Four cities in B.C. teamed up on Saturday to honour and pay respects to the heroes of Ukraine.
Kelowna, Vancouver, Nanaimo and Castlegar all took part in the first charity walk in B.C. to commemorate those who have fallen — and those continuing the fight.
The event was organized by the Maple Hope Foundation, a Canadian non-profit organization, which plans to continue supporting the people of Ukraine through events such as the charity walk.
“Participating in events like the Walk of Honour is a meaningful way to show support for Ukraine and its ongoing efforts to maintain global peace and security,” said Dr. Svitlana Kominko, the co-founder and CEO of Maple Hope Foundation.
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“It allows people to come together, pay their respects to the fallen heroes, show solidarity with those who continue to fight for their country and raise funds to support those who are suffering from the war atrocities.”
So far, the group has raised over $11 million for Ukraine, thanks to the help from over 1,100 donors. The funds are used to deliver first-aid supplies, medical equipment and medicine to Ukrainian hospitals and evacuation units on a monthly basis.
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The foundation also provides monthly financial aid to families, children in need, and veterans in Ukraine.
Denys Storozhuk, founder of Kelowna Stands with Ukraine, who was at Saturday’s walk in Kelowna, says more support is needed as Ukraine heads into the winter months.
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“Of course, winter is coming, so we are going to fundraise for generators as we did last winter, to keep hospitals, schools and so on open,” he said.
“I’m sure Russia will try to continue to destroy Ukrainian infrastructure this winter.”
Participants in the walk paid a $45 registration fee, which will be used for medical supplies and humanitarian projects. They also received a t-shirt, which they were encouraged to wear during the event.
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“Our main goal is reminding the people that the war on Ukraine is far from over, and without the help of free countries, Ukraine would never survive against a country that’s four times bigger,” Storozhuk said.
“I would like to thank all the people that support us.”
Kelowna Stands with Ukraine is hosting another local fundraiser for Ukraine on Wednesday at the Ukrainian-Orthodox church, with a musical performance from Ukrainian-acoustic group Druga Rika kicking off the event at 8 p.m.
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