After several years of not being able to hold some events due to Covid, the Toronto Branch of Ukrainian Women’s Organization of Canada (UWOC) was finally able to host its traditional “Spilne Sviachene” (Easter Dinner) on Sunday, April 23, 2023.
There was a buzz in the air as members and guests gathered together, hugging and greeting each other, with “Khrystos Voskres!” (Christ is Risen!)
MC for the afternoon, Nadia Ostapchuk, warmly welcomed everyone and pointed out the importance of preserving the joyful Ukrainian Easter traditions which our forefathers brought to Canada and passing them along to future generations. She affirmed that as we celebrate Easter, we remember our brothers and sisters in Ukraine and ask God to protect all Ukrainian soldiers who are defending their independence from Russian aggression.
The MC welcomed Fr. Taras Lozynsky of Christ the Good Shepherd-St. Michael’s Church and invited him to lead everyone in prayer as he blessed the Easter food to be shared, and all those assembled. Among them were special guests Pauline Zahrebelny, past president of UWOC Toronto Branch and UWOC National Executive, who will celebrate her 100th birthday in June, and Karol Pidzamecky, long-time UNF member, generous supporter of UWOC and its biggest champion, who will celebrate his 100th birthday in December.
Also in attendance with their spouses were Taras Pidzamecky, Chief Executive Officer & General Counsel for Ukrainian Credit Union Limited, Natalia Lishchyna, 1st Vice-Chair, UCU Board of Directors (now UCU Chair of the Board), as well as other UCU staff members. UWOC Toronto is enormously grateful to the Ukrainian Credit Union for its continuing support.
The highlight of the afternoon was entertainment provided by a group of young children from the Ukrainian National Federation Toronto Branch’s after-school program, a sub-program of Together We Are Strong, which assists the children who have fled with their families from Ukraine. The children are driven by buses from St. Josaphat’s and Cardinal Josef Slipyj Catholic Schools to the UNF Hall. On arrival they are served a warm meal, do their homework, have lessons in Ukrainian language and culture, in English and in math. Time permitting, they may do arts and crafts, sports, or have dancing or singing lessons.
These children are preparing a program for their next appearance at the Mother’s Day Dinner which UWOC is holding at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, May 10th. For tickets, please call Anne Fedun 416-249-0907.
To assist the Together We Are Strong program, donations can be made by cheque to UNF Foundation, 145 Evans Ave., #210, Toronto, M8Z 5X8, indicating Toronto Strong UNF-T. An income tax receipt will be issued.