For many who work at the Lakeside Resort in Penticton, the war in Ukraine hits home, literally, as several of the staff are from Ukraine or have family currently living in the country.
For that reason the Barking Parrot will host a barbecue fundraiser on Friday, March 11, from 5 to 7 p.m., featuring a host of traditional Ukrainian food like perogies, cabbage rolls and sausages along with as selling traditional Ukrainian crafts.
The event is organized in partnership with the Ukrainian Canadian Volunteers Association, based in the Okanagan, to help raise funds to support a humanitarian effort in Ukraine.
“While my family personally has deep Ukrainian historical roots, like many Canadians across the country, whose ancestors immigrated to Canada during the 20th century, more also have staff members who are either from Ukraine themselves or whose families are from Ukraine,” said Elizabeth Cucnik, general manager of Lakeside Resort.
The Lakeside’s marketing sales manager, Svitlana, is from the city of Chernihiv, which, like so many cities and towns across Ukraine, has sustained devastating civilian deaths, military casualties, the destruction of historical sites and monuments and homes, said Cucnik.
“Her parents are currently trapped, unable to escape, with little resources and nowhere to go and her brother has been conscripted to fight on the frontlines, without protective equipment like a helmet and body armour,” she said.
Cucnik wanted to stress they’re not hosting this fundraiser because they are against Russia or the Russian people. Rather, they are against what Putin is doing and the decisions he is making on the world’s stage.
Canada is home to the third-largest Ukrainian population, behind Ukraine and Russia.
“The last two weeks have glimpsed at the cost of war – with nearly two million refugees having fled, and that number fast-growing. The majority of those fleeing are women and children, and those who are stuck or left behind, face devastating bombing campaigns, shelling, ground fighting and lack of food, heat and supplies,” said Cucnik.
The fundraiser guarantees a flow of donation money directly to the front lines in Ukraine, in the form of: uploading vests, tactical helmets, medical kits, clothes, batteries, flashlights, baby food, groceries, hospital equipment and supplies for seniors.