FALA at the 49th Annual Dinner Dance of Finlandia Foundation; New York Metropolitan Chapter

On the evening of March 1, 2008, Finlandia Foundation, New York Metropolitan Chapter, held its 49th Annual Arts and Letters Award GALA Dinner Dance at the Union League Club in Manhattan. Robert Alan Saasto, Esq., President of the Finnish American Lawyers Association, FALA, acted as the Emcee and introduced the dignitaries and honorees to the audience where one hundred and twenty-five people were in attendance.

The Consul General of Finland to New York, Osmo Lipponen, extended his greetings from Finland after the President of the Finlandia Foundation, Petra Tabry, gave her welcoming address. The Ambassador from Finland to the United Nations, Kirsti Lintonen, and the Chairman of the Boston Ballet Board of Trustees, Richard Davis, as well as other Board members and Benefactors, attended this black tie annual event. Also in attendance in honor of the occasion were representatives from the Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Nokia, Scandecor Bank, and the Finnish American Lawyers Association.

The recipient for this year's Arts and Letters Award was Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director and choreographer of the Boston Ballet. In accepting the award Mr. Nissinen spoke of his immense pleasure in being associated with the Boston company and the opportunity to create new works as well as to use his skill in revitalizing the performances of classical ballets. Cultural attaché Ilkka Kalliomaa gave the address in presenting the award to Mr. Nissinen.

An award for meritorious service to Finlandia Foundation was presented by Lee Alperin to senior vice president and board member Leena Toivonen. Ms. Toivonen was cited not only for her excellence in administering the student scholarships but also for the ethical standards she maintained in representing the foundation over the years.

Entertainment for the gala was provided by the Alex Donner Band and special guest artist, jazz vocalist Sanni Orasmaa. Toward the end of the evening's festivities a series of prizes were raffled off. The top prize, an SAS round trip to Helsinki, was won by Ms. Anna-Liisa Hoban.

Robert Alan Saasto, Esq.

Mr. Saasto introducing the guests Arts and Letters Award recipient Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director
and choreographer of the Boston Ballet.

FALA guests.
  Osmo Lipponen accepting a raffle prize from Mrs. Lipponen.