Who Was Gale F. Fletchall

The Founding Father of the Scandinavian Festival:DSC_0548

In 1955 Gale F. Fletchall and his wife move to Lane County, drawn here by a general practice internship offered at Sacred Heart Medical Center. He opened his practice in Junction City in 1956 and became the town’s doctor. After the opening of the I-5 corridor, Fletchall watched his beloved town slowly die out as businesses closed up due to lack of traffic. That is when he had the idea that would define him for the rest of his life.

His solution for a dying town was to bring everyone together to celebrate the town’s Scandinavian Heritage. Fletchall wanted a quality festival not a carnival, a safe place for families and friends to gather and enjoy good food and good company. Dr. Fletchall served on the Festival Board as President for many years, and even after he retired continued to serve as a vital part of Festival. His lifetime services to the community are still honored each year with the giving out of the Dr. Gale F. Fletchall Award to worthy individuals and/or organizations that continue his legacy.


This Year’s Award Winner: Dave and Melany Vaughan

The Scandinavian Festival Association nominates and chooses a recipient for the Gale Fletchall Award each year. This Award honors someone who has given a lifetime of service to the Scandinavian Festival. This year the Scandinavian Festival Association Board have chosen David and Melany Vaughan for the Scandinavian Festival Gale Fletchall Award Winners for 2017.

Melany Vaughan has been active in the Festival since childhood. When she was young she served pie and ice cream as a Girl Scout. She danced all through childhood and then in Kansantansijat as a teen. Currently she dances with Adult Recreational Folk Dancers.

Melany has assisted David with the Festival Pageant for many years. She has done costuming, prompting, stage directing, and helping with props. She has also danced and acted in the Pageant many times.

For the last 5 years during the Festival, you can find Melany on stage telling folk tales to children. This Storytelling segment is a 30 minute activity each day of Festival. Melany has also assisted with the “Act out a Fairy Tale” performance segment. Choosing folk tales, providing props and costumes, and directing the teens.

Melany has been involved with the Girl Scout Ice Cream booth for over 14 years. Her Girl Scout troops work in the booth and she has overseen workers and helped with trainings. In addition she has worked in the booth herself as a worker and a supervisor.

Her Girl Scout Troops have also marched in the parade each year carrying the Scandinavian flags and have raised the flag during opening ceremonies. Melany and her family have lowered the flags in Closing Ceremonies for many years.

David Vaughan has lived in this community since childhood as well and has been involved in many aspects of Festival.

He has served on the Board since 1980 in many capacities including Board President. He has served on the Membership committee and the Vendor Committee. Under his guidance the SFA has obtained 501(c)(3) status. He is now serving as a board member with the Scandinavian Cultural Foundation.

As Membership Chairperson he wrote and edited a SFA newsletter published for several years. These were mailed out to Scandinavian Festival Association members.

David has been a Festival Pageant director and producer since the 1980’s. He has written scripts, constructed backdrops, and painted backgrounds. This task has taken over 40 hours of time for each Pageant each year. He has danced and acted in many roles in those pageants. He has mentored many young people to take over the directing and producing, giving them the skills to take over in the years to come.

David ran one of four nights of Community Dance each Festival for 10 years. He has also led the monthly community dance for 3 years, where community dance was run from 7:00pm – 10:00pm from September to June.

He also started and has helped with the Aebleskiver Eating Contest which has been on the program for the last 3 years. He had run the childcare’s parade and May Pole activity for several years.

He (and his wife Melany) have had a Festival booth the last seven years in addition to all his other Festival responsibilities.

Together David and Melany are Co-Directors of Adult Recreational Folk dancers and have danced in the group since the 1980’s.  The group performs in the Festival twice daily for all four days. The group has also performed in many other venues including the annual Festival dinner, Multi-Cultural Festivals, Octoberfest, and Scan Fair. The group practices once monthly during the fall, winter and spring and then weekly during the summer. They have participated in the Community Dancers performance which performs on Thursday and Friday of Festival. In addition to their other Festival responsibilities and activities, David and Melany have had a food booth in the Festival for the last seven years.

The Board will thank and present Dave and Melany with their award during opening ceremonies on Thursday, Aug. 10th at 10:00am on the Festival Park Stage. Please assist us in honoring him for his service.


Past Fletchall Award Winners


  • Verne & Alves Andresen
  • Helga & Hans Rasmussen
  • Viola West
  • Christine Nielsen
  • Marv & Mary Krenk
  • Vard & Peggy Nelson
  • Fran Wilger
  • Jock Loths
  • Walt Peterson
  • Jeri Beard
  • Wayne & Gretchen Leiberg
  • Brad & Dee Lemhouse
  • Karen McCumsie Nielsen
  • Karsten Rasmussen
  • Chuck & Sandy Toftdahl
  • Dean McKay
  • Jack Dutchess
  • Mike Curley
  • Pacific Power
  • Nadine & Mitch Wiles
  • John & Polly Gunson
  • Joanne Hunt
  • Gay Blankenship
  • Joen N. Bodtker
  • Theodore E. Jensen
  • Roy Chapman
  • Dorothy Young
  • Victor Nielsen
  • Arnie & Elaine Anderson
  • City of Junction City
  • Jo Brown
  • Sue Huntley
  • Tom Johnson
  • Helen Sill
  • Fred Peterson
  • Vard Nelson
  • Elmer Borgaard
  • Bing Nelson
  • Russell Jones
  • Karl Pedersen
  • Gale Fletchall
  • Carl & Enola Nielsen
  • Russ, Marla, Julie & Jon Weber
  • Orine Brunscheon
  • Kathy May
  • Fred Barden
  • Don & Carol Nielsen
  • Jamie Hooper
  • Tom & Brenda Peterson
  • Kay Slaton
  • Junction City Fire Department
  • Junction City-Harrisburg Chamber of Commerce
  • Brett & Laura Lemhouse
  • Glenna Barker
  • Jerry & Mary Lou Finigan
  • Taryl Perry
  • Rod Lemhouse