FALA Mid-Summer Party (Juhannus) in Long Island 

On Saturday June 26, at the home of Robert Alan Saasto Esq. in Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island, New York, the Mettala Foundation sponsored a post Juhannus summer "bash" in celebration of the first year of existence of the Finnish American Lawyer's Association, FALA. The catered affair was organized and overseen by Mary Ellen Saasto, who deserves credit for planning and executing all the details, which included an extensive array of appetizers, drinks, and buffet dinner to accommodate the large crowd. All of this had to be coordinated with a major exodus of people taking excursions to visit Aunio Art Gallery in nearby Huntington and the home of Ernest Saasto, Esq. (Vice President of the FALA).

The visitors to the Aunio Art gallery were escorted throughout the entire first floor of the gallery by Irene Aunio (mother of the Saasto twin attorneys) who were impressed with the extensive collection of watercolors and oils, many having received prizes in juried art shows. The excursion continues to the water front home of Ernest Saasto, which was built in 1922 and is a historical structure. Those attending found it difficult to leave the spacious views presented of the harbor, highlighted by the view of the Finnish flag flying over the water, clearly visible to the numerous boats traversing to the Long Island Sound, the water separating Long island from Connecticut.

The Consulate General of Finland was represented by the Deputy Consul General Jan Sinkari who presented two awards to the FALA. The first was a Certificate of Special Recognition In Honor of the 1st Anniversary from Congressman Steve Israel, United States Congress, and the second was a State of New York Proclamation In Recognition of Robert Saasto, Founder and President of the FALA from Senator Carl Marcellino, New York State Senate.

The guests included representatives from many Finnish organizations including the FALA, the Finnish Sibelius Masonic Lodge, Finnish American Chamber of Commerce, Finnair, Imatra Foundation, the Finnish Church and Finland Center. The FALA members present were the Honorable John Pessala, Robert Saasto, Ernest Saasto, Thomas Hakala, Lauren Hakala, Pasi Mantyla and Lisa Maarit Lischak. The FALA is proud of the fact that four members present have just completed one year post law school graduate programs to obtain their L.L.M. degrees and are currently studying to take the New York State Bar Examinations. They are Henrikki Harsu, Jarno Vanto, Tomi Asanti, and Lauren Hakala. Honorary members present were Marilyn Hakala, Jessica Vanto, and Mauri Leppala.

The masons present from the Finnish Masonic Sibelius Lodge included the immediate Past Master of Sibelius Lodge for 2003 and 2004, Eric Star; right worshipable and current Secretary John Konkola; Past Masters Juha Makipaa, Lauri Ilmoniemi and Robert Saasto; and Master Masons John Pessala, Mann Leppala, Ernest Saasto, and Robert Brutsche.

Robert Alan Saasto

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