical Society and serves as board member and treasurer of the Augustana Endowment Society.

Ruth Anne is very supportive of everything Swedish in the Quad City area as well is a member of the American Scandinavian Foundation, the American Swedish Institute and Friends of Jenny Lind Chapel. She and her husband, William, have traveled to Sweden several times to visit their cousins there.

On behalf of the American Scandinavian Association, it is my privilege to nominate Ruth Anne Hartman for the SCA Award of Merit, of which she is truly very deserving.

Ruth Anne Hartman was nominated by Loryann Eis, Treasurer, on behalf of the American Scandinavian Association at Augustana College.


The following SCA Awards of Merit were announced at the 2015 Autumn SCA 21st Century Leadership Circle Dinner at the Radisson Blu – Minneapolis Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on Thursday, September 17, 2015.

Lynn Elling

Lynn Elling grew up in a Swedish-American household in Duluth, Minnesota before his family moved to Minneapolis. Following the graduation from the University of Minnesota in 1943 with a B.A. degree, Lynn attended Columbia University for three months to complete his Navy Officers training. As a World War II Naval Officer on an LST (Landing Ship Tank) in the South Pacific, he saw the carnage of the battle of Tarawa, where 6,000 people were killed. From this point on he was haunted by the question, “How can we abolish war?”

After the war, Elling became an insurance agent in Minneapolis, MN. In 1954 Lynn and his wife Donna (who passed away recently) traveled to Hiroshima, Japan where his life changed and he made a commitment to do whatever he could to promote a just and peaceful world.

His passion led to an amazing accomplishment in 1971, when all of Minnesota’s major political and civic leaders signed a Declaration of World Citizenship. This document and more on Lynn’s story can be viewed here.

Elling, who has five children, directed more of his efforts toward younger people. In 1972 he founded World Citizen, Inc. and introduced the Peace Site Program. There are 700 peace sites world-wide, and 269 in Minnesota. The Peace Sites include schools, churches, resorts, government buildings, and businesses — even the Mall of America!

Lynn was also the co-founder of the Nobel Peace Prize Festival held each year at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Peace Education Program of World Citizen enhances and completes the three programs, all of which support the mission of World Citizen.

Lynn has worked tirelessly for more than 50 years on peace issues and promoting the concept of world citizenship. His work is in direct alignment with values of Sweden and Swedish society, and it would be appropriate for him to be recognized by SCA for this work.

The SCA Award of Merit is intended to recognize those individuals from within the Swedish-North American community, and especially within SCA Affiliate Member organization, who have contributed in meaningful and substantial ways to the furtherance of the following ideal:

To promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of Swedish heritage in American life
and to strengthen contemporary cultural and educational ties
between North America and Sweden.

Lynn’s efforts in co-founding the Peace Prize Festival at Augsburg and the festival’s deep impact upon youth and students in this region amply justify consideration of him for the SCA Award of Merit.

Lynn Elling was nominated by Bruce Karstadt, SCA Board member and President/CEO of the American Swedish Institute, on behalf of the American Swedish Institute, an SCA Affiliate Member.

Virginia & Robert Taylor

Virginia and Robert Taylor are worthy recipients of the Swedish Council of America Award of Merit. Through both the American Swedish Institute (ASI) and the Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota (SGSM) they have contributed to promoting Swedish heritage in American life and to strengthening ties between North America and Sweden.

Virginia’s Swedish background has made something of an honorary Swedish American of Bob. Her interests, knowledge, and considerable administrative skills have found an eager and able complement in his curiosity and carefulness.

In August 2007, for example, the management team of the ASI suspended ASI’s library and archive services. Virginia had been a long-time volunteer in the library and archive and was then chair of the Friends of the ASI Library and Archives Board. She, accompanied by Bob, civilly and searchingly sought an explanation for these changes. Once satisfied, they volunteered to organize each area of the extensive collection and compile a preliminary catalog of the library and archive holdings. They worked steadily and cheerfully for what became hundreds of hours. By January 2008, their preparations made it possible for a professional archivist from the Swensson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College to prepare a set of recommendations for the future of ASI’s collections. Those collections, now focused and cataloged, are an important of the expanded ASI. The Taylors’ work was fundamental to this development.

In 2009, when Virginia became president of SGSM, little did the Society know it was a package deal! The package, as at ASI, included her skilled husband, Bob. He, although only Swedish American “by marriage,” has endeared himself to the Society’s participants, doing whatever he can to help. A board member died unexpectedly, for example, and because the funeral was out-of-town, none of the board members could attend. Bob sensitively volunteered to represent the Society. The list of his kindnesses could go on and on.

Quietly far-sighted and warmly efficient, Virginia has become a much needed inspiration to the Society. She uses her wide contacts with knowledgeable and interesting people to recruit speakers and thereby enrich SGSM’s quarterly meetings. Guiding SGSM at a time when technology is changing so fast, Virginia has worked diligently to secure a professional, regularly updated website for the Society. Her leadership skills and Bob’s can-do contributions invigorate the Society, which is vibrant and strong.

Virginia & Robert Taylor were nominated by Bruce Karstadt, SCA Board member and President/CEO of the American Swedish Institute, on behalf of the American Swedish Institute, and by William Beyer on behalf of the Swedish Genealogical Society of Minnesota. Both the ASI and SGSMN are SCA Affiliate Members.

Awards Of Merit