Malanka, widely-known as Ukrainian New Year, returned to Vernon to support of a local non-profit in mid-January.
For the second year, the event was organized as a fundraiser for the John Rudy Health Resource Centre, a Vernon non-profit that provides free services for those in need of health services, support or information.
“All of our services are free so we really rely on fundraising,” said Chantelle Fairbrother, executive director for the John Rudy Health Resource Centre. “This was only the second Malanka fundraiser and it was a success.”
She said that the association is named after a John Rudy Lozinski, a Ukrainian who, with a very limited support system, had struggled with understanding what medical professionals were explaining to him. He eventually died of stomach cancer but was under the impression that he had ulcers in his stomach.
“So he wasn’t even fully aware of what his diagnosis was,” Fairbrother said. “We just want to be there for anyone who is at that level where they need some support because they don’t even know what’s happening medically or help someone looking for a contact in town for some health situation.”
Fairbrother said over 100 people attended the celebration, which took place Jan. 12 from 5-8:30 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Hall. It featured live Ukrainian music, dinner, a performance by the Zirka Ukrainian Dancers of the Okanagan as well as door prizes and a raffle, all of which helped raise some funds for the organization.
This year, the event raised about $1,500. Fairbrother said that, because it was such a success for the past two years, people can expect to see it again next year.
“We’re a really small organization so I know some bigger organizations can really easily raise $15,000, but for us $1,500 goes a long way.”
The John Rudy Health Resource Centre is located at 2800 30th Avenue in Vernon.
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