I usually refrain from writing a news article in the first person, but today, I am. The reason is that I’m so moved by how Ukraine Aid International, First Selectman Bindelglass, the Easton-Sviatohirsk Sister City Steering Committee and the Easton community at large, are stepping up to the plate to help the suffering citizens of Ukraine, whom I have no doubt will be remembered in history books as catalysts, even martyrs, for the future of world democracy.

The Ukraine war has become symbolic of what people are willing to sacrifice in the name of freedom. 

Back here in the States, organizations such as UAI and towns throughout the U.S., including Easton, Westport and Fairfield, also understand the urgency of helping Ukraine uphold their cultural, economic and individual freedoms. 

The Concert for Sviatohirsk on June 3 at Ashlar-Aspetuck Lodge raised over $3,000 with roughly 100 people attending throughout the afternoon. Young and old enjoyed the music and great weather, all while helping the people of Sviatohirsk. First Selectman David Bindelglass and Ukraine Aid International President Marshall Mayer gave moving speeches about Sviatorhirsk, discussing the two towns’ similarities. They noted that both communities are farm-based with extensive watershed areas that have many more trees than people. They also shared with the audience their personal stories about how hospitable the residents of Sviatorhirsk were, in spite of all the devastation, when they visited in late May

We couldn’t have organized this benefit concert without the help of Ashlar-Aspetuck Lodge brothers, who generously hosted the event at no charge, set up tables, tents, and band equipment, and provided free refreshments. The lodge brothers’ band, Roots Oscura, organized by Eric Farrell, opened the concert with the first set, followed by the Mill River Band and Friends, organized by Michael Jacob. The evening ended with a champagne toast made by the lodge brothers to everyone who volunteered for the event and those in attendance, and to honor the First Selectman’s visit to our sister city. 

Thank you to all for your continued labor of love and don’t forget to visit the sunflower field at SSES in just a few weeks, when the flowers will be in bloom.

Tax-deductible donations can be made by credit or debit card, check or wire by visiting www.UkraineAidInternational.org/donate. Donors supporting the Easton-Sviatohirsk sister city partnership should choose the “Easton – Sviatohirsk Sister City” designation on the donation page, or write “Easton” in the memo line of a check or wire.

You may also purchase lawn signs, bumper stickers and buttons, by contacting Kelly Higgins at Kelly.higgins@cbmoves.com or by calling her at (203) 650-3483.

Ashlar-Aspetuck Lodge, across from the Easton Town Hall on 200 Center Road, a beautiful venue in serene, wooded setting, is available for event rentals for Easton residents. For more information, call (203) 445-9186.

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