Finnish American Lawyers Association Post Holiday Bash The Honeymooners Star, Trixie, Surprise Guest 

On Saturday evening, January 29, 2005, over 80 people attended the Finnish American Lawyers Association (FALA) cocktail party/buffet dinner at the Estonia House on 34th Street in New York City. Robert Alan Saasto , President of the FALA , explained how the FALA was founded and introduced the officers of the FALA (Ernest Saasto:Vice President; Tom Hakala: Treasurer; Lauren Hakala: Secretary; ) and other members present: Pasi Mäntylä, web site creator, Mika Hallakorpi, Jan Johansson, Tom Lippo, Malla Perry, Matthew Saha. Robert Saasto presented an overview of the purpose of the FALA (to socialize, network, and have a good time), and reviewed the activities to date (World Yacht cruise, dinners, Shelter Island excursion). He introduced the Finnish dignitaries attending: (Anna Sotaniemi, Legal Advisor and First Secretary to the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations; Jari Sinkari, Deputy Consul General of Finland in New York), and the Finnish organizations represented: Finlandia Foundation New York Chapter (Bo Long, Petra Taby); Finnish American Womens Network FAWN:

(Rita Widen, Katri Saunders, Soili Reep, Tuula Liesama); Finnair (Bo Long, Mauri Leppälä, Hannele Koivumäki) and the Board Members of the Finland Center Foundation (Janna Rehnström, Jukka and Virpa Jumisko, Annamarie Mikkola, Rea Nurmi). Representatives from the Finnish business community included Jukka Jumisko, comptroller of Polar Electric; Tom Lippo, President of FACT; Kari Tikkanen, FinnSmart; and Soili Reep, Marimekko.

The Executive Director of the FALA, The Honorable John Pessala, Family Court Judge in Nassau County Long Island, New York introduced the members of the Judiciary present: John Lahtinen, Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department; Robert Schmidt, Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department; and Steven Bucara, Family Court Judge.

A plaque was presented honoring Tom Hakala, FALA Treasurer, for being recognized in Worth Magazine as one of the top 100 most prominent financial planners in the United States. Tom got his AB degree from Georgetown University, his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law, and took graduate courses in accounting at New York University School of Business Administration. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has earned the designation of Personal Financial Specialist. Tom is a member of the Estate Planning Council and now serves on the Board of Directors. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of CPAs. He has written many articles for professional and general publications, has been a frequent speaker to business and professional groups on personal finance and tax topics, and has been interviewed on television and in the print media.

The second honoree was the Finland Center Foundation, FCF. With the Board members behind her at the podium, Jaana Rehnström, the President of the FCF, set forth the purposes of the FCF and their endeavors to fund a building or other physical location for Finnish groups to utilize. On behalf of the Mettälä Foundation, Robert Saasto presented a donation of $2500 to aid the FCF in their endeavors.

Before introducing the "surprise guest" and honoree to the podium, the opening segment of the famous 1950s television show The Honeymooners was played on a large screen. The audience enjoyed watching Trixie, Ed Norton’s wife, and Alice, Jackie Gleason’s wife, discuss in their Brooklyn apartment for about five minutes their husbands’ bowling intentions, before Jackie Gleason made his appearance. Much to the audience’s delight, the real Trixie was then brought to the podium.

Although Trixie was known by her fans as Joyce Randolph, her real name is Sirola and she is of Finnish descent. Joyce Sirola lives in New York City on Central Park West. She is 80 years old, in good health, and absolutely charmed the audience with her humbleness and sincerity. She is the last survivor of the two couples portrayed on The Honeymooners, which is part of television history.

A plaque presented to Tom Hakala. Joyce Randolph, Trixie in The Honeymooners
between Ernest and Robert Saasto.
Jaana Rehnström, the President of the Finland
Center Foundation with a donation of $2500 by
the Mettälä Foundation.
FALA Members.