NEW YORK, Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amid the pomp and circumstance of a historic evening, Nordic-American friendship was on full display as Scandinavian Heads of State, European royalty, diplomats, and distinguished members of the U.S. and Nordic cultural, educational, business, and philanthropic communities celebrated the 100th Anniversary of The American-Scandinavian Foundation at its Centennial Ball in New York City.
Some 1,200 guests attended the black-tie affair in recognition of the ASF's 100 years of building cultural and educational bridges between the United States and the Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden.
Special Guests of Honor were: Their Majesties King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden; Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway; His Excellency Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, President of Iceland, and Mrs. Dorrit Moussaieff; Her Excellency Tarja Halonen, President of Finland; and Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
"The Centennial Ball offered us an opportunity to reflect on the 100-year history and achievements of our unique organization and to celebrate the mutual respect and understanding between the United States and Nordic countries," said ASF President Edward P. Gallagher. "We were deeply grateful for the presence of our honored and distinguished guests at this extraordinary celebration."
On behalf of the Scandinavian royalty, King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden spoke about the strong links between Nordic countries and the United States. "That we all cherish our relationship with the United States may not be surprising when considering the fact that there are 11 million Americans of Scandinavian ancestry here in the U.S., sharing fundamental values to our societies," said King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. "The desire to protect and enhance these common bonds was the basis for the founding of The American-Scandinavian Foundation."
The Honorable Barry White, US Ambassador to Norway, delivered welcome remarks and extended congratulations to the ASF on its 100th anniversary from President Barack Obama. A special videotaped message was delivered by President William J. Clinton, and a letter of congratulations was presented from President George W. Bush on the milestone celebration.
Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell performed American classics. The Ball concluded with a festive party of dancing led by Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary of Denmark.
SOURCE The American-Scandinavian Foundation