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Connecticut residents support Ukraine at West Hartford, New Britain events

Polish-American organizations hosted a charity concert in New Britain to help Ukrainian refugees.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Now 18 days since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, communities in Connecticut continue to come together to show their support for the country by fundraising and gathering supplies.

Polish-American organizations in Connecticut held a charity concert at Trinity on Main in New Britain Sunday afternoon. Organizers said around 400-500 people attended. 

“Being Ukrainian is such a big part of my life," said Melania Korenovsky, who is part of Zolotyj Promin, a Ukrainian dance ensemble based in Hartford that performed at the concert. ”I’m happy that we’re supporting Ukraine. I really appreciate the polish community.”

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“Me and Melania have family up there and it’s really scary at the moment,” said Sofiya Vyshnovsky, who also dances with Zolotyj Promin. “And there’s not a lot we can do, so at least trying to do something we love and supporting our family is really great for us.”

The event featured live performances from musicians, classical singers, and choirs, along with dances from traditional Polish and Ukrainian folk groups.

"Seeing this tragedy and just sitting at home--what can I do as a girl from Fairfield? As a girl from the United States?” said Julia Karwacky, a member of Polanie Folk Dance Ensemble based in Bridgeport. ”Being a part of this and dancing today, it really helps.”

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Organizers said the money raised will help support Ukrainian refugees. Donations will go out to multiple organizations, including Save the Children and a group of priests helping people out of Lviv. 

Also Sunday afternoon, a showing of support for Ukraine at a vigil over in West Hartford. 

“Democracy is at risk,” said Governor Ned Lamont, who spoke at the vigil. “Liberty is not free, and I think you see people who appreciate and are fighting for their liberty like there’s no tomorrow.”

The vigil also marked a reunion for Branford resident Olya Rozvadovska, who got to see her cousin and a couple family members who came to Connecticut Monday after fleeing from Ukraine.

RELATED: Russian airstrike escalates offensive in western Ukraine

“Right now our family is safe, but that’s not true for everybody,” Rozvadovska said.

“We’re hoping that it doesn’t get worse,” her brother, Vladimir Rozvadovskiy, a West Hartford resident, said.

For more information on donating to help Ukraine, visit Better Business Bureau's website, give.org

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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