NEW YORK – As in years past, the New York City chapters of the Ukrainian Engineers’ Society of America (UESA) and the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA) held their annual Christmas celebration “Yalynka” at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York.
The event, which has become known as “the best Christmas party in New York City” attracted more than 300 guests to the festivities on December 13, 2014.
Brief introductions and words of welcome were delivered by Ivan Durbak, UESA’s New York Chapter program director, who introduced the evening’s performer, tenor Taras Chmil. An accomplished pianist and singer, Mr. Chmil has sung with the Toronto City Opera (2009) and since 2008 he has been working with the Canadian Opera Company Chorus. In 2015, Mr. Chmil is set to compete in the New Jersey Association of Versimo Opera finals (February) and is scheduled to sing as Cavaradossi in Chelsea Opera’s “Tosca” (May).
Following Mr. Chmil’s performance, Mr. Durbak introduced Lada Rosylsky of the Ukrainian Freedom Fund (UFF), an NGO that has raised more than $333,000 and has delivered first aid, medial and protective material in the defense of Ukraine against Kremlin-backed militants. The UFF (http:///ukrfreedomfund.org) is registered in Kyiv as an official NGO and is endorsed by the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, the U.S.-Ukraine Business Council and the EU-Ukraine Business Council.
UESA New York President Marco Shmerykowsky (PE, professional engineer) thanked the members of the sponsoring organizations for their continued support and wished all attendees a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year. Mr. Shmerykowsky reminded guests that the success of the sponsoring organizations was dependent on the contributions and support from the community, and encouraged membership in these organizations and through volunteerism.
Wasyl Krawec of Yonkers Miasarnia, who for many years has offered his excellent and varied menu for various UESA New York events, supplied the Yalynka with tasty selections.
As the night continued, the Ukrainian Institute of America continued to fill as professionals, young and old, arrived with their family and friends. New friendships and connections were made and old ones were reinvigorated.
As always, the die-hard Yalynka attendees had such a good time that it was nearly impossible to convince them that this year’s event had to come to an end. On the bright side, however, the next UESA/UMANA event is never too far away.