Twenty-five years ago, a group of Ukrainian American women in North Port and vicinity decided to organize a branch of the widely known and highly respected national organization, Ukrainian National Women’s League of America,” commonly referred to as “Soyuz Ukrayinok” (union of Ukrainian Ladies).
The first meeting of the group took place Feb. 25, 1991, with 15 interested women in attendance. Maria Nawarynsky of North Port was elected president, and Nadia Iwanczuk of Warm Mineral Springs vice president. The new branch was given number 56.
This branch, with 98 active members, now headed by Ann-Marie Susla of Englewood, after raising and donating over $170,000 to various educational, humanitarian and charitable causes, will celebrate its 25th anniversary at 5 p.m. Saturday at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Parish Center, 1078 N. Biscayne Drive, North Port. The celebration will consist of a dinner prepared and served by “Nasha Kukhnya” (our kitchen), entertainment, dancing to tunes popular in the Ukrainian American communities here and in northern states as performed by the Syzonenko Brothers orchestra, and other surprises.
Two longtime and very active members, including membership in the “Uprava” (executive) of the branch, Neonilia “Nela” M. Lechman of Venice and Roxolana “Lana” Yarymovych of Osprey, will be honored with the Honorary Membership Award.
Tickets, at $40 per person, must be ordered in advance from Nela Lechman at 941-496-8593 or Tanya Silecky at 941-302-6054. Tickets will not be available at the door.
The first 2016 monthly membership meeting of Cpl. Roman G. Lazor Post 40 of the Ukrainian American Veterans, held last Friday at St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Religious and Cultural Center, (known as the “Oseredok”), was chaired by UAV National Commander and past post commander Ihor W. Hron of Osprey. After the traditional opening ceremonies (salute and Pledge of Allegiance, opening prayer by post Chaplain The Rev. Roman Badiak of St. Petersburg, and a moment of silence for departed comrades), NC Hron welcomed guest Vasyl Bystrianyk, visiting New Haven, Conn., UAV Post 33 member, brother-in-law of PPC Jerry Zinycz and my “war buddy” from service in the 525th Military Intelligence Group at Fort Bragg, N.C., during the Korean War.
Following the presentation and approval of reports by Adjutant John Czerkas and Financial Officer Oleh Sawkiw, NC Hron outlined some of the upcoming activities and events for Post 40 and on the national level.
The election of Post 40 officers for the next year will be held at the first meeting in September. The installation will take place at a fundraiser luncheon at noon Nov. 16 at Heron Creek Golf & Country Club in North Port.
The UAV 69th National Convention will take place Oct. 1315, 2016 in Chicago, Ill.
UAV National Adjutant Col. Roman Rondiak will be mailing information and registration forms to all members.
Discussion of various items of interest, including visiting ill members, veterans’ discounts at Home Depot and Lowe’s, etc., took place prior to adjournment of the meeting.
The next membership meeting will be held at 3 p.m. March 4 at the Oseredok.
Our Neighbors — The Ukrainians
by Atanas Kobryn
by Atanas Kobryn