Copper coins minted for FinnFest

HOUGHTON – A commemorative coin is available recognizing the Copper Country.

The coins, designed by Aaron Gagnon, will be available for sale at the Tori market in Hancock from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23. They will be available for $15 each until 4 p.m. June 23.

Also that day, Gagnon will hold a drawing for cash prizes totaling $3,000, including a $1,500 grand prize. People must be at least 18 to participate.

Gagnon said he hopes to have an actual check for the winner at the drawing. If not, he said, the oversized promotional check they receive at the drawing will have a note promising payment by a certain date.

Gagnon said he was inspired to create the coins from items at his Yooper Picker sale in Liminga.

“I just got the idea it would be cool to have a solid copper coin that’s unique to the U.P., because it’s the Copper Country,” he said.

Gagnon then sent his design to a local artist to complete the sketch.

Manufacturing was handled by a company in New York, which sets a minimum of 3,000 coins. Gagnon said between 1,000 and 1,500 of the coins have been sold already.

Each coin sold will have $5 go towards the cash drawing, as well as Gagnon’s SEEAWA Charity Foundation. Gagnon said the charity will help with things such as community arts projects, community cleanup projects and emergency and disaster relief.

The design includes the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, U.S. and Finnish flags, whitetail deer and a walleye with the word “Sisu” on it. Gagnon said the coin is intended to tie in with interest in the area spurred by Bridgefest and FinnFest.

“But it’s a great souvenir for anything,” he said.

For more information, call 281-0678 or email