KERHONKSON, N.Y. – “Solidarity with Ukraine” was the theme of the gala benefiting the Ukrainian Catholic University’s rehabilitation center that was held at the Soyuzivka Heritage Center on Friday, July 8, the opening night of the 10th annual Ukrainian Cultural Festival.
The fund-raising event was organized by the Ukrainian National Foundation (UNF) in cooperation with the Ukrainian Catholic University of Lviv.
The foundation, which is affiliated with the Ukrainian National Association and performs charitable activities on its behalf, raised $33,000 to benefit the UCU rehabilitation center via the fund established in memory of Markian Paslawsky, who was killed in the battle for Ilovaisk in eastern Ukraine.
The over 100 guests in attendance were treated to exclusive performances in an intimate cabaret-style setting by the festival’s top stars: singers Oksana Mukha of Lviv, Ivo Bobul and Viktor Pavlik, both of Kyiv, violinist Vasyl Popadiuk of Toronto and singer-songwriter Serhiy Fomenko (Foma) of Kyiv.
Mr. Fomenko also served as master of ceremonies for the evening, joined by Roma Lisovich, treasurer of the UNF, who welcomed all, thanking them for supporting a worthy cause by attending, and encouraged them to be generous with additional donations to help those in need of rehabilitation services in Ukraine.
Olha Zarichynska, director of the department of development at the Ukrainian Catholic University, informed guests about the university’s rehabilitation center and its plans for the near future.
Seated under a beautifully decorated party tent erected on the lawn of the Lviv camp, guests enjoyed cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and music before the five-course dinner was served. On the menu were mini potato pancakes with caviar and rosemary sour cream; cold cucumber soup; poached salmon on a bed of greens with balsamic vinaigrette; rack of lamb or sweet Chilean cod; and tiramisu.
Two representatives from the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States, Counselor Vladyslava Bondarenko (liaison officer with the Ukrainian community) and Counselor Oksana Shulyar, delivered greetings and best wishes to the gathering. Also attending and addressing guests was Miss Ukraine 2013, Anna Zayachkivska.
Among the guests present were relatives of Markian Paslawsky, known as “Franko” to fellow members of the Donbas volunteer battalion that he joined to fight Russian-backed forces in Ukraine’s embattled east. Franko was killed in action on August 19, 2014.