WEYBURN – The Weyburn Legion was filled with area residents on Saturday, who came out to support a fundraiser brunch to help people displaced by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
A large blue-and-yellow flag, the colours of Ukraine, hung behind the serving table with the words “No War in Ukraine”, and in the packed-out Vimy Room, a Canadian-Ukraine flag adorned the wall.
The fundraiser was organized by local Ukrainians who wanted to help people out in their home country, which has been devastated by Russian military forces in the past few weeks. The meal was sponsored by Mryglod Steel and Metals.
The organizers estimate about 150 people came out to the brunch, and they raised $5,000 which will be sent to a charity in Ukraine that helps refugees displaced by the invasion.
The food ran out at one point, but more food was prepared so they were able to continue serving food to anyone who wanted to support the cause.
“It’s something we want to do for the people in Ukraine,” said one of the organizers, Julia Peregon, who later texted, “This is amazing. Weyburn has wonderful people.”
She was just joined by her mother, Luidmyla Fitsak, who just arrived in Weyburn on March 23 after making her escape from Ukraine.
She lived in the town of Haivoron in the central part of Ukraine, and she was able to make her way to Lviv and then across the border into Poland. From Krakow, she was able to get into Germany where she caught a flight to Canada.
Julia’s cousin, Sergii Peregon, noted that Luidmyla was helped by many volunteers in Poland who were waiting to provide assistance to people fleeing Ukraine. They even were able to put her up for a couple of days until she was able to leave for Germany to take her flight out, he noted.
Julia has lived in Weyburn for about 12 years now, and Sergii came here in 2010 to work.
There are many charitable organizations that Weyburn and area residents can donate to, to help out the people of Ukraine, including the Canadian Red Cross, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and the United Nations World Food Program to just name a few.
The provincial and federal governments have also indicated their willingness to take Ukrainian refugees, whether temporarily or as permanent immigrants, and the City of Weyburn has indicated they are willing to help out however they can as well.