East Aurora Advertiser

April 10 Event will Celebrate Ukrainian Culture, Support Relief EffortsFree Access

So many of us in East Aurora who are moved by the suffering of the Ukrainian people at the hands of Russian invaders wonder what we can do to help. Sadly, we can’t stop the violence, but we can show our support by attending the Elm Street and Oakwood Avenue Businesses’ Celebration of Ukrainian Culture + People on Sunday, April 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the intersection of Oakwood and Elm. It’s a family-friendly event; all are welcome.

The event is being organized by Jennifer Brazill of Borderland, Katie Felton, Wallenwein’s, Elm Street Bakery, MUSEjar, Erin Long Fine Arts and Aurora town board members Joe McCann and Luke Wochensky. Admission is a suggested donation of $10 (kids free) with all proceeds going to a Go Fund Me (gofund.me/1fcf25ec) that will support the efforts of World Central Kitchen (wck.org) to feed refugees from the war in Ukraine. Even if you are unable to attend, the organizers encourage you to support this GoFund Me, World Central Kitchen or the relief effort of your choice. 

During the event, Oakwood will be closed from just east of the Elm Street intersection to just past the Wallenwein’s parking lot with most of the activities outside. Borderland Music + Arts Festival and the Oakwood and Elm Real Estate Team of Howard Hanna are sponsoring Buffalo Dead Alliance, who will play two sets. A beer truck will be outside, while inside Wally’s, Ben Holmes’ staff will be making pizzas and pouring drinks at the bar.  Elm Street Bakery will be serving traditional Ukrainian favorites like borscht (beet soup), black bread and sunflower cupcakes. Keith “Bowler” Walker will open The Speakeasy in the basement of the Gen. Riley House and mix up a signature Ukrainian cocktail.

Vanessa Frost from MUSEjar and Katie Felton will host a Ukrainian egg-painting workshop, and Erin Loganathan from Erin Long Fine Art will have a sunflower face-painting activity. There will be raffle baskets and special raffle items will be on hand.    

From left to right: Aurora Councilman Luke Wochensky, Aurora Councilman Joseph McCann, Jennifer Brazill, Wallenwein’s Owner Ben Holmes and Rick Ohler. Photo by Marty Wangelin

Organizers will add more family-friendly activities during the week.

Copies of the poster, created by artist Jon Daly (whose artwork graces both Wallenwein’s and Left Coast Taco) will be sold as t-shirts with that image. The t-shirts will be created by Al Wochensky of Equality, Knowledge and Light (eklpro.com).

As the war enters its sixth week and the devastation continues, the refugee crisis worsens daily. Organizers have set a goal of $10,000, which World Central Kitchen will put to use in its temporary kitchens at border locations in Poland, Romania and Moldova.

To become involved or for more information, contact organizers at ea4ukraine@gmail.com.

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