Finlandia Foundation National was founded by Yrjö A. Paloheimo on January 21, 1953 in Southern California. The idea to form an organization to nurture ties with Finland and promote a sense of Finnishness for younger generations in the U.S. was first conceived by Paloheimo in 1945. However, it took him eight years to gather enough interested individuals to form the first of the current 58 chapters in the national organization.

​ The Foundation’s mission is to promote Finnish-American culture in the United States and ancestral ties with Finland. The National Chapter celebrated its 60th anniversary in March 2013 in Pasadena, California.

The Finlandia Foundation Suomi Chapter was founded in 2010 and three of the founding members are still active and with the board: Tapio Holma, Asko Hamalainen, and Brend Hunt-Holma. FFSC serves as the local Finlandia Foundation chapter for Whatcom, Skagit, and Island Counties.

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​​​​​​​​​Recent Event​s
Finding Your Ancestral Roots

(Finnish in Particular)

        This Finlandia Foundation chapter meeting was held on Saturday morning, January 27th, at the Fairhaven Public Library in the downstairs room.  
        Our presenters were Judith Culver and Cathie Oberg – both members of the Whatcom Genealogical Society.  Their presentation taught us how to research our genealogical roots and Finnish in particular.  The program included a Powerpoint slide show, handouts and lecture.  Questions and open discussion began at the conclusion of their presentation.
        This event was free and open to the public.  Coffee and treats were provided.

Annual Independence Day Dinner

Sunday, December 10, 2023

        We met in the banquet room located in the Holiday Inn & Suites, 4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham 98226.  It is located across the parking lot from the Bellingham Airport terminal.  The evening's events extended from 5:00 to 8:00 PM and included a Mediterranean dinner, speaker and festivities.  We sold some merchandise, and the auction went quite well too.  Two kanteles went for $50, the one with a gorgeous walnut case went for $150, and the  walnut framed LED backlit photo of a Finnish sauna on a lake went for $300.  These funds will go toward financing future events held by our chapter, such as the one mentioned to the left.

​​​​​​​​​​​Upcoming Event

Our Annual Meeting

​        Please set aside the afternoon of Saturday, April 27th, for our Finlandia Foundation Suomi Chapter annual meeting.  It will be held at the Fairhaven Park's lower enclosed pavilion closest to the park entrance off Chuckanut Drive.  The event will begin at 11:30 and will last until 1:30.  Our guest speaker will be Western Washington University professor Dr. Vajda who has previously spoken to our group.  This will be a potluck, so everyone is encouraged to create and contribute your favorite Finnish dish to be shared with one and all.

        Currently we are short a few board members since Brend and Tapio Holma moved to Finland.  Please consider volunteering to serve on the board; no experience is necessary, just a desire to help our organization grow and to help create activities that would appeal to our members.  Naturally, board members need to be members as well. 

        Another facet of the annual meeting will be the election of next year's board members. According to our by-laws, only dues paying members are eligible to vote in our election, and the dues must be paid prior to April 15 when ballots will be emailed out to members.  Ballots are due via email by the time we hold our annual meeting, or you can come to the meeting and simply vote in person.  Members do not need to be present at the annual meeting if they voted via email.

        We eagerly look forward to seeing many of you at this annual event.  Come share your delicious dishes, make new friends and enjoy the conversations that often centers around life in Finland.

FFSC has been promoting both local and Finnish musicians since its foundation. Concerts have included jazz musician Olli Hirvonen, soprano Maria Mannisto, violinist Kati Valimaa, pianist Marja Kaisla, the Starry Night Quartet, Mt. Baker Youth Symphony, and the Wade King Singers. In 2017 Tapio Holma served as tour guide for the North Stars Chamber Orchestra on their visit to Finland as a part of the centennial celebration of Finland's independence from the USSR.

Finlandia Foundation Suomi Chapter

Welcome to the Finlandia Foundation Suomi Chapter’s website! 
The Suomi Chapter serves Finns, Finnish Americans and friends of Finland in Whatcom, Skagit and Island Counties. Annual events include a Juhannus (“midsummer” summer solstice) celebration in June and a Finnish Independence Day celebration in December. We also hold our annual meeting for all members and interested parties in the spring. Check out our events page for more information.

Click the Donate button below to pay your annual dues or donate to Finlandia Foundation Suomi Chapter.

Copyright © Finlandia Association Suomi Chapter - All Rights Reserved

Single membership: $30
Family/Couple membership: $45
Supporting membership: $50
Lifetime membership: $300

Please click the Donate button above to pay by PayPal (or credit card). If you prefer, please fill out the membership application and mail to:
Finlandia Foundation Suomi Chapter
P.O. Box 2544
Bellingham, WA 98227

Please email
for other payment options or questions.

Become a member!

Your annual dues help support FFSC's events and newsletter.

We want to hear from you!
Are you a Finlandia Foundation Suomi Chapter member or interested in joining us at any events? Do you read our newsletter? Are you a Finn, Finnish-American, or otherwise have a connection to Finland and are living in the Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan county area? We want to hear from you! Please take some time to fill out a questionnaire about our organization and how we can better serve you.

​Let us know if you would like to join our email list, become a member or volunteer.
P.O. Box 2544, Bellingham, WA  98227

Everyone is encouraged to offer suggestions for future events that focus on Finnish culture, food, history, etc.  If you have ideas, please feel free to submit them to

​​​​Juhannus (Midsummer Celebration)
Saturday, June 24, 2023 from 3-7pm
Birch Bay State Park

        Activities for the day included a talk on midsummer traditions across Europe by WWU professor Dr. Vajda, a campfire and picnic fare (hotdogs, salads, s'mores supplies). We had a banquet permit, so people were able to bring their own beer or wine to enjoy! We also had lawn games (Molkky anyone?) and the beach was a short walk away with low tide at 4pm that day. It was a great time for all those who came to celebrate!