Volunteer of the Month Awards

A FHM Recognition presentation
Volunteer of the Month Awards

In any organization operated entirerly by volunteer efforts, it is important to recognize those individuals who have gone beyond expectations and have done terrific job. With that said, it is also very important to say, EVERY volunteer effort is recognized, appreciated, and lauded for keeping the institution of Finnish Heritage Museum open and thriving. Many people do that job every month. Kiitos


February, 2011



Elaine Holson Kangas

Born to John Onni and Vieno Sylvia (Mononen) Holson in 1941, Elaine Susan Holson lived in Fairport Harbor from birth through 1978, returning to Fairport Harbor in 2006, to her childhood home, coming full circle.

After graduating from Harding High School in 1960, Elaine graduated in 1961 from Suomi College (now Finlandia University)with a secretarial science certification.

1964 marked the beginning of a 23 year marriage to Aarre Kangas that blessed them with two daughters, Laura and Tracy. Both girls have two children, all of whom are living in Duluth, Minnesota.


Elaine’s 45 year career revolved around office management operations positions, from Duluth, Minnesota to Lake Worth, Florida. Her two trips to Finland qualify her as a seasoned traveler. Upon retirement in 2006, she returned to Fairport Harbor to care for her aging mother, who passed away in 2009.

Plans to return to Minnesota were thwarted once she became fully involved with her many school friends and the Finnish Heritage Museum, when she assumed the roll of Membership Chairperson. Her commitment to that position, which she still manages, brought about many behind-the-scenes changes that brought about order, precise documentation of the membership roster and the creation of documents to enhance data collection. Elaine is also a volunteer in the Museum Gift Shoppe on a regular basis.

Other activities include memberships with the Fairport Harbor Board of Tourism, the Sparkle Plenties – Red Hat Ladies, Lifetime Member Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority, and Zion Lutheran Church of Fairport Harbor.



March, 2011

ANNEPAnne Kalliomaa Pohto

I’m very proud of my Finnish heritage. My family came to America in 1955 from Orismala/Isokyrö and settled in Fairport Harbor.
I attended Fairport schools graduating from Harding High and Kent State University. I was an elementary reading specialist at Hale Road, Melridge and Hadden Schools.
I’m married to David and have two wonderful sons, Kirk and Erik. We also love cats. Four have adopted us!

After retiring from teaching, I enjoy travelling and volunteering at the museum and Zion Lutheran Church. I’ve been involved with Homework Partners, pasti bakes, teaching Finnish classes and genealogy.
I especially like the fact that we can come to the Finnish Heritage Museum for inspiration, learning and sharing.


April, 2011


Barb Ollila

Finnish by marriage: My husband John was born in Fairport and grew up in Mentor. When we retired from teaching, we moved
from Berea/Strongsville to Mentor. We then became active in volunteering at several places, the first being the FH Historical
Society and Lighthouse Museum.

John is one of the founding members of the Finnish Heritage Museum. I enjoy volunteering at the museum and gift shop. I especially enjoy the people and those who are so passionate about their Finnish heritage.

May, 2011


Janet Noponen 


I grew up in Fairmont, West Virginia, and graduated from East Fairmont High School.

Came to Ohio in 1964, met and married Bob in 1965.

I enjoy volunteering at the museum. Not only is this my husband Bob's heritage, but it is also my son's and grandchildren's as well.

Being there on Saturdays, I meet a lot of new people.

It is a history class with out a teacher saying "test tomorrow."

June, 2011


July, 2011










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