To start the new 2019–2020 academic and programming season, the Shevchenko Scientific Society in the US held a Donor Appreciation Reception to acknowledge the many individuals and institutions who contributed to the mission of the Society over the past several years. The event was held on September 14, 2019, at the Society’s headquarters at 63 Fourth Avenue, New York, NY.
As over 70 guests entered the second-floor lecture hall, they were greeted with a glass of wine and an opportunity to review an exhibit of the many books the Society had published or subsidized. Among the guests were Mr. Oleksii Holubov, Consul General of Ukraine in NY; The Honorable Yuriy Sergeyev, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine and Permanent Representative to the United Nations (2007–2016); Marianna Zajac, President, Olga Hrycak, Social Welfare Chair, Nadia Nynka, Vice President, and Lydia Slyzh, head of the New York regional council of the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America; Kathy L. Nalywajko, President, Irena M. Holiat, Vice President, Walter G. Hoydysh and Karina Tarnawsky, all of the Ukrainian Institute of America; Maria Shust, Ukrainian Museum Director; and Maria Genkin and Oksana Falenchuk of Razom for Ukraine.
Dr. Halyna Hryn, President, opened the program with warm words of thanks to all donors who financially supported the various programs of the Society over the past several years, but especially to those who supported the Society’s most recent fundraising effort for the Special Student Scholarship. This scholarship program was created to support university students who had lost a family member during the Revolution of Diginity or because of the war in Eastern Ukraine, or who were forced to leave their homes in the occupied territories of Donbas and Crimea. Over $50,000 was contributed to this effort, with the major $20,000 contributor being the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America. $63,000 was awarded to 34 students whose disciplines range from history, literature, and law to computer science, mathematics, and engineering. The audience viewed a video collage of students’ reports on how the scholarship helped them achieve their academic and professional goals. One could not help but feel how difficult life had been for these young people when one hears a student declare that the scholarship simply changed his life because it enabled him to realize that he can pursue his dreams.
UNWLA President Marianna Zajac spoke about the League’s goals of promoting and developing educational and cultural ties and offering humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians worldwide. The UNWLA recognized that the Society’s Special Student Scholarship Program matched their mission and happily partnered with the Society by contributing $20,000 to the effort. Prof. George G. Grabowicz, the Society’s Vice President, presented the Society’s research and publishing accomplishments. Halyna Hryn acknowleged the significant contributions of the Ukrainian Self-Reliance Credit Union of New York and of Dr. Orest Popovych, former president of the Society and editor of the Encyclopedia of the Ukrainian Diaspora, and thanked all who supported the Society’s mission over the years.
The program concluded with a very moving piano performance by Dr. Pavlo Gintov. There were heavy hearts and even a tear shed during his performance of The Rocks of Uch-Kosh from Sketches of Crimea, op. 8 by Serge Bortkiewicz.
Dmytro Martseniuk and his team from Veselka Catering provided the delectable appetizers and desserts accompanied by wine and prosecco that were enjoyed by all.