Veikko and Lahja Hursti’s Charitable Association is a Finnish Christian charity started in the 1960s by the renowned Finnish social activist Veikko Hursti. Its work today is led by Veikko’s son Heikki.
Over the years, their events have attracted a growing number of people, so Hursti decided to transfer the popular Christmas dinner from the Töölö Sports Hall downtown to the Helsinki Fair Centre in the Pasila district, a short five-minute train ride from the Central Railway Station.
“I wonder if all of our friends were able to find their way here to the Fair Centre,” said Hursti. “I’ve heard reports that some people caught unaware were spotted near the Sports Hall.”
Over one thousand celebrants were welcomed at the Helsinki Fair Centre by noon, and more people streamed in as the dinner progressed.
Heikki Hursti says he is concerned about the fate of the less fortunate in today’s Finland.
“Cuts and savings to everything. It’s heartbreaking because it ends up affecting these people the most.”
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö also attended the dinner and addressed the crowd.
“This morning the sun was shining on my breakfast table. Perhaps it’s like the old proverb says: if the sun is shining on Christmas Eve, the coming year will be cheerier,” Niinistö said.