The CYM branches in Oshawa and St. Catharines, Ontario, have a lot in common. Both branches have a long and impressive history. The CYM Oshawa Branch was founded in 1948 and the St. Catharines Branch a year later in 1949. Both Branches for over half a century were actively engaged in cultural, educational and political activities, events and projects in their respective cultural centres, that is the Dnipro Hall in Oshawa and the Black Sea Hall in St. Catharines.
Both Branches were also among the first to be actively engaged in the development of camp Veselka in the fifties. In early years their contribution was primarily in the form of active labour and human resources, but over the years developed more into moral and above all financial support for the modernization of the camp for future generations. The following examples demonstrate their support of Veselka’s Investing for the Future campaign aimed at revitalizing the camp.
Despite the trying times and current world wide Covid-19 pandemic, the Steve & Mary Gaida Ohar Foundation made a very generous $60,000 donation to the Veselka Investing for the Future campaign. This donation will enable us to get one step closer in finalizing the pool refurbishment and putting a new cedar roof on our chapel for future generations to enjoy. Steve and Mary (Ohar) Gaida are former members of the St. Catharines and Kitchener branches who themselves, when they were children, attended camps at Veselka for many years. Steve was the successful owner of “Aristocrat Tile” and both were active members in the St. Catharines Ukrainian community, particularly Sts. Cyril & Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church. Mary made this extraordinary donation in memory of her husband Steve, who sadly passed away in 2017. She hopes that future generations of Ukrainian youth will enjoy the same opportunity to learn about their heritage and culture, make friends and lifelong memories as did she and her husband. The donation was also made in honour of her parents Wolodymyr and Stella Ohar from Kitchener, who were frequent visitors to camp Veselka over many years even after she and Steve had grown up.
In light of this “knyazhyy” gift, the CYM St. Catharines Branch had another surprise in hand. The Branch announced that it would match any donation made to the Veselka Investing for the Future campaign up to a maximum of $50,000. It goes without saying that this announcement had a tremendous impact on the fundraising campaign in these times of uncertainty.
The CYM Oshawa Branch, on the other hand, understanding the tremendous need for operational funds in these times of need made a $50,000 donation for operational expenditures. In addition, CYM Oshawa donated an additional $20,000 to the Veselka Investing for the Future campaign. As if this was not enough, the CYM Oshawa Branch is considering further significant donations that would allow for the realization of additional capital projects at Veselka.
The Veselka Fundraising Committee is calling on those who have not yet contributed to join the campaign by making a donation. Please click on the button to make your donation.
І тому комітет збирання фондів оселі СУМ «Веселка» знову ласкаво звертається до тих, котрі ще не пожертвували, допомогти фінансово. Щоби скласти дотацію натисніть на кнопку:
Irene Shust-Dankowycz, Member of Veselka Fundraising Committee