Pittsburgh society honors Viktor Yushchenko as Ukrainian of the Year

PITTSBURGH - Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko was honored with the 2005 Ukrainian of the Year Award for his lifelong advocacy of democracy and human rights in Ukraine by the Ukrainian Technological Society of Pittsburgh at the society's 36th annual dinner-dance on Saturday, November 26, at the Pittsburgh Athletic Association building in the university section of Pittsburgh. The society is an association of Ukrainian professionals and businesspersons from Western Pennsylvania.

After the social hour beginning at 6 p.m., guests were welcomed by UTS President Debra Walenchok, who also briefly reviewed the society's Scholarship Program results. She then introduced the society's vice-president, Charles Kostecki, who made the nomination of President Yushchenko as the Ukrainian of the Year.

The presentation of the award plaque, creatively designed and calligraphed by graphic artist Kathy Boykowycz, was made by President Walenchok and Vice-President Kostecki. Executive Board Member Michael Korchynsky read the Ukrainian inscription, while Secretary Irene Grimm read the English inscription and proclamations from Mayor Tom Murphy and City Council President Gene Ricciardi. November 26, 2005, was declared "Viktor Yushchenko Day" in Pittsburgh.

Accepting the award on behalf of President Yushchenko was Dr. Sergiy Korsunsky, the chargé d'affaires from the Embassy of Ukraine. In his acceptance remarks, he brought greetings to the society's members and the Western Pennsylvania Ukrainian community from President Yushchenko and expressed thanks for the award.

He also noted that the Senate and House delegations from Pennsylvania have been strong supporters of Ukraine. He urged all present to continue to write to their senators and representatives on all issues affecting Ukraine and Ukrainians.

Dr. Korsunsky also pointed out that although the award was to a single individual, whose determination to achieve what is right was being honored, the award in a sense also recognized the achievement of the Ukrainian nation. Not only has Ukraine achieved its historical long and hard-fought independence, but with its Orange Revolution Ukraine had shown the way for other people to achieve their own democracy and human rights. This will be remembered by history, he underscored.

After the conclusion of Dr. Korsunsky's acceptance remarks, Msgr. George Appleyard, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, Pa., and the Very Rev. Timothy Johnson, pastor of St. Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks, Pa., along with Marijka Jula and Lee Grimm, Jr., choir members of the St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, led the singing of "Mnohaya Lita" for the health and long life of President Yushchenko.

UTS Executive Board Members Ihor Havryluk, Michael Jula, Nickolas Kotow and Kristina Szmul then joined other members and guests at dinner, after which all enjoyed the music of the Muzikanti Band.

Copyright © The Ukrainian Weekly, December 25, 2005, No. 52, Vol. LXXIII

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