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Ukraine dinner


PP Melissa Hebbard, Rotary Club of Milawa Oxley —

Rotarians and Rotary Clubs in Ukraine and around the World have sprung into action to help mitigate the humanitarian disaster happening in the Ukraine.

Article by PP Melissa Hebbard, Rotary Club of Milawa Oxley, D9790

There are 62 Rotary Clubs in Ukraine and astonishingly, all but the one in Kherson which is under Russian Occupation, is still functioning. Rotary has a motto, ‘Service Above Self,’ and that is certainly the case as Rotarians and Rotary Clubs in Ukraine and around the World have sprung into action to help mitigate the humanitarian disaster happening in the Ukraine.

Rotary has been rebuilding the humanitarian hubs along the Ukraine borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania to co-ordinate the aid that is pouring in. They are receiving the supplies, mostly clothes, food, medicines and medical supplies and are sending them across the border to the hubs inside Ukraine where Rotarians redistribute them to the cities that are in dire need of help. They have also been looking after the Ukrainian refugees fleeing the conflict and finding accommodation, clothes, food and baby needs, and helping them move on towards safety.

On Tuesday 29th March, Milawa Oxley Rotary held a Peace for Ukraine Dinner. The idea for the event was instigated by our youngest Rotarian, Kit Hebbard (25) who worked enthusiastically to connect with the local Ukrainian community who whole heartedly embraced this event. This was the Rotary ideals of advancing International understanding, goodwill, and peace, in action.

Our small church hall was filled to capacity as seventy guests gathered in the St Paul’s Church Hall in Milawa to show support for Ukraine and celebrate the amazing culture and food of Ukraine. Diners were treated to a Ukrainian feast, incorporating classic Ukrainian dishes such as Borsch, Chicken Kyiv and Cabbage Rolls.

Over $11,000 dollars was raised, which will be sent directly to the Rotary Foundation’s special Disaster Response Fund in Support of Ukraine. Here these funds will directly support humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine and the surrounding countries that are receiving waves of refugees fleeing the conflict.

Special thanks must go to the Appin Street Butcher for supporting the fundraiser, as well as the Butko’s of Albury-Wodonga, who provided invaluable help in catering for the dinner and spread the word amongst the Ukrainian community of North-East Victoria and the Border. Guests attended from across Australia, with attendees coming from Central Queensland, Adelaide, and several guests who had recently arrived in Australia after fleeing their homes in Ukraine. It was a particular honour to provide a warm welcome to our Ukrainian guests and show our solidarity and care in what must be unimaginably trying times.

Tax deductible donations to the Disaster Response Fund can be made here at: https://my.rotary.org/en/disaster-response-fund. All donations to Rotary can be made with complete faith that all of the funds will end up where they are intended to go as The Rotary Foundation has received the highest 4-star charity rating from Charity Navigator for 14 consecutive years.