The community responds: ‘We care’


By Alice Craig - For the Record-Herald



Two Ukrainians spoke on cultural information during the First Presbyterian Church fundraiser. Nina Karnaukh talked primarily about how current events are affecting her family and friends in Kiev; and Marta Mudri demonstrated the unusual decorating method of Ukrainian Easter eggs.

Two Ukrainians spoke on cultural information during the First Presbyterian Church fundraiser. Nina Karnaukh talked primarily about how current events are affecting her family and friends in Kiev; and Marta Mudri demonstrated the unusual decorating method of Ukrainian Easter eggs.


Photos courtesy of Alice Craig

Fayette County Commissioner Jim Garland and wife Melissa admire the egg-decorating demonstration of “pysanka” artist Marta Mudri, representing the Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio.


Photos courtesy of Alice Craig

Melody Farmer and husband Rob crafted this eye-catching “donation bank” into which church members and luncheon attendees dropped their contributions to Ukrainian relief.


Photos courtesy of Alice Craig

Young and old church members volunteered their help during the four work days leading up to the Ukrainian benefit luncheon. Here, Hannah Preston, 9, prepares to hand a dessert crepe to her older sister Molly, 14, for filling and topping with strawberries.


Photos courtesy of Alice Craig

The global COVID-19 pandemic surging yet again…climate change causing ever more frequent and disastrous weather events…and then on Feb. 24, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin declares his vicious war on his fellow Eastern Slavs in Ukraine, a fertile country that formerly was world famous for its rich black soil.

Can anyone do anything against these blows? Or are we by now beyond caring?

During its meeting on March 10, the Mission Council of First Presbyterian Church of Washington Court House heard an inspired idea from member Jennifer Pieratt: Provide a no-charge Ukrainian meal to the community and encourage generous donations to benefit Ukrainian refugees, which by now—three weeks after that meeting—number around 3.8 million. Those are the refugees who fled their country; millions more are displaced within Ukraine itself.

All of the funds raised (well over $3,000 as of this writing) will be sent to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, which will then work with their established partners in Eastern Europe and Ukraine to help provide much needed immediate and long-term relief.

And the church and community responded, “We care!” On the Sunday afternoon of March 27, around 130 people enjoyed the authentic five-item menu that Pieratt had researched, practiced preparing, and taste-tested. The half-dozen native Ukrainians who had driven down from Columbus were impressed, making statements such as “The food tasted just like at home.”

Attendees also dropped far more cash and checks than anticipated into a clever wooden donation bank created by two church members especially for the occasion.

First Presbyterian is eternally grateful to the generous diners, to the two Ukrainian guest speakers—provided by the Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio and The Ohio State University’s Center for Slavic & East European Languages—but most of all to the scores of extraordinary church members who volunteered countless hours in a short time to pull together this project.

The Washington C.H. community truly proved that it cares for more than just the people within its boundaries. Fayette County passed this moral test with flying colors—blue and yellow, of course!

Two Ukrainians spoke on cultural information during the First Presbyterian Church fundraiser. Nina Karnaukh talked primarily about how current events are affecting her family and friends in Kiev; and Marta Mudri demonstrated the unusual decorating method of Ukrainian Easter eggs.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/03/web1_IMG_3129-2022-03-27-Two-Ukr.-presenters-in-front-of-shawl-draped-grand-piano.jpgTwo Ukrainians spoke on cultural information during the First Presbyterian Church fundraiser. Nina Karnaukh talked primarily about how current events are affecting her family and friends in Kiev; and Marta Mudri demonstrated the unusual decorating method of Ukrainian Easter eggs. Photos courtesy of Alice Craig

Fayette County Commissioner Jim Garland and wife Melissa admire the egg-decorating demonstration of “pysanka” artist Marta Mudri, representing the Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/03/web1_IMG_3190-2022-03-27-FayCo-Commissioner-Jim-Garland-w-wife-admire-Marta-Mudri-s-pysanka-display.jpgFayette County Commissioner Jim Garland and wife Melissa admire the egg-decorating demonstration of “pysanka” artist Marta Mudri, representing the Ukrainian Cultural Association of Ohio. Photos courtesy of Alice Craig

Melody Farmer and husband Rob crafted this eye-catching “donation bank” into which church members and luncheon attendees dropped their contributions to Ukrainian relief.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/03/web1_IMG_3123-2022-03-27-Donation-bank-created-by-Melody-n-Rod-F..jpgMelody Farmer and husband Rob crafted this eye-catching “donation bank” into which church members and luncheon attendees dropped their contributions to Ukrainian relief. Photos courtesy of Alice Craig

Young and old church members volunteered their help during the four work days leading up to the Ukrainian benefit luncheon. Here, Hannah Preston, 9, prepares to hand a dessert crepe to her older sister Molly, 14, for filling and topping with strawberries.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2022/03/web1_IMG_3093-0-2022-03-26-4th-day-of-Ukr.-food-prep-Hannah-n-Molly-P.-work-w-dessert-crepes.jpgYoung and old church members volunteered their help during the four work days leading up to the Ukrainian benefit luncheon. Here, Hannah Preston, 9, prepares to hand a dessert crepe to her older sister Molly, 14, for filling and topping with strawberries. Photos courtesy of Alice Craig

By Alice Craig

For the Record-Herald