On Labor Day weekend (September 2-4, 2000), the druzhynyky from the Mykola Pavlushkov Branch in Chicago held a walk-a-thon on their oselya in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The walk-a-thon was held to help raise funds for repairs on the stodola (barn).
S.O.S (Save Our Studola)
In 1963, 140 acres of farmland in rural Baraboo, Wisconsin was purchased with the hopes of turning it into a place where young sumivtsi can gather each summer and go camping. Upon purchasing the property, young and old alike joined together and worked hard to help create what was once an old farm into what is now a wonderful resort.
One of the early projects was to convert the studola (barn) into a recreation area for yunatsvo. A place where they can sing, dance, learn about their organization, and hide from elements on rainy days. Since its original remodeling over 35 years ago, the studola, also refered to by some as "Hotel Marichka", has weathered many storms and cold winters and is now in need of repairs. On Labor Day weekend 2000, the druzhynyky held a walk-a-thon on the oselya to help raise funds for the repairs.
People started arriving on Friday evening, set up their tents and enjoyed the evening with their friends. On Saturday, after enjoying a hearty breakfast, the walkers began registering for the walk. Each handed in their pledge sheets and received a number and a commemorative tshirt to pin it on.
Podruha Chrystya Wereszczak, Holova of the Chicago Brach and Druh Pavlo Levitsky, Referent Druzhynikiv in Chicago spoke briefly during the opening ceremonies. With their words of encouragement, everyone got ready for the walk.
Napryam Pryamo Hodom Roosh!
With nearly perfect weather on hand, over 75 yunaky, yunachky, Druzhynyky and Senyory set out for the 10K walk through the pretty Baraboo countryside. Yuntasvo started out first with Druzhynyky following closely behind. Step by step they all marched toward their goals. One step at a time, one dollar at a time they accomplished their mission. Almost 2 hours later, the last person stepped off Leubke road and back onto Oselya. A little tired from the walk, everyone took a little time off to rest and got ready for the evening's activities. After all, the weekend had just begun!
Following an evening barbeque, everyone went to the tennis courts where an outdoor zabava was held. The theme for the evening was "Luau Night" and the young band "Yavysche", comprised of our own druzhynyky, played to the delight of all. Although the walk-a-thon was held in the afternoon, everyone found enough energy to dance the night away.
The Festivities Continue...
The following day, the festivies continued. In the studola, the druzhynyky set up a satellite dish and a large screen so that everyone can watch the season opener of the Chicago Bears! (American football).
Following the theme of a fundraiser, raffle tickets were sold for various prizes including Chicago Bears game tickets, an autographed Chicago Fire soccer ball, and many other prizes. Once again, fun was had by all!
After a day filled with "Hry I Zabavy", the studola once again hosted a fun activity - movie night! With two showings, the first for yunatsvo, the second for druzhynyky, the feature film for the evening was the 1962 "Ukrainian" classic "Taras Bulba", starring Yul Brynner and Tony Curtis!
It was amazing to hear a roomful of rowdy Ukrainains yell and cheer at the screen every time someone yelled out the phrase "Zaporozhtsi!". What a perfect way to close out the weekend.
All in all, the weekend was very fun and very successful. The druzhynyky did a great job putting this weekend together, helping to raise over $16,000. Many thanks go to the people who have donated their time to organize and work this event and especially to those who sponsored the walkers. May "Hotel Marichka" continue to be a part of our oselya for many years to come.
Take a look at the photos