City of Chernivtsi now caring for 150,000+ displaced people
SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN – April 14, 2022 – Community and business leaders are uniting behind a fundraising effort to purchase and transport vital equipment and supplies to Saskatoon’s sister city in Ukraine following an urgent request for help sent to Mayor Charlie Clark from Chernivtsi Mayor Roman Klichuk.
First responders in Chernivtsi have also requested assistance from Saskatoon’s Firefighters (IAFF Local 80) who are currently gathering emergency and medical supplies, including diesel generators, firefighting gear, radios, large capacity tents, sleeping bags and lifesaving equipment.
At the centrepiece of the effort – called “Unite for Ukraine” – is a luncheon on May 4, 2022, to raise urgently needed funds to purchase, donate and ship what Chernivtsi needs to help displaced seniors, families and children. All proceeds will flow to those caring for the hungry and homeless on the front lines. The list of partnering organizations is growing by the day.
To learn more and purchase tickets, visit UniteforUkraine.ca.
The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine has touched hearts around the world and the people of Saskatoon have a unique connection. In 1991, Saskatoon and the City of Chernivtsi became “sister cities” because our two communities share much in common, including cultural ties. The two cities are about the same population size. They are both bustling hubs for education, arts, culture and commerce.
A month ago, Chernivtsi had a population of 260,000. Since then, the city has swelled by an estimated 150,000 people in urgent need of food, shelter and medical care. Tragically, the number of displaced individuals coming to Chernivtsi continues to climb as residents and volunteers work 24/7 to provide respite and relief.
The “Unite for Ukraine” luncheon will be held on May 4, 2022, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at TCU Place in Saskatoon. The event will feature a delicious Ukrainian meal, entertainment, and messages of support from Saskatoon and Chernivtsi community leaders. Tickets are $150 and available for purchase at UniteforUkraine.ca.
His Worship, Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark
“I am so grateful for how Saskatoon is rallying to help our sister city Chernivtsi, as they face this unimaginable horror. When Mayor Klichuk sent his first letter, I was concerned that it would be very difficult to provide a meaningful response to his urgent request for help. Thanks to so many people stepping up and working together, we can get these badly needed supplies to Chernivtsi and be there for them in this time of greatest need.”
Jay Protz, Saskatoon Firefighters (IAFF Local 80)
“As Saskatoon firefighters, we strive to help our community in any way possible. Being our sister city, Chernivtsi, is an extension of Saskatoon and we feel like we want to do all we can to help our fellow citizens.”
Christina Rybalka, President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress-Saskatoon Branch
“I’m proud to be a part of such a great community here in Saskatoon, working together to help Ukrainians! It’s especially nice to be able to make a direct connection with our sister city, Chernivtsi. On behalf of the Ukrainian community in Saskatoon, thank you to everyone who has been able to make this happen!”
Jason Aebig, CEO, Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce
“Our business community has strong ties across Saskatchewan and Canada, and the Chamber network stretches around the world. We’re proud to supportthis effort to help Saskatoon’s sister city in Ukraine, and stand with our sister chamber in Chernivsti, to care for those fleeing from their once-thriving communities. United, together on May 4, we can make a difference.”
Tammy Sweeney, CEO, TCU Place
“The tragedy in Ukraine has touched us all and the May 4 event will be an opportunity to unite behind an effort to help. TCU Place is pleased to provide complimentary room rental, audio visual equipment, as well as reduced labour and menu costs. We are very grateful to be a partner in such an important cause.”
Stephanie Clovechok, CEO, Tourism Saskatoon
“As a hospitality sector, it’s our role to help bring the best of Saskatoon to the world and bring our community together. Tourism Saskatoon and its partners are pulling together an incredible offering that will support the event’s silent auction, with proceeds going to send help and hope to our sister city, Chernivsti.”
David Lalach, President, Ukrainian Canadian Professional & Business Association of Saskatoon
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the lives of 44 million Ukrainians. The relevance of Ukraine extends far beyond its borders. Ukraine’s fate has huge implications for all the world. Ukraine needs help from all of us. On behalf of the Ukrainian Canadian Professional & Business Association of Saskatoon, I am calling on everyone to participate — companies, organizations, individuals – to support the Unite for Ukraine event on May 4.”
Adam Hnatyshyn, Business Leader, Hnatyshyn Gough
“Many families in Saskatchewan have roots in Eastern Europe and while we cannot be on the ground to fight alongside the people of Ukraine, we can stand beside the residents of our sister city. Unite for Ukraine is a way to directly support people in Chernivsti and to improve the lives of families who, in other circumstances, may have been our friends, neighbours and co-workers. It’s an honour to be involved with this fundraising event and to see our community mobilize to help our sister city in their time of need. Slava Ukraini!”
Diane Boyko, Chair, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools
“The Unite for Ukraine event will continue to show our sister city of Chernivtsi the caring and kindness, generosity and love of the people of Saskatoon.Our schools at GSCS and the Bishop Filevich Ukrainian Bilingual School are raising awareness, raising funds and welcoming Ukrainian students with open arms. Slava Ukraini! Glory to Ukraine! Heroium Slava! Glory to the Heros!”
Randy Pshebylo, Business Leader, Riversdale BID
“With the war on Ukraine bringing the unfathomable loss of life and destruction of buildings and infrastructure affecting millions of displaced Ukrainians, many of us asked “how can we help them?” One way is to answer the direct call for help from the Mayor of Chernivtsi, Saskatoon’s sister-city in Ukraine. The pride we have as Ukrainian-Canadians and business leaders, is to say we are so proud to be from Saskatoon where our community has rapidly assembled supplies and resources by people from all walks of life. The bond between our two cities will see the people of Saskatoon rise up and support this unprecedented request for help from Chernivtsi in its greatest hour of need. Slava Ukraini!”
Dave Dutchak, Business Leader, Past President Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce
On behalf of the Dutchak Family, and someone who has worked in the health sector all of my life, I ask all of my fellow business leaders to support the“Unite for Ukraine” event on May 4. As we raise funds to send trauma kits to Ukraine, the May 4 luncheon is so important to be part of. Please make every effort to support this great event!”
Shauna (Komarnicki) Nelson, Business Leader, Sheraton Cavelier Saskatoon
“I have never been more proud to be Ukrainian! By supporting this luncheon event, and uniting as a community, our impact will be felt from afar. More than just our thoughts and prayers, we can take action and send much needed financial support and humanitarian assistance.”
David Kirton, Councillor
Saskatoon City Council
Stream of Hopes
Firefighters IAAF Local 80
Jason Aebig, CEO