If organizers of the All Saints Ukrainian Cultural Centre’s fundraising supper last Friday were concerned about the turnout, that concern quickly turned to relief. And the relief gave way to joy and satisfaction as almost a thousand people came out to support Humanitarian Relief for Ukraine.

“We were stressed, we were worried about how it was all going to work, and we were worried about the numbers,” said Joanne Ternovoy, president of the Millenium Ladies. Her group and the Ukrainian Orthodox Cultural Centre organized the supper.

“The numbers did come through for us, which is absolutely amazing,” Ternovoy said. “Our community just totally embraced this fundraiser, and the volunteers were so amazing. They all worked so well together it blew my mind, actually. And some of the women went above and beyond.”

The counting isn’t complete, but Ternovoy estimates they served approximately 450 people over two sittings Friday, and another 450 with take-out orders. “The takeout was so well organized, and the Ukrainian Catholic women helped us immensely,” she said.  

Flags, pins ,and other merchandise were also available, as were frozen perogies by the dozen. Cash contributions are still arriving.  

People came from as far away as Edmonton to support the Ukrainian community.

It took 225 pounds of potatoes and 14 bags of flour to make the 10,000 perogies. There were two large work bees with 50 people working at each one to roll, fill, and seal all those perogies (or pyrohy, as they are called in Ukrainian).

The proceeds, which Ternovoy says may reach $30,000, will go to Humanitarian Relief for Ukraine through the Canada Ukraine Foundation.

For her, the event is a story of a community coming together.

“We had so many people requesting to help, and I tried to use them all,” she said. “They want to help. You see that in them. You hear that they hate what’s happening and they want to do something.

“Just the patience everyone had, and the consideration and the gratitude. I don’t know how many people came into the kitchen door and said thank you so much for doing this.”

She said there were people who had come to Canada from Ukraine, “and they were just overwhelmed with the people and they just loved what they saw. They were happy to be in the room with all these people giving. They were overjoyed, and their expression of love was amazing to see on their faces. They were so happy that this was happening in their community.” 

Further activities are planned for St. Paul, including a screening of the film That Never Happened: Canada’s First National Internment Operations at the Elite Theatre, 7:00 pm April 6; and a fundraising auction May 6 (see announcement on page 7).

Ukrainian Orthodox Cultural Centre and the Millenium Ladies marshalled volunteer support from across the community to feed 900 people and raise funds for humanitarian relief in Ukraine. JEFF GAYE