Thursday, August 24, 2017

Dear Lappeenranta, Finland. Our City’s Sister City Board is being eliminated. But please don’t give up hope.

To Our Dear Friends and Forgotten Sister City in Lappeenranta,

The City of Lake Worth’s Sister City Board has to be eliminated. There was no other option since becoming a “political football” (please take no offense, that’s a reference to American football, not to European soccer or Australian rugby, both fine sports as well).

The Lake Worth City Commission has eliminated the Sister City Board. The responsibility now to further the City’s Sister City goals will be taken over by another entity or entities, e.g., LULA Lake Worth Arts (the home of “HATCH 1121”), the team at the Palm Beach County Cultural Council located in Downtown Lake Worth, or maybe a collaboration of the two.

So. Dear Citizens of Lappeenranta: Please keep us in your thoughts as the City continues to struggle with objectives other cities accomplish so easily. For example, the cities of Boynton Beach (Sister City of Rauma, Finland), Jupiter, and Delray Beach, also in Palm Beach County, have thriving Sister City programs.

In the meantime, Citizens of Lappeenranta, think about visiting the City of Lake Worth next March for our Midnight Sun Festival:
Palm Beach Post reporter Michael Readling wrote a feature article about this event last March.

A message for our good friends in Finland:
Start planning your Winter/Spring vacation
in Lake Worth, Florida.

Correction. In the comment section below is this left by a reader:

“Tervetuloa Floridaan! Taalla on paljon toimintaa. Suomalaisia klubeja on kaksi ja seurakuntiakin monta. Correction to blog above Tourist Club is actually the Finland House or Suomi Talo and American Finnish Club used to be called Kerhotalo. Both have fantastic people and activities and carry on the traditions of Finnish culture.

Sincerely apologize for any confusion.

If anyone from Finland wishes to come to Lake Worth and demand a personal apology will most certainly comply. We can meet at the Lake Worth Casino or would you rather meet at the golf course also open all year long next to the Intracoastal Waterway?

The Finnish people have a long history in Lake Worth, Florida. The American Finnish Club, the oldest Finnish hall in Florida, is located only minutes from the City. Here is from their website about their history:

     “Finns took up residence in Florida much later than in other sections of the country since the warm climate didn’t draw them from the northern parts of the United States and from Canada until well into this [the 20th] century.
     However, by the year 1937 Finns had arrived in sufficient numbers in the Lake Worth-Lantana area to join in group activities, calling themselves the Tourist Club. The prime objective in the beginning was to aid its member’s or their parent’s homeland, Finland which was engaged in the struggle to maintain its freedom during the beginning years of World War II into which the United States wouldn’t be drawn until 1941."

Learn more about the City of Lake Worth here. Make plans to visit us and remember, we have a Beach!