BUTTE - Though Ukraine is on the other side of the globe, people in Butte still connect with this war-torn country and they proved it by attending a recent fundraiser where they gave generously from their hearts and their wallet.
“I’m just so touched at what a community this is and how many people care about this issue, said event organizer Dr. Mimi Bartoletti.
More than 100 people filled the Knights of Columbus Hall to show support to Ukraine by supplying medical supplies and care for refugees. One Butte resident was visiting Ukraine and left just before Russia invaded the country.
“I love Poland and Ukraine I want to support them every step of the way. I’m crying every day when I watch the news,” said Butte resident Emily Papa.
The event raised a total of $27,607 and organizers were grateful for the strong support.
“It’s been absolutely wonderful to have everybody here, I definitely don’t feel hopeless anymore, we’ve got a lot of support, I just want to see the momentum keep going,” said Dr. Bartoletti.
No one was more grateful than Natalya Franchi, who is a Ukrainian citizen now living in Butte. She worries about her mother who still lives in Ukraine but is hopeful about all the support.
“Probably the only good thing that came out of this war to see how the whole world united. It’s crazy how everybody united, I can’t remember any event in recent history that would unite everybody,” and Franchi.
So at this event, they’re serving a traditional Eastern European soup called borsht. It’s got beats and cabbage and other vegetables mixed in it. I’ve never had it, so I’m going to try it to see what it’s like. Oh yeah, I’ve got to say, I’m a big fan of borsht. I wonder how you say ‘this is good’ in Ukraine.
“Tse … smachno. Yeah, so this is tasty, this is delicious,” said Franchi.
Check out this video extra, where Natalya shares her concerns about her mother, who remains in Ukraine at this time: