Latanyshyn family torn apart during WWII comes together to help cousins in Ukraine.
On Sunday afternoon, May 15 from noon to 8 p.m., downtown Auburn, will host “Raise a Pint for Ukraine,” a fundraiser to benefit emergency humanitarian relief for Russian-occupied territories in Ukraine facing increasingly dire circumstances.
Soon after the war started in February 2022, Sarah and Anna Latanyshyn were contacted by a cousin on Facebook that neither had met before in person. Anna Rempel, an attorney in Hamburg, Germany, and the President of Feine Ukraine, a relief organization currently providing humanitarian aid to war torn Ukraine, made an urgent appeal on behalf of her organization. “Although we knew of each other and had made contact through social media previously, the sad reality is that we’ve never met most of our family living in Eastern Europe. Obviously, none of that matters when your family is in crisis,” the sisters stated.
While living on their ancestral lands in an ethnically Ukrainian part of Poland, the oldest two sons of the large Latanyshyn clan—and the grandfathers of the cousins— were forcibly removed respectively to labor camps in Germany, and what was then Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, after Poland was invaded in 1939. The two brothers would never see each other again; Nikolai Latanyshyn was killed tragically as a young father while working on a collective farm in Ukrainian SSR, while Michael Latanyshyn and his young family were liberated from a labor camp in Munich, and settled as refugees, here in Auburn, in 1951. The families were now scattered across the world.
This tragedy has brought the family together once again. Another cousin, Maryanne Latanyshyn, joined the effort, and the four started brainstorming on how to help. “We were overwhelmed, and while working on obtaining funding for Feine Ukraine over a beer at Shepherds Brewing Company, Garrett Shepherd offered to do a fundraiser for us. We are so grateful that those outside the immediate Ukrainian community are willing to help,” said Latanyshyn. Donations have been pouring into a lot of aid organizations, but there’s something tangible about having a personal connection and knowing that help is going where it’s directly needed. After speaking to Ms. Rempel last week, it was learned there was an urgent need for emergency food and medicine at this time, as it’s becoming scarce in certain areas.
The Auburn community is known for coming together when there’s work to do, and Lynn Varley of Moondog’s Lounge, was busy planning “Shining the Moon on Ukraine,” benefit for relief. “When we learned about each other’s events, we thought why not make it bigger, and open it up for others in downtown Auburn to also do something to help.” Varley said. And that’s how “Raise a Pint for Ukraine” was conceived.
Many thanks to those businesses participating in the cause, including: Moondog’s Lounge, Shepherds Brewing Company, Thirsty Pug Craft Beer, Prison City Pub and Brewing North, Parker’s Grille, Octane Social House, Swaby’s Tavern, Osteria Salina & Harley’s Pub.
The event takes place during each establishment’s business hours. Some will be open especially for this event. Check the website raiseapintforukraine.com for the latest details.
We also thank the musicians and businesses contributing to the cause, including Irv Lyons Jr., and The Light, Moe Bauso, Jimmy “B” Trio, The Lunch Ladies, JD and Sam, Savannah Bank, The Printery, Bianchi’s Auto Body, Aversa Insurance, Angelo’s Pizza, Speno’s Music, Putney’s Pierogi’s, Mike Tarby, and 3 Leaf Tea.
A special thanks to Jesse Kline from the Downtown Auburn BID, Garrett Shepherd from Shepherds Brewing Company, and Lynn Varley of Moondog’s Lounge. We also thank the Latanyshyn family, Jean Zimmer, Kelly Buck, David Clarke, Amanda Casselman, and others who have helped us put this event together so quickly.
Proceeds from the event will go to: Feine Ukraine – Association of German-Ukrainian Cooperation (Germany)
https://feineukraine.de (Open in Chrome browser and select English in the navigation bar)
Contact: Anna Rempel – email@example.com
A portion of funds raised did benefit SS Peter & Paul, and their continuing Ukraine Relief drive. Contact: Fr. Vasile Colopelnic – (315) 252-5573
Raise A Pint for Ukraine Contacts:
Maryanne Latanyshyn (firstname.lastname@example.org) (917) 573-0045
Sarah Latanyshyn (email@example.com) (315) 283-3713
Anna Latanyshyn (firstname.lastname@example.org) (828) 429-8771
Event website: https://raiseapintforukraine.com