A steady flow of Eastonites turned out for a successful fundraiser for the people of Ukraine held at the Ashlar-Aspetuck Lodge on April 10. The event was organized by local residents Gale and John Papageorge, and the venue and coffee were generously donated by Eric Farrell and his fellow Lodge officers.

Easton and Redding residents socialized while enjoying hot coffee, treats and conversation, and some shared stories and shed tears for Ukraine.  Brian Dolzani, an area musician, donated his time and talent to play acoustic guitar and lift people’s spirits by performing original tunes as well as covers from bands like the Grateful Dead and Neil Young.

Over $2,000 was raised and given to St Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport as part of their campaign to support and assist war victims in Ukraine. Other donations were also delivered to Father Ivan Mazuryk at The Blessed Holy Protection Catholic Ukrainian Church of Bridgeport to assist in their efforts to support those affected by this humanitarian crisis.

Father Stephen Masliuk, the head priest at St. Mary’s, was grateful for the contributions. He said, “The money will be delivered in person by members of the Orthodox Ukrainian Church in America to the proper individuals for the medical care of the thousands of people in and outside of Ukraine, who have been injured, some very severely. Your contribution may be the primary reason that another human being receives the treatment necessary for survival. Thank you for your benevolence and generosity. Every dollar helps. You would not believe how much $2,000 dollars will help.”

The Papageorges said they are grateful to the entire Easton and Redding community for their support. “I would also like to thank Nanette Dewester, David Bindelglass and Anne Hughes for spreading the word and their support; John Papageorge, Eric Farrell, Brian Dolzani, and Beata Iwaszkeweiz, for their time and help; and Billy’s Bakery, EVS and Bagel King for food donations,” said Gale Papageorge. “God Bless the people of Ukraine. They need our ongoing support and prayers.”

A second fundraiser for Ukraine at the Ashlar-Aspetuck Lodge is being planned for early June and will include more music and food as part of the event. Stay tuned for more details.

For those looking to donate immediately, Papageorge recommended an organization called Revived Soldiers Ukraine, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing aid to the people of Ukraine in support of their fundamental human rights and medical rehabilitation of Ukrainian soldiers: https://www.rsukraine.org/.

Photos courtesy of Gale Papagoerge

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