History of Finns & Friends

Tervetuloa! Welcome!

A little history on how Finns & Friends got started....

In the 1970's there was still a Finlandia Foundation Chapter in Phoenix. An Annual Meeting was held in February and a Picnic every spring and fall. These events made it possible for newcomers to meet other local Finns and make friends. However, several members wanted a less formal 'social' club. 

Tuula Granberg decided to make this idea a reality, so she and her neighbor Dolores Wargelin held a meeting to establish the new club. Esther Joki-Witcher was appointed secretary, Tuula treasurer. Others present were Airi Riikonen, Vi Rukkila and Nanny Salonen. The name Finns & Friends was chosen because not all members were Finnish. 

Years went by and the club continued to serve as a small enclave of 'Finnishness' in the Arizona Desert. Various members took turns serving as the President  and other officers; each new President and planning committee leaving their own stamp on events and the direction of the club . Around 2012 Finns & Friends rejoined the Finlandia Foundation as the Phoenix Chapter.

Today, some 35 years later, the club is still going strong. 

Current Day

Current President:

Joy Dorvinen


Kati Huhtala