NORTH PORT, Fla. – Branch 56 of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, based in North Port, Fla., held its first official meeting of the season on November 2.
It was the first meeting in which members were able to meet in person after months of quarantining. The members in attendance were overjoyed to see their friends again, though social distancing protocols were followed and individuals were encouraged to wear masks.
A slate of new officers and directors for the branch leadership was presented to the members in attendance. Vira Bodnaruk provided those in attendance with a presentation and literature on the Holodomor – the Ukrainian genocide in which more than 5 million Ukrainians were deliberately starved to death or murdered by invading Stalinist forces.
Outgoing branch vice president, Lieda Boyko, surprised outgoing president, Alexandra Popel, with a certificate awarding her the status of Honored President, an esteemed position which to date has only been conferred upon one prior president – Ann Marie Susla. The Board of Directors unanimously voted to honor Ms. Popel with this distinction. Ms. Popel, who attended the meeting, was visibly overwhelmed by the honor.
Patricia Zalisko is the press secretary of Branch 56 of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America.