Posted 2/04/13 (Mon)
The Sons of Norway Lodge in Tioga has made a financial donation to the North Dakota Heritage Center expansion project, as part of a statewide effort led by the Sverdrup Lodge of Bismarck to encourage Norwegian-Americans in the state to raise funds to name a meeting room in honor of their Norwegian heritage .
The Vennlig Lodge of Tioga contributed $430 to the campaign recently.
The involvement of the state’s Norwegian descendents has gained support from the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C. In a letter to Sons of Norway Lodge members in North Dakota, the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States encouraged them to support the expansion of the North Dakota Heritage Center.
Ambassador Wegger Strømmen praised them for their efforts to raise funds to have a meeting room named after them in the expanded Heritage Center.
“The North Dakota Heritage Center is a destination for many Norwegians who visit the state to learn more about their immigrant ancestors,” Strømmen wrote in the letter dated September 15, 2012. “They conduct research in the archives and view exhibits that tell the stories of many Norwegian pioneers who have helped make North Dakota the wonderful state it is today.”
Strømmen said this is an opportunity for members of the state’s Sons of Norway lodges to live up to their organization’s mission statement to promote and preserve the heritage and culture of Norway.
“It is my sincere hope that all of North Dakota Sons of Norway lodges and Norwegian-
Americans will take a leadership role and contribute to this important and worthwhile effort,” he wrote. “You will be doing so much to keep North Dakota’s Norwegian-American history, culture and traditions alive for generations to come.”
According to the State Data Center, North Dakotans of Norwegian descent comprise 31 percent of the state’s present population, the highest percentage of any state in the country.
The Sverdrup Lodge of Bismarck is leading a campaign to encourage all North Dakota Sons of Norway members and Norwegian-Americans in the state to raise $100,000 to name a meeting room in honor of their Norwegian heritage. The campaign is being coordinated by the State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND) Foundation.
“The meeting room will honor those who migrated to this country and settled in North Dakota,” says Derle Marchus of Bismarck, who is spearheading this campaign. “This is a one-time opportunity to recognize the parents and grandparents of North Dakota’s Norwegians,” he says.
Those who contribute to this campaign will have their name listed in a kiosk near the entrance of the expanded Heritage Center. Now under construction, the $52 million expansion will double the size of the state museum, adding new galleries, visitor services, programming, collections storage, labs and office space. It will be completed in time for North Dakota’s 125th anniversary in November 2014.
For more information on the campaign, contact SHSND Foundation Development Officer Karl Lembke at (701) 391-3405 or SHSND Foundation Communications and Outreach Director Rick Collin at (701) 214-0109. For more about the SHSND Foundation, visit their website at www.statehistoricalfoundation.com.