Protez Foundation Winter Gala

The year 2023 began with an elegant event in support of Ukraine, as the Protez Foundation held its first ever Winter Gala at the exquisite Lumber Exchange building in downtown Minneapolis. The formal gathering, held to raise money and awareness for the Ukrainian heroes receiving prosthetic care, was packed with special guest appearances and performances. The evening began with an inspirational year-in-review video highlighting the brave Ukrainian soldiers who had travelled to Minnesota for care, and the incredible work of Yura Aroshidze, Dr. Yakov Gradinar, and their team to give these heroes renewed mobility and spirits.

After an extended round of applause for the Protez Foundation, the evening continued with a live video address from the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, Oksana Markarova, from her residence in Washington D.C. Ms. Markarova expressed gratitude and for the soldiers and praised the efforts of the Protez Foundation. Following the live video address, another notable speaker took the stage to offer support for Ukraine. Minnesota Senator, Amy Klobuchar delivered a heartfelt speech that included references to her own travels to Ukraine dating back to 2014. She thanked the Ukrainian soldiers in attendance for their bravery, who in turn presented her with an autographed Ukrainian flag as a token of appreciation for her support.

The evening continued with a wonderful meal and social period, before a live auction was held on stage. Some of the items up for bidding included a framed copy of TIME magazine featuring Ukrainian General Zaluzhny’s photo and signature, and a spoon that saved the life of a Ukrainian soldier on the battlefield. To cap off the night, legendary Ukrainian pop singer, Tina Karol took the stage for a live medley of her greatest hits! It was a special evening for all who were there, and as we look forward to Ukraine’s victory in 2023, please consider donating to help the soldiers who have sacrificed so much of themselves for the freedom and safety of Ukraine. You can find a donation link for the Protez Foundation below:

By: Drew Seibert and Daria Herasymova