Valhalla Visionary Society

The Valhalla Visionary Society represents those special friends of HHF who made their commitment through a final charitable estate gift. We recognize these people because they remembered and believed in HHF’s mission with such love and respect that they included HHF in their will or other planned charitable gift. They made the effort to help “make a difference for future generations.” We are eternally grateful and committed to the stewardship of their gift.

Donor Stories

Charles (Chuck) and Madge Westlie: A Personal and Community Legacy

The Minot State University Development Foundation, Bishop Ryan Catholic School Foundation and the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation were beneficiaries of a final legacy gift from the estate of Chuck and Madge Westlie, whose generosity will help the community continue to grow.

Chuck Westlie, a Minot native, was president and general manager of the family business, Westlie Motor Co. and was also the chairman of the board.

Madge Westlie was born near Karlsruhe and was married to Chuck for 67 years.

The Westlies were deeply involved in community and regional affairs, supporting a number of foundations and charities through the years.

Madge passed away in January 2010, and Chuck passed on October 2011.

Representatives from all three beneficiaries commented on the Westlie’s commitment and intentional action to make a legacy gift. Minot State University Development Foundation President Maynard Sandberg said Chuck and Madge often said “We will always try to do our part”. He added “They helped so many people and organizations, and through thoughtful planning on their part, their attitude and legacy will go on forever.”

Bishop Ryan High School Superintendent Terry Voiles commented on being included in the Westlie’s philanthropic spirit, “The Westlies shared a vision for the Minot community that was well-rounded and far-reaching.” Citing Pope Francis he added, “Charity, patience and tenderness are very beautiful gifts. If you have them, you want to share them with others. This charitable gift from the Chuck and Madge Westlie estate mirrors the message of Pope Francis.”

David Reiten, Chairman of the Høstfest Heritage Foundation, thanked the Chuck and Madge Westlie family for their generous gift to the Foundation. He highlighted the importance of the gift beyond its financial impact, “To be chosen as a beneficiary honors not only the missions of the Foundation’s primary beneficiaries Norsk Høstfest and Scandinavian Heritage Association but the efforts of the countless individuals who dedicate time and energy to their existence. The Foundation was founded as a means of ensuring the preservation and growth of Scandinavian heritage and culture in North America … and as stewards of this tremendous gift, we pledge to follow the model of growth and excellence championed by the Westlie family as we put it to use.”

Chuck and Madge Westlie provided a well thought-out and prepared estate plan utilizing a series of trusts to provide a gift of $1 million to the Høstfest-Heritage Foundation upon their passing. There gifts represent their personal goals, their commitment to community, and their respect for the generosity of others whether it was of their time, talents or treasures. The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation is honored to include them as members of our legacy Valhalla Society.

Chet and Joy Reiten A Visionary Gift for a Personal Journey and Community Passion

Chet and Joy
In 1999, Chet and Joy Reiten announced a generous gift of $500,000 to the Minot Scandinavian community. This gift would be used $100,000 toward the construction of the Stave Church in Scandinavian Heritage Park and $400,000 would be placed in a charitable remainder trust for the future benefit of Norsk Høstfest. The Høstfest-Heritage Foundation, established to promote, received and administer gifts benefiting Norsk Høstfest, the Scandinavian Heritage Park and programs or activities preserving Scandinavian heritage is the named charitable beneficiary of the trust.
The legacy gift from Chet and Joy is only fitting for a couple who have committed so much and who along with the army of volunteers firmly established Minot, North Dakota as a center of Scandinavian heritage and family/community values for current and future generations.

Members of the Reiten Family present a check for $400,000 to Foundation President Dennis Helgeson and Vice President/Secretary Karen Krebsbach during the 2015 Norsk Høstfest Opening Ceremony celebration.
Reiten $400K Check Presentation-092915-Hostfest-Minot, ND-FinalFinal-100515-Text 180 JPEG

Edna Solheim Realizing Goals Today and Tomorrow

When Edna Solheim passed away in 2009, her life interests and family were remembered and provided for because Edna was active in ensuring her goals.  The Norsk Hostfest and the Scandinavian Heritage Association received specific bequests in Edna’s last will and testament.  She was careful to include bequests to other charitable programs and individuals.  Edna could have stopped there but she choose to provide for both family and the nonprofits into the future by leaving the residuary of her estate to the Solheim Charitable Remainder Unitrust.  This simple estate planning device allowed Edna to create lifetime income streams for family members and making several nonprofits the beneficiary of the trust once those loved family members pass on.


Visit the official Hostfest site
Visit the Scandinavian Heritage Association site
Visit the Scandinavian Hall of Fame site