From Lake Placid to Ukraine

Lake Placid residents, groups continue fundraising efforts to aid Ukraine

LAKE PLACID — As the war in Ukraine rages on, a few locals continue to plan fundraisers to help Ukrainian refugees, soldiers and civilians.

Lake Placid may be more than 4,500 miles from Ukraine, but the war hits close to home for many people living in the village. Residents like USA Luge Marketing Manager Dmitry Feld, a Kyiv, Ukraine native, and Yuliia Tyshevych, an Odesa, Ukraine native and general manager of The Haus, have spearheaded fundraising efforts to send supplies to people in Ukraine. Local groups are also organizing events to raise money for various organizations in Ukraine.

From England to Warsaw

Feld has been working with former Lake Placid resident Viktoria Coubrough, who now lives in the United Kingdom, to send trucks with food and other supplies from the U.K. to Ukraine.

Feld said Coubrough connected with him a few weeks ago to ask if he knew of a shipping company in the U.K. that could move supplies to people in Ukraine. They found a shipping company to move the supplies from the U.K. to Ukraine via Poland, but he said Coubrough was running out of funding for the shipping costs, which is $2,000 for each round-trip run.

Feld told Coubrough he’d raise enough for two truck shipments. He told his friends in Lake Placid, including his friends at USA Luge, and he got an overwhelming response: Lake Placid residents have raised enough money to send at least 10 trucks to Poland and back. He said they’ve already shipped five trucks, and more money is coming in.

Feld said the trucks contain everything from food and medical supplies to baby food, diapers and clothes. People who want to contribute to the trucking project can email Feld at dmitry@usaluge.org.

Dinners for refugees

There are two dinners for Ukrainian refugees scheduled for Thursday, April 7.

St. Agnes School is hosting a dinner for Ukrainian refugees from 5-7 p.m. Thursday. The dinner will be simple, St. Agnes Church Rev. John Yonkovig said, with soup, salad and bread. Purple Sage plans to make a Ukrainian borscht soup. Wyatt’s also plans to bring soup, and Yonkovig said local sourdough will be available. He said the church wants to get “a little flavor” of what it’s like for refugees leaving Ukraine, who likely don’t have access to a full-course meal.

“It’s not going to be a luxurious evening out, so to speak,” Yonkovig said.

Donations aren’t required, but offerings are encouraged. Yonkovig said the donations would directly support an orphanage in Kyiv, which he said feeds around 800 refugees a day and helps refugees reach safety in Poland. One of the church’s parishioners, Anna Hoyt, is currently working with refugees in Poland; her nephew works with the orphanage in Kyiv.

“So often you kind of wonder where donations (go) — how long it takes to get there, how many layers of bureaucracy that it has to go through — but this goes directly to them,” Yonkovig said.

St. Eustace Episcopal Church also plans to host a dinner at 6 p.m. that night to help the International Medical Corps with relief efforts. Seating is limited, and there is a suggested donation of $15. For more information, people can call the church at 518-523-2564.

Florists for Peace

Tyshevych recommended that people consider attending a virtual florist design class series to benefit Ukraine, called Florists for Peace. The event, which runs from April 11-16, is organized by florist Chelsea Fuss to support Sunflowers of Peace, a nonprofit organization that sends medical supplies to people fighting on the ground in Ukraine. There are nine classes priced at $37 each; people can also attend all of the classes for $225. Register at https://www.chelseafuss.com/florists-for-peace.

Creative efforts

Some people in Lake Placid, like Building and Planning Department employee and Saranac Lake resident Britt Waite, are using their artistic skills to raise money for people — and animals — in Ukraine. Waite is making resin keychains to sell in her Etsy shop, and the proceeds go to three animal rescue organizations that are currently working on the ground in Ukraine — War Paws, Network for Animals and International Fund for Animal Welfare. The keychains come in a variety of shapes, and most are blue and yellow to represent the Ukrainian flag. People interested in supporting Waite’s efforts can visit her Etsy shop at www.tinyurl.com/BearsBestWishesUkraine, and select items under the “To Benefit Ukraine” tab.

The Lake Placid Center for the Arts is hosting an online auction of Pysanky Eggs, or Easter eggs that have been painted in traditional Ukrainian style. Local artist Sue Young, in partnership with Cedar Run Bakery, hosted classes where community members decorated the eggs and offered a $50 donation to Ukrainian relief efforts. Those eggs, along with others painted by local artists, are included in the center’s auction. All of the proceeds from the auction will benefit World Central Kitchen, which provides meals to Ukrainian families. People can view the auction catalog at https://tinyurl.com/4n749yt6. The auction closes on April 15.


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