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White Rock-South Surrey community turned out for Elks’ Support Ukraine event

More than twice the anticipated total raised at fundraiser
Children proudly modelled authentic Ukrainian costumes, made by their late grandmother, during the day-long event.

By any tabulation, the White Rock Elks’ Support Ukraine fundraiser on May 28 can be counted a great success.

Although the final total raised by all the components of the day-long event at the club’s George Street building was still being tallied last week, co-organizer Cheryl Jorgensen told Peace Arch News that a conservative estimate of the total puts it over $20,000 – or double what event chair Don Alton was originally estimating during planning.

“We know for sure that we made more than $20,000,” Jorgensen said.

“But our treasurer, Sherry Baker, estimates that it could be as high as $22,000 or $23,000, once every contribution is accounted for.”

Proceeds from the event – which included a pancake breakfast, Ukrainian fashions, music and culture, live music by Richard Tichelman and local bands The Vagabonds and the Willoughby Ridge Bluegrass Band, a silent auction and a traditional Ukrainian banquet – will be passed on to the Lower Mainland Ukrainian community, who will ensure that it reaches those in greatest need in the homeland, Jorgensen said.

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The event drew more than 100 people to the pancake breakfast organized by club member Al Burns, and there were more than 100 at the $75-per-seat dinner, Jorgensen said.

“Others were coming in during the day,” she said. “I’d estimate there were around 500 people who came through the building all together.”

Among major contributors were local Oleksandra Makogonska, co-owner of Moby Dick Restaurant, who with Baker, co-ordinated a team of cooks who prepared traditional kovbasa (sausage), varuyky (perogies), borscht and holubtsi cabbage rolls – which could also be purchased frozen and taken home.

Dale Harding, of Pizzazz International, organized and co-ordinated models for a fashion show of traditional Ukrainian clothing, Mayor Darryl Walker helped gather auction items and also helped in the kitchen during the pancake breakfast, and White Rock Youth Ambassadors served as greeters.

“The Elks would like to express a big thank you to the community for generous support in this fund-raising event,” Jorgensen said.

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Elks entertainment coordinator Jaki Gray and Support Ukraine committee chair Don Alton wore Ukrainian colours for the event.