Victims of warn-torn Ukraine will benefit from donations raised at a pancake breakfast to be held in Whalley on Sunday, March 20 at Camellia Residences, a retirement community at 10928 132 St. near the Ukranian Orthodox Church of St. Mary.
Camellia Residences offers independent-living and assisted-living for seniors. Opened in September 2021, it is almost full with 116 suites, ”with a tonne of amenities and commercial space,” says Justin Penney, regional director for leasing and marketing. The pancake breakfast will start at 11:30 a.m. and will run ”definitely for a few hours at the very least.”
A $10 donation is suggested, with all proceeds to the Canadian Red Cross’s efforts to help the people of Ukraine, as Russia wages war on them.
“But obviously if somebody cannot afford $10 we totally understand that as well,” Penny says.
“It’s a great initiative,” he said of the pancake breakfast. “We are in quite close proximity to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, not too far away from us, so we consider them in our community and we always want to not just be a part of the community but support the community that’s been supportive of us over the last few years.
“We do have actually a resident that goes to that church, and she’s Ukrainian. She’s been very supportive of us right from the get-go, she was one of our first residents to move in, and so it kind-of inspired one of our concierge team members to come up with this idea and for us it’s a no-brainer, it’s something that we can do,” Penney said. “We have the team members, we have the kitchen, we have the willingness and want to do it, and the space so it’s of course just something that we want to do and at the very least that we can do. We wish we could do more.”
Gjoa Andrichuk, a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Mary, said roughly 200 candles were sold for a $5 donation apiece during a candlelight vigil at the church, at 10765-135A St., on March 5. Andrichuk said one woman also donated $2,000.
“We’re getting a lot of people emailing, how can we help? How can we help?”
She said church members and donors are supporting the Ukrainian Canadian Foundation/Ukrainian Canadian Congress’s humanitarian appeal fund, the Maple Hope Foundation, and the Red Cross, to help the Ukrainian people.
“We’re inviting all families to support families in Ukraine, to come to this,” Andrichuk said of the March 20 pancake breakfast. “It’s such an honour to work with them.”
Church member Yuliya Shokalyuk says the Maple Hope Foundation is focusing on non-lethal military aid like body armor, turnstiles, helmets, binoculars, drones, thermal imagers, walkie-talkies, special headphones, thermal wear, socks, sleeping bags and also medical aid such as first aid kits, pain killers – “anything that helps to stop bleeding” – IV drips, syringes, “basically anything and everything.”
Meantime, the monthly “Ukrainian Soul Food” dinners held at Whalley’s Ukrainian Cultural Centre are on hold until further notice.
“Unfortunately, we will not be holding any further suppers at this time,” said event organizer Lilia Johnson. “Basically it’s staffing issues,” she added, “and everyone’s attention is turning to other projects to help support and raise funds for other organizations providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.”
Elsewhere, the Surrey Board of Trade says it is committed to supporting efforts by the Canadian government and allies “to take strong measures” to end the conflict and help the Ukrainian people.
“We express our solidarity with the Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian business community during these tragic times for their country,” SBoT stated in a press release that highlights resources where people can help, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s ‘How businesses and Canadians can help Ukraine’ website, which includes links to the specific areas of greatest need that outline meaningful ways to assist and make donations.
with file from Tom Zillich