Successful Yooper Picnic 2023!
By Susan Thornton
Approximately 70 Yoopers and friends attended the 2023 Yooper Picnic in September of 2023!
This fun event, held at Carl Johnson’s office in Lakewood, included delicious donated food and items as well as special pasties from the Superette in Mohawk, MI. (My husband and I have tried them, and agree that they are bigger than usual and much tastier!!)
Carl anticipates that $500 will be donated this year to U.P. charities – and there are still some pasties left for a donation of $7 each. So donations to U.P. charities could be even higher if you order soon. To order some of these frozen Yooper yummies, contact Carl’s office at 303-987-3626.
Stay tuned for the 2024 St. Urho celebration (you know — the saint who allegedly drove the grasshoppers out of Finland) – together with the Colorado Finnish Society in March.
And be on lookout for the Colorado Yoopers Picnic, both dates yet to be determined!
2023 Yooper Picnic Date Announced
The 2023 picnic will be held at noon on Sept. 24 at Carl Johnson’s office, 12640 W. Cedar Drive, Lakewood, CO 80228.
Colorado Yoopers Announce Grant to Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly
The Colorado Yoopers are proud to announce a grant of $2,000 to Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly. The grant is being matched by another $2,000 from the Portage Health Foundation.
Founded in 1998, the Colorado Yoopers is an informal group of former UP residents who gather for an annual picnic that raises money for Upper Peninsula nonprofits. Application forms for 2020 grants are available at www.ColoradoYoopers.com.
Little Brothers-Friends of the Elderly is a volunteer-based nonprofit dedicated to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly in Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Ontanogon and Marquette counties.
Past grants have been made by Colorado Yoopers to Schoolcraft County Summer Day Camp, Crystal Falls Contemporary Center, Keweenaw Family Resource Center, Room at the Inn (Marquette), Heat and Soles 906 (Iron Mountain), VFW Post 4573 (Ishpeming), and Amasa 125th (Amasa).
The 2019 picnic was attended by Yoopers from across the entire UP. Those attending met friends, had a luncheon, accepted donations for pasties, held a silent action and played games.
To reach the Colorado Yoopers, visit www.ColoradoYoopers.com, or call the office at 303-987-3626 and ask for Susan, from Manistique; Carl, from Escanaba; or Ron, from Rock. The Yoopers’ next event may be a winter gathering, hockey game, movie or play — or maybe even an axe throwing party!
First-Ever St. Urho Celebration Held March 17, 2023
It was a lively evening on March 17 when the Colorado Yoopers sponsored the first-ever celebration of St. Urho, the saint who allegedly drove the grasshoppers out of Finland. The event was supported by the Finlandia Foundation of Colorado and held at 303 Sports Bar and Grill, which is owned by a former Yooper.
About 30 Yoopers and Finnish-Americans attended the event, which included introduction of the Yooper’s founders, Ron Kaminen and Carl Johnson. Susan Thornton oversaw bidding on a giant stuffed toy grasshopper, a poem about St. Urho was read, and two Finnish-Americans sang the St. Urho song.
There was much lively chatter as old friends reunited and new friendships were formed. Watch for another celebration of the mythical Finnish saint in 2024!
Founded in 1998, the Colorado Yoopers is an informal group made up of former U.P. residents who gather for an annual picnic that raises money for Upper Peninsula nonprofits.
The most recent grant was made in 2019 to Little Brother-Friends of the Elderly, a volunteer-based nonprofit dedicated to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly in five counties: Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Ontanogon and Marquette. The grant was matched by the Portage Health Foundation.
The Colorado Yoopers was unable to hold its picnic in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19 concerns, and the 2022 picnic did not make any money and so no grants were made. The Yoopers will hold their 2023 picnic in the fall and hope for more successful financial donations.
Past grants have been made to the following nonprofits:
- Schoolcraft County Summer Day Camp and After-School Program (Escanaba),
- Crystal Falls Contemporary Center,
- Keweenaw Family Resource Center (enrichment for young children),
- Room at the Inn (Marquette),
- Heat and Soles 906 (Iron Mountain),
- VFW Post 4573 (Ishpeming),
- U.P. Kids (foster care, adoption and treatment for troubled youth) and
- Amasa 125th (Amasa).
If the 2023 picnic is successful, an application form for 2023 grants will be available at www.ColoradoYoopers.com. Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) organization.