The Netherlands America University League 
     of California



In 1991 President Bush proclaimed November 16th as Dutch American Heritage Day to commemorate the day in 1776 when the Netherlands were the first country to officially salute the flag of newly independent United States of America.


In September 2004 Heny Neys, Mariska Henneberque and Al Koppen-Drayer discussed the possibility of forming an organization to celebrate Dutch American Heritage Day.  They came together and applied for a new non-profit, tax-exempt organization, and named the organization: Netherlands American Cultural & Heritage Organization (NACHO for short).  The new organization with  Henny Neys, president, Daniel Hill, vice-president, Al Koppen-Drayer, secretary/treasurer and Mariska Henneberque, event coordinator, was approved by the government and we started with our first event, the Dutch American Heritage Day on the Saturday closest to November 16th.

NACHO planned to organize some other events as well and we also revived some of the activities from other organization that had folded in the last few years.


The first Sunday in December we have a “Sinterklaas” party for children under 10 years old in the Berkeley Marina.  In the middle of December we organize a Christmas tea-dansant, sing-along afternoon.  Just before Christmas, together with the Netherlands America University League (NAUL) in California, we organize the yearly Dutch language Christmas service in Lafayette, California.

Early in January we celebrate the New Year with an “oliebollenavond” and in February we celebrate carnival with prizes for the best and funniest costumes.

In May we organize a Dutch Indisch Heritage Day and go through our wardrobes and dress up either in traditional Indonesian or Dutch dress.


The months of June, July and August we take time to rest and think about all the fun things we are going to do in the future.

The last Sunday in September we have a very special “Leiden’s Ontzet” celebration in Walnut Creek, California with herring flown in freshly from the Netherlands.  

And in November, we start our program all over again.


Regularly during the year, we have an “instuif” (open house party), a place where the Dutch community and their friends can get together to talk, dance, play cards, watch movies etc.  The “instuifs” are held in Walnut Creek.


NACHO is a private organization dedicated to uniting people of Dutch descent and their friends from all over the San Francisco Bay Area.  We are not a membership organization.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact anyone of the following committee members:

Henny Neys at (925) 939-7128; e-mail: or

Daniel Hill at

Mariska Henneberque at (510) 851-4635; e-mail: or

send correspondence to Al Koppen-Drayer, Secretary/Treasurer NACHO

3950 Monterey Boulevard, San Leandro, CA 94578