Tag Archives: Ukrainian American Club

Sister City Connection Continues: Huge “Thank You” Event Set For July 9

A recent visit to Lyman, Ukraine gave Westport officials an up-close-and-personal look at the impact our town has made on our sister city.

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Police Chief Foti Koskinas saw how Westporters’ contributions of $252,000 helped rebuild apartments, kept police operations functioning, enabled electricity restoration, and assisted with garden planting.

They understood too the depth of gratitude in Lyman for strangers, who have now become friends.

Earlier this week, Westport 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Lyman Mayor Alexander Zhuravlov formalized our sister city partnership.

Now, the next phase in the Westport/Lyman sister city relationship begins.

Organizers of last winter’s fundraising have planned a special day of gratitude and celebration for Westport’s support and generosity.

Everyone in town: Mark your calendars for Sunday, July 9 (1 p.m. to dusk).

Ukraine Aid International hosts a unique (and free!) event. LymanAID (pronounced LEE-mon-aid, almost like the drink) is a day for food, fun and music; for showcasing the impact Westport has made — and to raise funds for more help.

Everyone is invited. It’s at the Ukrainian American Club, on the Post Road in Southport at the I-95 Exit 19 on-ramp.

Admission is free. But there will be plenty of opportunities to give, from VIP admission to a treasure sale, raffle, Yankee auction, coffee table book pull, plant sale, “LymanADE” stand and more. Lyman Mayor Alexander Zhuravlov will speak on a big screen.

Free admission includes light snacks, drinks and entertainment.

VIP tickets ($350) include reserved seating, a commemorative gift, open bar, homemade Ukrainian-inspired meal and more.

VIP Plus tickets ($1,000) receive all benefits above, plus signage with your family name or company logo, a message for the Ukrainian people, and a Ukraine flag signed by Mayor Zhuravlov.

Sponsorship opportunities are available too. For information, email  connievonzwehl@gmail.com.

To RSVP, purchase VIP tickets and for more information, click here. To make a direction directly now, click here; under “”Designation,” click on “Westport-Lyman Sister City” in the dropdown menu.

NOTE: The entire event has been privately underwritten. No Ukrainian Aid International funds will be used. All money raised will go directly to Westport’s sister city. 

A much-needed trash truck sports the Westport flag.

Ukrainian officials hold the Westport flag; Ukraine Aid International’s Marshall and Brian Mayer, and Liz Olegov, hoist the Lyman banner.

PS: Want an idea of how to help?

Seed packs ($140): Enable 10 families to replant their crops or gardens.

Electric generator ($450): Sponsor a 2.8kw electric generator to power a house or small business in Lyman.

Hydraulic jack ($1,900): Help construction crews by donating a hydraulic jack.

Radio units ($6,000): Supply 20 radio units for police and first responders.

Water filtration system ($15,000): Provide clean drinking water with a water filtration system for contaminated water sources.

Mobile children’s hospital ($22,000): Fund a mobile children’s hospital/medical truck to bring vital healthcare to Lyman’s youngest residents.

Bedford Middle School students sent 200 cards, letters and drawings to their Lyman counterparts.

Roundup: Lynsey Addario & Katie Couric, Ukraine, Wegmans …


Every day brings new, grim news from Ukraine. The New York Times photos of Staples High School graduates Lynsey Addario (1991) and Tyler Hicks (1988) are crucial for bringing the horrors of the Russian invasion to the rest of the world.

We all know on some level how dangerous it is for those two, and so many others. But now Katie Couric brings the reality of their situation into our own, comfortable lives.

She conducts an astonishing interview with Lynsey — who, in the opening moments from Kyiv, moves into the bathroom, and dons a flak jacket and helmet, as sirens go off.

Couric’s questions are probing. Lynsey’s answers are insightful. This is must-see journalism, from two pros. (Hat tip: Susan Woog Wagner)


Speaking of Ukraine: Westport’s rally in support of that invaded nation is set for this Saturday (11 a.m., Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Post Road bridge). It’s scheduled to run until 12:30 p.m.

Anyone wishing to continue their support can head a couple of miles east, to Southport.

The Ukrainian American Club (279 King’s Drive, near I-95 and the Metro-North station) is sponsoring its own Saturday rally. It starts at 1 p.m.

Attendees are asked to bring signs, musical instruments, balloons, flowers, and anything else that will help spread the message of freedom, unity and democracy. For further information, speaker, or donation inquiries, call 203-259-2913.


Speaking of Saturday’s Westport rally: one of the organizers, Stephan Taranko, donated 3 exquisite Ukrainian hand-embroidered shirts, similar to the ones worn by the Dumka Choir when they performed last week on “Saturday Night Live.”

They’ll be part of a silent auction at the Westport event. A QR code will be available to help with the bidding.

One of the 3 Ukrainian shirts.


And more on Ukraine: Dori Bomback and Teri Jaffe’s ThingsILove203 — which curates, then sells (duh) things they love — is holding a pop-up sale at MoCA Westport his Sunday (March 6, noon to 4 p.m.).

They carry several Ukrainian lines. A percentage of proceeds will be donated to the Ukrainian Crisis Relief Fund.


“06880” does not cover a lot of Norwalk news. But we do mention Stew Leonard’s from time to time, because, well, Stew’s.

Looks like the Westport-born food store will have some competition

Wegmans is opening its first Connecticut location — municipal approval, and construction, pending.

The site is nearly 11 acres of land off Connecticut Avenue, near I-95. The property is occupied now by MBI, which would move to new office space.

Wegmans is a 105-year-old, 106-store supermarket chain in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts and North Carolina that draws raves from customers.

But will they have Santa, a menorah, and Christmas trees?


Wakeman Town Farm is having kids!

Thelma and Marge — Nigerian dwarf goats — are having babies, at the Cross Highway sustainability center.

They’re due in a month. Laura Miller, of InDorasKitchen.com, has shared them with WTF. She’ll also offer classes in goat dairy, milking and cheese making, soap making, goat anatomy and husbandry, blacksmithing, cheese and balsamic Pairings, and more..

With the babies’ arrival, Westporters can learn about goat anatomy, reproduction, animal husbandry, milking, and caring for kids (the goat kind). WTF will also offer opportunities to learn how to make goat soap and cheese.

Class offerings for adults and (human) kids will be posted online.

Thelma and Marge (or perhaps Marge and Thelma) at WTF. (Photo/Anne Burmeister)


Divorce is stressful. But in addition to lawyers, women going through the process can also support each other.

Next Wednesday (March 9, 7 p.m. Hayvn co-working space, 320 Boston Post Road, Darien), they’ll get together at an an event called “Insider Tips from Divorce Attorneys.” It’s sponsored by the law firm Ferry & Battey, and one of the panelists is Janet Battey of Westport. Click here for tickets and more information.


Westport-based Connectalent co-founders Runa Knapp and Jasmine Silver discuss the future of work, workplace re-entry, job skills needed tomorrow and more. The March 15 event (7:30 p.m., Weston Field Club),  is sponsored by the Weston Women’s League.

An added attraction: photographer Whitnee Schulman will offer headshots for attendees.

For details and registration, click here.


At Christmas time, there are 7 swans a-swimming. Earlier this winter, Peter Swift saw just 4 off Burying Hill Beach.

When we find the other 3, this will be a complete “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Peter Swift)


And finally … on this date in 1849, the territory of Minnesota was created.

I’m not sure why the (Westport-based) Wiggins Sisters never made it nationally. They are one of my favorite duos of all time. Their harmonies are beautiful; their lyrics are insightful — and they are wonderful, genuine women.

If you’ve never heard them (and also, if you have), enjoy “Minnesota.”