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Connecticut District Committee holds fall organizing meeting

HARTFORD, Conn. – The Ukrainian National Association’s Connecticut District Committee held its fall organizing meeting on Saturday, September 30, at St. Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church Hall in Hartford, Conn. Preceding the meeting was a community breakfast, as well as presentations by UNA National Secretary Yuriy Symczyk, UNA Treasurer Roma Lisovich and UNA Certified Annuity Specialist Stefko Woch. Current and prospective UNA members have received information in the following cities in recent months: Bound Brook, Clifton, Jersey City, Passaic, Perth Amboy and Whippany, N.J.; Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven and Stamford, Conn.; Cleveland; New York and Kerhonkson, N.Y.; and Horsham, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, Pa.

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UNA Seniors spend week at Soyuzivka Heritage Center

KERHONKSON, N.Y. – Seniors of the Ukrainian National Association and friends enjoyed a special week at Soyuzivka Heritage Center from Sunday, June 11, through Friday, June 16. Seen above are some of the participants of UNA Seniors Week.

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Students bolster staff at Soyuzivka Heritage Center

KERHONKSON, N.Y. – Soyuzivka Heritage Center has had another successful season under the management of General Manager Nestor Paslawsky and the assistant manager, Stefko Drabyk. In addition to the regular staff of employees, Soyuzivka had 28 students working this summer. Of these, 17 arrived from Ukraine to work in the U.S. on the J-1 Work and Travel Visa. This is a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and coordinated for Soyuzivka by Bohdana Puzyk. Soyuzivka has benefited from this program for the past nine years.

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UNA congratulates 42 scholarship recipients for the 2017-2018 school year

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – The Scholarship Committee of the Ukrainian National Association for this scholastic year named 42 scholarship recipients who are members of the UNA studying at institutions of higher learning in the United States and Canada. This year’s scholarship awards total $11,025, of which $5,250 is for special scholarships. Since these special scholarships grant a higher financial award from the UNA, the candidate’s application is reviewed by the Scholarship Committee based on academic achievement, field of study, financial need, as well as activity in the Ukrainian community. The highest award – the Joseph and Dora Galaniuk Scholarship in the amount of $2,000 – was awarded to Nataliya Savchuk, a member of UNA Branch 59, who is an honors student pursuing a degree in kinesiology at Temple University. Nataliya arrived in the United States with her mother when she was an 11-month old child.

Miss Soyuzivka contest winner and runners-up with the judges (from left): Igor Sybiga, Andrea Wasylyk, Isabella White, Natalia Muzyka, Dr. Tania Bazarko and Roman Hirniak.

Soyuzivka Heritage Center crowns Miss Soyuzivka 2018

KERHONKSON, N.Y. – The annual Miss Soyuzivka contest, sponsored by the Ukrainian National Association, was held at Soyuzivka Heritage Center on Saturday, August 12. Ukrainian-born Isabella White was crowned as the new Miss Soyuzivka for 2018. The daughter of Sherry and Morgan White of Mainesburg, Pa., she was adopted at the age of 13 from Odesa, Ukraine. Arriving in America, Isabella joined her new family of 10 siblings, five of whom are also adopted from Ukraine. Miss White would like to be an international translator, translating Ukrainian and sign language.

Students of the National University of Ostroh Academy who received grants for studies from the Ukrainian National Foundation.

Ukrainian National Foundation assists students of Ostroh Academy

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – The Ukrainian National Foundation, an affiliated company of the Ukrainian National Association that performs charitable activities, continuously provides grants enabling less fortunate students in Ukraine – those who come from needy families, are orphaned, or have been displaced by the war in Ukraine’s east – to pursue university studies at the National University of Ostroh Academy. A total of $20,000 was donated in 2016 for this purpose to Ostroh Academy. One of the students who received such assistance from the U.S.-based foundation was Olha Klymchuk of Ostroh, Rivne Oblast, who is studying toward a bachelor’s degree in psychology. The third-year student recently expressed her thanks in a letter she sent to the UNF’s president, Stefan Kaczaraj. “I, along with my parents, express sincere thanks to you for the assistance given me, an invalid since childhood, to enable me to fulfill my most heartfelt dream: to receive an education in my chosen specialty,” she wrote.

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“Retro Lviv” benefit at Soyuzivka raises funds to help Ukraine’s soldiers

KERHONKSON, N.Y – A full house of 160 people attended the “Retro Lviv” gala on Friday evening, July 14, at the start of the annual Ukrainian Cultural Festival at Soyuzivka Heritage Center, to raise funds for humanitarian aid to Ukraine, which continues to suffer the consequences of Russia’s war in the Donbas. The event was organized by the Ukrainian National Foundation, an affiliated company of the Ukrainian National Association that performs charitable activities. The charitable partner of the 2017 gala was the International Alliance for Fraternal Assistance, a respected and highly awarded Kyiv-based NGO. Viktoria Voronovych, assisted by her husband, Roman Woronowycz, spoke about the work of the IAFA, including its latest focus on establishing a career center to help Ukraine’s soldiers returning from the frontlines. The elegant evening featured a gourmet dinner of old Lviv cuisine.

UNA Organizing Report for 2016

UNA National Secretary Yuriy Symczyk was unanimously elected to the position on November 18, 2016, due to the unexpected passing of Christine Kozak, national secretary of the Ukrainian National Association since 2002. The following annual report prepared by Mr. Symczyk outlines the status of operations and highlights various initiatives that have been taken on throughout the report period, January 1, 2016, to December 31, 201,6 which includes Ms. Kozak’s tenure. 

UNA Champions Clubs

Lubov Streletsky was the champion of the 2016 “Club of UNA Builders.” Mrs. Streletsky is an advisor on the UNA General Assembly, a fraternal agent, Philadelphia District chairperson and secretary of UNA Branch 10. During 2016 she brought in 17 new members and sold life insurance with face value of $865,500. The top three branch secretaries/organizers who brought in the most new members were Mrs. Streletsky (Branch 10) with 17 policies, Eugene Serba (Branch 173) with four policies, and George Fedorijczuk (Branch 162) with four policies. The top three districts that brought in the most new members were Philadelphia with 31 members, New Jersey with 29 members and Chicago with 16 new members.

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UNA Home Office marks worldwide Ukrainian embroidery day

PARSIPPANY, N.J. – The Home Office of the Ukrainian National Association, which also includes the staffs of its two newspapers, Svoboda and The Ukrainian Weekly, once again celebrated international Ukrainian embroidery day (Den Vyshyvanky) – a day when Ukrainians everywhere wear their embroidered finery as a symbol of Ukrainian unity. Vyshyvanka Day is celebrated on the third Thursday in May. Lesya Voroniuk, initiator of the embroidery celebration, told the Ukrinform news agency that the first Vyshyvanka Day took place 11 years ago in the city of Chernivtsi, where she was a student at a local university. Since then, the celebration has grown into a global phenomenon, with many individuals and groups posting photos on social media.

At the UNA information table during the Pysanka Festival in Los Angeles, (from left) are Zoryana Keske, secretary of John Hodiak Branch 257, and Luba Poniatyszyn-Keske, UNA adviser and Branch 257 president.

UNA reaches out to Los Angeles community

LOS ANGELES – The recently renovated Ukrainian Culture Center – the pride of Los Angeles’ Ukrainian community – held its yearly Pysanka Festival on April 2. The festival draws many Ukrainians as well as non-Ukrainians from all over southern California. This year, approximately 800 people visited this six-hour long popular event, which featured local pysanka artists showing off their beautiful creations and conducting master classes in “writing” a pysanka to take home. In addition, regional Ukrainian costumes were on display as were embroidered blouses and shirts; “vinky”(traditional headdresses), “rushnyky” (ritual cloths), tablecloths, ceramics, artwork and hand-made jewelry were available for purchase. Some of the vendors donated a portion of their profits to Ukrainian orphanages and toward rehabilitation expenses for several Ukrainian soldiers currently undergoing treatment in Los Angeles.