Fundraiser for Ukraine raises over $15,000 for charitable organizations

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald There was a long lineup for the Ukrainian feast at St. George's Ukrainian Catholic Church Hall that was part of a fundraiser for two charitable organizations for the people on Ukraine on Saturday.

A fundraising supper for the people of the Ukraine on Saturday at St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church exceeded all expectations of organizers.

The event, which included a Ukrainian feast, had funds going towards Come Back Alive—a charity that supports members of the Ukrainian forces with non-lethal equipment.

“It was awesome to see just the great amounts of support from our community, not only our Ukrainian community but our community at large to come to the event and support us,” Taras Kachkowski, one of three people helping organize the event, said.

The event also featured a Silent Auction by the Veselka Ukrainian Cultural and Heritage Club with funds going to the Canada Ukraine Foundation, which is involved in several humanitarian projects in Ukraine.

According to Kachkowski the final numbers had not been confirmed completely but the dinner itself raised $12,000 and the silent auction raised around $3,500.

“We are talking over $15,000 total raised for the two organizations. It is awesome,” he said.

Come Back Alive provides protective equipment, medical care, and mental health services for members of the Ukrainian forces. Kachkowski said the charity began operating seven years ago when the tensions first erupted between the Ukrainian military and groups of Russian backed separatists.

The event exceeded expectations in every aspect according to Kachkowski.

“We originally printed up 200 tickets because the venue only fit 140 and then we wanted to offer a ‘to go’ option and the ‘to go’ option proved to be more popular than I initially anticipated,” he explained. “However, we still had a nice group of people enjoying the dinner at the hall, and then of course the silent auction. All told, it was I believe 320 people came through.”

He said the event had some hiccups but once things came together it ran smoothly.

“It was thrown together quite quickly and because (of that) there were a few logistical hiccups, but once we sort of figured it out on the fly we got a good flow going. The traffic moved through pretty successfully and smoothly and it contributed to the success of the event absolutely,” he said.

Kachkowski said that everyone involved was pleased with how it turned out.

“We had lots of compliments on the food,” he said.

“Those who won their silent auction bids looked like they were very happy about that.”

Kachkowski attended a Veselka meeting on Sunday and said there is potential to do similar events in the future for causes that are local, national and international.

Kashskowski thanked the people who worked in the kitchen who also came up with the idea and worked hard cooking and serving.

“A big thank you to St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church for donating the use of the hall, Action Printing for donating the printing services for the tickets and the posters, and of course all of the volunteers that did whatever needed doing when it needed to be done,” he said. “Just a huge thank you to the Prince Albert community for coming forward and supporting us.”