Soyuzivka's renaissance

Readers of this newspaper are no doubt aware that the renaissance of Soyuzivka, the resort of the Ukrainian National Association has begun. First announced last year in November, at the time Soyuzivka kicked off its 50th anniversary celebrations, Soyuzivka Project Renaissance got off to a good start with a major donation of $50,000 from the Self Reliance (New York) Federal Credit Union. More details on the project were promised in 2003, as this is the year Soyuzivka marks the golden jubilee of its official dedication and its first summer season.

In mid-January the UNA made its next announcement: a change in the resort's management, which is now headed by Nestor Paslawsky, director of hospitality services, and includes the dynamic foursome of Olesia Guran, reservations and front desk manager; Daria Nyzankiwsky, operations manager; Andrij Sonevytsky, executive chef and banquet manager; and Soyuzivka veteran Sonia Semanyshyn, manager of accounting and back-office operations. After two months at the helm, members of the new crew were introduced to the public in a special feature carried in this newspaper.

This week's Weekly features yet another aspect of Soyuzivka's rebirth - but this time it's thanks to the involvement of volunteers. Over the weekend of April 12-13, Soyuzivka held its first ever Trailblazing Weekend - an effort to get Ukrainian community members involved in a very real way in Soyuzivka's renewal. Volunteers were asked to come up to help clear wilderness trails in preparation for the spring and summer season. More than 40 diehard Soyuzivka fans showed up on Saturday, April 12 - a significant number as the weather the day before and that morning was "iffy."

UNA Treasurer Roma Lisovich described the scene in an e-mail message sent out to UNA'ers: "This was an inspiring weekend. From the moment I reached the entrance of Soyuzivka across from the church, we were greeted by a group of chattering women and children planting something along the fence. They were planting sunflowers, and that exemplified the weekend - it was truly a family affair, with all ages helping out. The oldest were a couple from New Jersey who were at the opening of Soyuzivka in 1952 and have always loved the resort. He still had the energy and strength to help blaze the trail. Since many of the volunteers were of the 30-ish crowd, most brought along their wives and children. ... [It was] a great weekend."

These folks had come from near, and not so near, to help out at the resort that they consider home. They demonstrated their love for Soyuzivka, this unique and magical place in the mountains, by working for Soyuzivka to make it better. After looking at the photos and the story in this week's issue, our readers, we are sure, will agree.

The Trailblazing Weekend was just the beginning, it is hoped, of our community's involvement in Soyuzivka Project Renaissance, which will ensure the resort's future. To be sure, not everyone can contribute time or physical labor to improve Soyuzivka. However, next week's issue of this newspaper will announce the kick-off of the Soyuzivka Renaissance Fund, a fund-raising drive whose goal is to support Soyuzivka Project Renaissance. Each and every person who has ever been to Soyuzivka and has enjoyed his or her experience there, or those who've always wanted to visit this beloved resort, can contribute to its future. Next week's Weekly will explain how.

We ask our readers to peruse the information in our next issue and to act upon it - for the time to act is now. Soyuzivka's renaissance depends on our response.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, April 27, 2003, No. 17, Vol. LXXI

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