In the first international meeting in Westport Board of Selectwoman history, Jen Tooker affirmed this morning something that residents have known since the holidays: We have a new sister city.
With the mayor of Lyman, Ukraine joining by telephone, Tooker read a proclamation formalizing ties between the two towns.
The language was both official and warm.
Tooker — flanked by Selectwomen Andrea Moore and Candice Savin, Police Chief Foti Koskinas and Fire Chief Michael Kronick — described the links forged through the great work of Westport natives Brian and Marshall Mayer (founders of Ukraine Aid International) and Liz Olegov of the Alex21 group (which delivers goods and materials to war-torn communities). All 3 were on the Zoom call.
Tooker described Westport’s long history of giving back to communities in need, including our other sister city: Marigny, France. They join us in this effort with Lyman.
Tooker noted that with the sister city relationship, residents of Westport and Lyman will learn about each other.
“Through mutual, interwoven bonds, we will foster our ties,” Tooker said. “We are partners in friendship and recovery, now and always.”
Mayor Alexander Victoravich Zuravlov responded, in remarks translated by Olegov.
“We give great thanks to all who are ready to restore Lyman,” he said.
“We no longer feel that we are not alone.”
In the 3 weeks since Westport’s relationship with Lyman was announced, residents and their friends have donated over $252,000.
The Mayers have sourced building materials and vehicles, which are on their way to Lyman. The Westport Fire and Police Departments are also contributing to the effort. (Full details are being withheld, due to security concerns.)
“Brian, Marshall, Liz and their group figure out exactly what is needed, and how to get it there,” Tooker said. “That’s a game changer — and a morale-booster.”
In honoring the citizens of our new sister city, Tooker cited their “courage and bravery. We are proud to support you and your mayor, now and in the future.”
The 1st Selectwoman said that the Westport-Lyman relationship is believed to be the first of its kind for towns in the US and Ukraine.