Woodside resident plans Ukrainian cultural festival to raise money for humanitarian efforts

by Kristin Geter October 3, 2022

When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Nataliya Panchuk-Voloshina, a Ukrainian resident of Woodside, pleaded with her relatives back in Kyiv to leave immediately and come to the United States. Out of love and devotion to their country, they refused.

So she set to work figuring out what she, a Bay Area person, could do to help her country. A Silicon Valley healthcare and life sciences executive with experience leading teams, she knew that with dogged determination she could fill a need in Ukraine by helping those left behind. in Ukraine.

Hearing news about specialty drug shortages caused by the war, she began cold calling Ukrainian hospitals and oncology centers to discern gaps in the emergency supply chain. She sought out medical professionals and hospital staff through Facebook Messenger to gain their trust and convince them that she could help them. Time and time again, Ukrainian medical professionals and skeptical hospital administrators told her “No more aspirin,” she continued to use Facebook, looking for ways to find people who could explain what they needed.

She quickly realized she could work to secure unexpired cancer drugs and ensure successful delivery directly to hospitals and cancer centers, but needed a reliable and trusted partner. She has partnered with the Daar Charitable Foundation, a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization registered in the United States, with a 20-year history of charitable work in Ukraine and an impeccable reputation. She launched her “Help Ukrainian Hospitals Save Lives” initiative to benefit Daar and procure cancer drugs through Blessings International Medicines for Missions.

Panchuk-Voloshina has already raised $52,000, while Daar doubled down on her efforts when she raised $26,000 through her GoFundMe campaign. In partnership with other organizations and through in-kind donations, it was able to provide over $120,000 worth of medicines and medical supplies to Ukrainian hospitals.

Now she has gone further. She organized a Ukrainian cultural festival to raise funds for her initiative and bring together local Ukrainian and American communities. If you are looking for a way to help Ukraine, come stand up for humanity, hope and the future of Ukraine on Saturday, October 8 from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Woodside Village Hub, 3154 Woodside Road, next to Library Woodside. Admission is free because no one should be turned away from a cultural community building event.

The festival will bring together Ukrainian vendors and is designed to bring people together through the celebration of the arts. All proceeds from the event will go to the “Help Ukrainian Hospitals Save Lives” initiative. Ukrainian dishes, arts and crafts, wines donated by Thomas Fogarty, live music, a raffle where you can bid on Ukrainian paintings, art lessons for your children or yourself, Sharks tickets, a four-hour studio recording session and on horseback will be offered. riding lessons given by other Woodside and Portola Valley residents. Check out Ukrainian doll making and other activities kids will love, like face painting.

A highlight of the festival will be the exhibition/silent auction of 17 original paintings by world-renowned Ukrainian American contemporary artist Pavel Tayber, which were donated by his family for this cause. Born in Kharkiv, the late Pavel Tayber moved to California in 1995 where he created a series of captivating works, varying widely in technique and style. Tayber died in 2017. His works have been exhibited in museums in Kyiv, Kharkiv and in private collections in the United States, Germany, Sweden, Israel, Great Britain and France.

Register for the festival online.

Photo by Robb Most (c) 2022

Darcy J. Skinner