While war continues to rage in Ukraine, a group of local women are doing their part to help.
Ukraine natives Olena Korotych, Olha Popova and Tania Chernenko, along with Farragut residents Oksana Gerlits, a USSR native, and Ivy Lalonde, have formed the non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization koloHUB and are hosting their first fundraising event, “Taste of Ukraine in Farragut,” from 5 to 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10, in Farragut Community Center.
The event offers a chance to enjoy a Ukrainian-inspired dinner buffet prepared by Chef Eric Zarycki (grandson of a Ukrainian immigrant) from Aramark Catering, featuring golubtsi, (vegetarian and pork cabbage rolls), pepper rubbed pork loin with roasted vegetables, deruny (potato cakes), Ukrainian cheesecake and apple cake, along with white and red wine and non-alcoholic beverages.
Several musical performances will entertain guests, including one from noted violinist and current University of Tennessee student Markiian Lukyniuk, who only recently left Kyiv, Ukraine for the United States.
All participants are donating their time and efforts for the cause. Cost is $75 per adult ticket, with 144 total being available, and must be purchased in advance.
Children are part of the festivities, with those between ages 4 and 15 being admitted free of charge. They will be treated to a chaperoned pizza party, educational crafts and other activities.
All proceeds will go to koloHUB, and directly fund three specific Ukraine charities with immediate needs: Children of Heroes (targeting children who have lost one or both parents during the war), Tabletochki (helping support Ukrainian families whose children are battling cancer) and Happy Paw (providing food, fosters/adoptions and medical assistance for struggling qualified pet shelters in Ukraine).Organizers are hopeful they will raise at least $10,800.
“We aren’t funding large organizations, but instead are funding thoughtfully selected, smaller qualified ones that support children and animals,” Lalonde said.
She became aware of these needs during a Ukraine Benefit Gala held earlier this year. It was sponsored the Marek Maria Pienkowski Foundation and founded by her allergist, Dr. Marek Pienkowski.
Through that connection she met Korotych, who has lived with her husband in the United States since 2014, but still has many family members and friends in Ukraine — which is why she is working to help.
For more information, e-mail contact@koloHUB.com, visit koloHUB.com, or follow koloHUB on Facebook (@koloHUB) and Instagram (@kolo.hub).