On Sunday night, August the 7th, more than 300 guests filled the ballroom of the Ukrainian American Community Center for a very special reason. A few days prior, a group of five courageous Ukrainian soldiers arrived at MSP airport to a hero’s welcome. These brave men were wounded in combat, losing one or both legs due to their injuries. Thanks to the generosity of a Minneapolis-based and Ukrainian born doctor,Yakov Gradinar, these men were fitted for high quality prosthetic legs, giving them the ability to stand, walk, and even run again. Sunday evening, a grand banquet was held to honor these incredible servicemen, who sacrificed so much of themselves to protect Ukraine, and freedom around the world.
Traditional Ukrainian food was served, including borsch and varenyky. There were performances including an amazing international dance crew, and music from the talented Ukrainian Village Band. After the meal and entertainment, an emotional video was shared, in which one of the heroes told the story of losing his leg on the battlefield. Following the moving story, a live auction was held for a number of unique Ukrainian items, and all proceeds went to the Protez Foundation and their continued efforts to help Ukrainian veterans in need of prosthetic care. The second group of Ukrainian soldiers to receive prosthetic care are expected to arrive in Minneapolis in early September. You can donate directly to the the Protez Foundation at the link found here: http://protezfoundation.com/