January 29, 2021

Syracuse UNH announces reopening, praising efforts in 2020 and hopeful for 2021

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UNH stairs

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Ukrainian National Home (UNH) announced on January 14 its plan to re-open amid the governor-ordered shutdown of in-person dining in New York State due to a spike in the COVID-19 pandemic. The new policies that were outlined by the UNH board include the following: operating at 50 percent capacity for any given time; a maximum of four persons per table; mandatory face coverings except while seated, and masked staff; adherence to physical distancing measures; hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the building; no hall or large gatherings until further notice; and all patrons must be out of the building by 10 p.m.

Normal hours of operation will be limited to 6-10 p.m. (Wednesdays), 3-10 p.m. (Thursdays, Fridays) and 4-10 p.m. (Saturdays).

In a January 19 newsletter, the UNH board informed its members of its activities for 2020, including a re-purposing of the UNH’s kitchen to include take-out meals and in-person dining options. Keely Lathrop, vice-president of the Syracuse Ukrainian National Home, was instrumental in developing the menu, cooking and other logistics, while members of the UNH were recognized for their ongoing support.

The kitchen was also busy with varenyky-making and selling, as well as hosting the annual pig roast in September, the inaugural clambake in October, and the steak bake in November was a huge success. This year’s steak bake had the largest attendance since the event was first hosted at the UNH three years ago.
Renovations and maintenance have been ongoing amid the pandemic, and during the shutdown of the UNH in 2020. The bar replaced its aging beer coolers, and painting, cleaning and updating projects were completed throughout the year for the bar and the dining room. These and other projects were realized through the financial support from members and volunteers who rolled up their sleeves to help complete the work.

In November and December of 2020, new concrete stairs were installed in the lower parking lot and the staircase was illuminated by solar-powered lights, which increased safety for patrons. The obsolete ventilation exhaust fans were removed and the hole where the fans were located was repaired with bricks and mortar donated by Paragon Supply, a neighbor of the UNH, which also donated landscape stone for the lower lot stairs.

Other repair projects included repairing water damage to the back hallway, a new drop ceiling was installed and the walls were patched and painted, with new LED recessed lights installed and the stairs were repainted. In December 2020 another major project was realized with the renovation of the rooms used by the Ukrainian American Youth Association (SUM). The walls were painted, new accent paneling was installed and the floor was repaired and updated.

A new website and social media page were launched in 2020; new land was acquired on an adjoining property, which was the site of a dilapidated house that has since been demolished; the UNH’s Capital Investment Appeal, through its associated raffles and other events, raised money for a new roof that was installed and the board is scheduled to pay it off by the end of 2021; membership dues have been increased from $40 to $45 for full members and from $20 to $25 for social members; the UNH’s annual meeting in 2021 will be held online and elections for board officers will be held with a date to be announced; and the UNH is working with the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) and the Organization for the Defense of Lemkiv­shchyna (OOL) to raise funds to replace a missing flagpole in front of the Taras Shevchenko Monument, located in front of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church on Fayette Street (more details can be found at https://syrucc.org/unh).

Planned events in 2021 include an Italian Dinner take-out fundraiser for the Ukrainian American Youth Association on February 6, and a Lenten fish fry dinner on Fridays during Lent, beginning on February 19. The UNH board recommends pre-ordering, as meals will be on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, readers may contact the UNH at events@syrucc.org or 315-478-9272.

UNH bar