Benefit raises $18k for Ukraine relief

WAAPA up-and-comers James Pinneri, Zachary Ogden, Benjamin Del Borrello, Scout Simmonds and Sholto Foss.

A UKRANIAN benefit concert in Fremantle has raised more than $18,000 to help find shelter for some of the 7.8 million refugees created by the war.

The Christmas Wish fundraiser, which featured a Perth choir formed by Ukrainian refugees and the Fremantle Chamber Orchestra, has prompted one of the organisers to put together a sequel for the new year.

Diana Teplyj has Ukranian heritage and says while New Year is normally one of the happiest times in the Eastern European country, Russia’s invasion would this year bring only “unimaginable devastation, destruction and grief.

“The already critical situation has now been exacerbated by the onset of a brutal winter and by the ongoing barrage of missile strikes that have plunged many parts of Ukraine into freezing, sub-zero darkness as heat, electricity and water services have been blasted into disrepair,” Ms Teplyj said.

“For many Ukrainians it is now a fight for survival.”

All proceeds go to ukrainecrisisappeal.org, which is working with Caritas Ukraine and Rotary Kyiv to repurpose buildings into emergency accommodation, and provide humanitarian aid, education and trauma care.

The focus of their work is women and children; in April UNICEF estimated that 4.8 million children had been displaced by the war.

As Ms Teplyj points out, many would have had loved ones killed or been forced to leave them behind.

The Echoes of Ukraine singers, recently formed from Ukrainian refugees, will again feature at the New Year’s Wish fundraiser, which is being held at the stunning Romancing the Stone Garden at 3 Lilian Road, Maida Vale on January 13 at 7.30pm.

“I am so grateful to all the outstanding performers who have come together to create a sparkling night of music under the stars,” Ms Teplyj said.

“Brilliant WAAPA graduates and rising stars as well as enthusiastic amateur groups will take you on a scintillating musical journey, meandering with heart and souls through folk tunes, evergreens, musicals and more,” she said.

Also playing are the Ukendoit ukeleles, accordianist Myroslav Gutej, trumpeter Zachary Ogden, the Alpine Bell Trio, poet Liliana Bogoyev and rising singers Benjamin Del Borrello, Claire Lane, James Pinneri, Scout Simmonds and Sholto Foss.

There will also be Ukrainian food and souvenirs on sale.

Tix $35 (includes supper at interval) at http://www.trybooking.com/CERFO or call Tom on 9454 4298.

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