UPDATE: 10 a.m. CST/July 29, 2016—Minneapolis—Sons of Norway, a financial services and international cultural organization headquartered in Minneapolis, has learned that a donor to its charitable campaign to raise funds to help the Draken Harald Hårfagre Viking ship continue its Great Lakes voyage is a direct descendant of first King of Norway Harald I Hårfagre, who reigned from c. 872-930.
Norman Oyen of Arlington Heights, IL, is the 33rd great-grandson of the king for whom the Viking vessel is named. The 78 year-old had learned through an ancestry search that he is a direct descendant of Norway’s first monarch. Oyen heard of the Draken’s dilemma through a newspaper article prior to the ship’s arrival in Chicago, where it is now in port. The Draken is dependent on continued donations to help cover pilotage fees as it goes port-to-port on its Great Lakes tour.
“I’ve had a love and fascination with Norway since I was 13, when I spent three months visiting there,” Oyen said. “When I heard that the Draken needed support to continue its Great Lakes tour, I thought to myself that my 33rd great-grandfather wouldn’t be too pleased if I didn’t contribute!” Oyen also said that he was happy to do what he could to bring visibility to the ship’s needs, in the hope that others would donate to the cause.
Sons of Norway CEO Eivind Heiberg stated, “There continues to be an outpouring of passion and heartfelt interest in the Draken’s historic voyage, and all are grateful for the generosity of those interested in preserving the heritage of Norway as symbolized by the ship’s expedition.”
Through its charitable Foundation, Sons of Norway has raised more than $82,000 to date toward its goal of $430,000 to advance the voyage of the Draken Harald Hårfagre as it completes its historic Great Lakes tour.
Please help the Draken sail further! To donate: www.sonsofnorway.com/draken.