Thanks to your support, our Chicago 20th Annual Banquet was a success! More than 200 guests enjoyed an evening of fascinating conversation, beautiful music, and heartwarming fellowship with friends old and new.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich shared thoughts from his recent summer visit to UCU and recognized wounded Ukrainian veterans who were in attendance before offering the invocation prayer for the evening. Our attendees then attentively listened to a panel moderated by John Hewko, General Secretary and CEO of Rotary International and The Rotary Foundation. The panelists discussed the future of Ukraine and UCU’s role in supporting the rebuilding of post-war society and answered questions from the audience. Kurt Volker, Distinguished Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations from 2017 to 2019 led the discussion regarding the state of continued support of the United States and other of Ukraine’s allies. Sister Donna Markham, O.P., Ph.D., recently retired CEO of Catholic Charities U.S., calling on her visit to Ukraine in early 2023 discussed the societal and psychological impact on all Ukrainians who will count on support of UCU and many other institutions. Ambassador to NATO from 2008-2009. Larisa Galadza, Canada’s recent Ambassador to Ukraine from 2019 to 2023 raised UCU’s role in and the importance of “winning the peace” in Ukraine, bringing the panel discussion to a close amid a round of applause.

We are so grateful to all our attendees, donors, and sponsors for making this event such a success. We raised over $330,000 for UCU with pledges still coming in!

The efforts of the Chicago Friends of UCU committee, chaired by Halyna Holubec, were key to the success of this memorable event, and our Foundation is deeply grateful for their commitment.

We want to extend a special thanks to our patron-level donors: Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church, Oleh John Skubiak, Dr. Jurij and Tanya Kuzycz, Dr. Donna Dobrowolsky, Andriy and Vera Eliashevsky, Hewko Family, Dr. Oksana and Michael Holian, Dr. Alex and Daria Jakubowycz, Dr. Theresa Kuritza, Oksana and Bohdan Kuzyszyn, Dr. Boris and Svitlana Leheta, Ihor and Olena Matwyshyn, Dr. Taras and Christina Masnyk, Olya and Nestor Popowych, Lydia Tkaczuk.

We offer you our sincere thanks and best wishes for a wonderful Christmas season.