Northern Lights Auktion

Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway. Image courtesy of the Nordic Heritage Musuem. Photo by Rune Stoltz Bertinussen

Northern Lights in Tromsø, Norway. Image courtesy of the Nordic Heritage Musuem. Photo by Rune Stoltz Bertinussen

Annual fundraiser benefits programs at Nordic Heritage Museum in Seattle, Wash.

The Nordic Heritage Museum’s annual Northern Lights Auktion will be held at the Grand Hyatt Ballroom in Seattle on Sunday, May 1.

The Auktion began 26 years ago as a way to raise much-needed funds for the daily operating expenses of the museum. In the early years, the Auktion was a small, modest event. With time, it has grown to attract over 300 people to the Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown Seattle to bid on more than 500 items ranging from handmade baby clothes to exciting vacations throughout the world. A delicious dinner (which always begins with pickled herring!), is served to the audience, many of whom wear their beautiful native Nordic costumes or black tie.

The Auktion takes more than six months to organize and produce, but the excitement of the evening makes it well worth the effort, as do the resulting benefits to the museum. The yearly Auktion is the Nordic Heritage Museum’s major fund-raising event, and it raises critical funds for the operation of the Museum’s programs.

The Auktion consists of a silent auction, dinner, and live auction (the live auction portion is approximately 40 auction lots).  There’s also a “raise-the paddle” component, and this year the “Fund-a-Need” will focus on the Museum’s children’s programs. This year the Master of

Ceremonies for the Auktion will be Eric Johnson, the popular KOMO-TV news anchor and sports director. This year’s auction dinner will include a special tribute to Bert Lundh, former Board President and current honorary trustee of the Nordic Heritage Museum.

This year’s auction lots include exciting international trips, culinary adventures, original artworks, and Scandinavian-themed auction lots (rosemaled items, Scandinavian crystal and porcelain, jewelry, handmade knitwear, etc.). Some of the unique items auctioned will include a superb vintage rustic Norwegian carving, a “classic Norwegian” celebration for 24 people, a ship model of an Alaska Crab vessel, a week at a Poipu Beach, Kauai Time Share adventure, an opportunity for two to attend Governor Chris Gregoire’s annual holiday reception, a wine-tasting and deluxe bed and breakfast package in Napa, California, and much more!

The Museum is still accepting donations for the auction, and a donation form may be downloaded from our Web site. For more information about the Auktion or questions about how to donate items, contact our Auktion Coordinator at (206) 789-5707 ext. 32, or email

Major sponsors for the Nordic Heritage Museum’s 2011 Auktion include Aleutian Spray Fisheries, American Seafoods Company, Glacier Fish Company, Ocean Harvester, Pacific Fisherman Shipyard, and Trident Seafoods.

The Nordic Heritage Museum was founded in 1979 to honor the heritage and accomplishments of thousands of Nordic immigrants who flocked to the Northwest at the turn of the 20th century. The Nordic is more than just a museum – it is also a vibrant cultural center, dedicated to sharing the Nordic culture, values and traditions through a variety of programs and exhibitions for both adults and children, with programs such as festivals, film and lecture series, music and dance programs, a craft school, and language classes. The Nordic Heritage Museum is the only museum in North America that represents the cultural heritage of all five Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.