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  Wednesday 1 June - Charity Event at Embassy of Finland

Bringing Joy to the Children of Tohoku

Event Report:

The event started with opening remarks by Ambassador Jari Gustafsson who wished the participants welcome to the embassy and explained also about the reactions response from Finland to the disaster. FCCJ President Marko Saarelainen briefly introduced the project and gave an overview of the evening's charities.

After the speeches the participants could enjoy a buffet and drinks, courtesy on Ambassador Gustafsson and the Embassy. The dining was interrupted by Matti-Esko's first performance and soon followed by the first charity, the auction of 10 items, which was very successful with active bidding and all lots attracting bids well over the starting price. The auctioneer was FCCJ Board of Trustees member Erik Ullner.

The lottery drawing was handled by Marko Saarelainen assisted by Minister-Counsellor Johanna Kotkajärvi. On stage, 12 prizes where drawn, most notable prizes were two Finnair tickets between Japan and Europe. In addition 40 prizes were drawn by the staff. As 204 lottery tickets were sold, one in five tickets won something.

Before the closing remarks by former FCCJ President and current Board of Trustees Member Timo Varhama, Matti Esko performed for a second time.

The event was attended by 120 members and guests.

Images from the event

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The embassy is prepared to receive guests.
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The table with auction lots and lottery prizes.
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A leather apparel shop was also part of the charities.
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Registration starts.
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Ambassador Gustafsson greets participants.
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Ambassador Jari Gustafsson makes opening remarks.
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FCCJ President Marko Saarelainen explains about the project and evening's charities.
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.. and introducing Matti Esko and his wife Pirjo.
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Attentive audience.
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Time to enjoy the buffet, front Pirjo Eskonniemi.
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Shunkichi Miyashita gives thumbs up for the Lapin Kulta beer.
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Two of FCCJ 'heavyweights'; Erik Ullner and Kaj Forsell. A third, Tuomo Kuuppo tries to hide from cameraman.
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Matti Esko in his first performance.
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The songs encouraged some to dance.
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Flowers and a hug from a newly recruited Japanese fan.
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The auctioneer Erik Ullner gives instructions before the start of the auction.
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Ullners asssitant Maki Shoji of Finpro showing the first lot to be auctioned.
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Four paintings from an old 'Japan hand' Ilkka Laukkonen. Two where auctioned by buyers choice, the two remaining went to lottery.
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Isao Nishimura makes a bid (and wins) for one of the paintings by his old friend.
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Ambassador and Mme. Gustafsson up for sale?... Not quite just their cooking and company (Ambassador cooks, Madame creates the atmosphere) for four people.
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The 'lot' bought at 65% above starting bid by FCCJ Board Member Masaoki Fujita, who explained why he bought it... ..mainly for his mother
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Mrs. Miyoko Fujita with Ambassador and Mme. Gustafsson.
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Mrs. Fujita thanks her son for his generosity.
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The final official and most expensive lot, a litography by Kimmo Pyykkö.
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Bought by Michio Imai of (for?) Metso Paper Japan K.K.
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As the aution was sucessful, an extra lot was thrown in, a reindeer leather rucksack bought by Yasuyuki Oda onf Kone Japan for his son.
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Marko Saarelainen prepares for the lottery, assisted by Johanna Kotkajärvi.
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The winner of one of the Ilkka Laukkonen paintings left over from auction, Yurika Oroku of Honka Japan.
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The winner of the second painting, Akiko Ando of UPM-Kymmene Japan.
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Winner of an Alwar Aalto wase (sorry, photographer does not know the names of all the ladies...)
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The winner of two nights for two at Naantali Spa Hotel might wonder how she would ever get there, but.....
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Luck strikes, or then she bought a lot of tickets, she also won one of the Finnair tickets to Europe. Presented by Takeshi Yokoyama of Finnair Cargo (although she get seat in the cabin...)
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The happy winner of the second Finnair ticket.
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Matti Esko does his second performance
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Participants enjoying the music.
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'How about a dance...'
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The last tune of the evening: 'Halleluja'
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Timo Varhama thanking all participants, companies and organizations for their contributions in his closing remarks.
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A final shot before leaving; Ambassador with Marko Saarelainen and the 'Honka family'.
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