Ukrainian Fundraiser to benefit medical – rehabilitation

Ukrainian Fundraiser

Ukrainian Fundraiser – Ukrainian-born journalist and community volunteer Vlada Polishchuk lives in Montreal, but her heart has always belonged to her native homeland. That is especially so during the the year-and-a-half long conflict there due to the invasion by Russian forces, and the damage that has been done not only physically to its many cities and its people, but the ever lasting collateral damage, too.

“What has happened in Ukraine will always stay with me. But doing my part to raise awareness of what is going on there and help aid the Ukrainian people has taught me to stay strong, and that through the worst of times, people can still have hope, and that is priceless,” she said during a recent phone interview. “When I went to Ukraine last November, I interviewed many women and children about their experiences. I was so shocked at the level of trauma, violence and war crimes that this country has gone through. As a result of what I witnessed, I couldn’t understand what bad things people do to one another. That is why it’s up to Ukraine and Canada to stand together, which is the only way to end this war and fight evil.”

Ukrainian Fundraiser
Ukrainian Fundraiser July 15, 2023

Ms. Polishchuk’s passion and determination to help her native Ukraine and its people heal from the physical and emotional injuries brought about by war has strengthened over the past year. When she teamed up with veteran broadcaster and community advocate Eramelinda Boquer to work on last year’s Ukrainian Festival, the chemistry between them encouraged them to work together on a related future project. That project ended up as the “Art-Etude: Rebuilding Bodies, Rebuilding Lives” fundraiser. It takes place on July 15, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Montreal Art Centre and Museum in Griffintown. Proceeds from the event will benefit Unbroken, a Ukrainian-based charity that is dedicated to healing injured Ukrainian soldiers and civilians through surgeries, qualified medical treatments, providing prosthetics to those who lost their limbs, and offering rehabilitation. Financial oversight will be courtesy of Peter Nauth and the Lindsay Place Alumnae Foundation.

“Unbroken helps Ukrainian soldiers and civilians rebuild their bodies and their lives as a means to start over from such a terrible tragedy. They go through these horrible injuries and find it hard to go back to their normal, day-to-day lives. The people at Unbroken help them adjust towards returning to that normal life, because it’s not just the war itself that has a major effect on the Ukrainian people, but the consequences that go with it, which can be even worse,” said Ms. Polishchuk. 

The event is being hosted by Montreal city councilor and deputy borough mayor for Verdun Sterling Downey who, according to Ms. Boquer, was an obvious choice to emcee the evening. “Throughout my years volunteering, I was fortunate to meet such an incredible person as Sterling. He has worked with veterans for many years and has friends who served with the Canadian Armed Forces in Ukraine. He has first-hand knowledge about the situation there, a huge history of volunteerism and is always there for the people, which is why we’re excited to have him as the emcee,” she said.

There will also be first-hand testimonials and eyewitness accounts about the Russian invasion of Ukraine from several people, including Ryan Smith, a Canadian who went to Ukraine last year to serve as a member of its defense forces, who will offer a Canadian perspective through his experiences on the front lines.

The artistic portion of the event will be provided courtesy of a collaborative performance by world-renowned jazz pianist Matt Herskowitz and prolific Montreal artist Auclair Langlois, in which the music being performed will inspire what kind of painting will be done on canvas in a live, as-it-happens artistic creation, in which the final result will be auctioned off that same evening and 100% of the proceeds will go towards Unbroken and its ongoing mission to heal and rehabilitate in a time of conflict. Guests will also be able to purchase other Ukrainian-inspired artwork by Mr. Langlois, in which a portion of the proceeds will also benefit Unbroken.

“I have watched Matt and Auclair work individually on previous occasions, and I look forward to see what kind of work they will create when they do their immersive effort and what kinds of feelings and emotions that the end result will illicit, as well as what goes on underneath that inspires such an original artistic work. What they will collaborate on during the event will result in a work of art that will truly represent the strength, resilience and spirit of the Ukrainian people. And after the work is completed, the guests will get the chance to speak to both artists to find out more about what motivated them,” said Ms. Boquer. 

“No one has the right to take away or destroy lives, which is why I find the dedication and the efforts of such people as Sterling Downey and Eramelinda Boquer to help the plight of the Ukrainian people so inspiring,” added Ms. Polishchuk. “Thanks to people like them and their deep feeling of understanding makes me further believe in humanity and democracy. When innocent people get hurt, it’s a problem that affects all people, no matter who you are.”

Tickets for the Art-Etude Ukrainian Fundraiser cost $60 each, which includes an “amuse-bouche” courtesy of the Montreal caterer Bossa, the immersive art show, a tour of the gallery, plus a complimentary drink. Tickets can be purchased by going to https://lphsgrads.org/event/art-etude-rebuilding-bodies-rebuilding-lives-8/register, as well as at the door on July 15. For more information about Unbroken and its mission, go to www.unbroken.org.ua.

Stuart Nulman
By: Stuart Nulman – [email protected]

Other articles from mtltimes.ca – totimes.ca – otttimes.ca

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