On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Finnish American Rest Home and its members, we would like to wish everyone safe and healthy times. We faced together an extraordinary situation where we encountered the first global pandemic in almost 100 years. These times have been difficult, uncertain and in some cases, full of sorrow. For those who have lost a loved one through this pandemic, we want to express our deepest sympathies.
The virus has affected all of us in one way or another but none more than the residents and staff at the Rest Home. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to the staff at Lepokoti. These selfless individuals experienced the same fears and emotions as everyone else did on this planet, yet still put the needs of others first. Their acts of selflessness, bravery and heroism are something we couldn’t be more proud of and is the foundation on which the Finnish American Rest Home was built upon 46 years ago.
As the Finnish proverb states, “Ystävä hädässä tunnetaan” (A friend knows when you need help) and in no times has this been more apparent. The Board and the Administration of Lepokoti has been in constant contact. We know that our Lepokoti is in good hands. We are happy to report that the Rest Home has not had any new cases of Covid-19 since July and continues with its tireless diligence on keeping all residents and staff safe.
We have had to make some adjustments as it pertains to our membership meetings. As with everyone, safety is our number one priority and given our current environment, we thought it best to postpone the annual membership meeting. Not only are many of our members at an age that puts them as risk of contracting the virus, but the venue in which we hold the meetings also creates additional risk for our members and the residents at Lepokoti. We appreciate everyone’s patience with this process. Change isn’t always easy but everyone’s support is appreciated. While we are planning to resume the in-person membership meetings in April, we are exploring other alternatives in case an in-person membership meeting cannot be held as scheduled. We will inform all members once that decision has been made and which direction we will be headed.
Finally, we would specifically like to thank Katja Pukkila & Crib Castro for their management and overall direction of the facility as well as Maija Toukolehto whose influence and governance of the visitation program has been outstanding. Their involvement has made the best out of this unfortunate and stressful experience. They continue to make us proud.
The Board’s November meeting did not change the leadership structure, so the same officers will continue in their positions. The Board is grateful to our Executive Director, Dan Benson, for his tireless leadership throughout these challenging times.
Wishing everyone wellness and peace in the coming Holiday Season,
The Board of Directors of FARH and Dan Benson, Executive Director