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"Malanka" and Debutante Ball
January 23, 2010

The American Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM), Mykola Pavlushkov Branch in Chicago hosted its annual New Years Ball, Malanka on January 23, 2010 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile. Guests arrived at 6:00 p.m. for delicious hors doeuvres and cocktails in the foyer of the Grand Ballroom. The atmosphere was joyous and friendly as old and new friends greeted each other throughout the hour. Guests entered the hall and were seated at elegantly set tables. Beautiful commemorative booklets created by Heather Baranivsky and Jaro Chylak, were included in the table settings. The celebration was opened by Irene Czerniuk, Master of Ceremonies, greeting the 400+ guests present.

photo courtesy "Elan photography"

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of thirteen lovely debutantes from both the Chicago and Palatine branches of CYM. The presentation was choreographed and conducted by Adriana Karawan who also serves as co-choreographer for the ISKRA Dance Ensemble of the Dmytro Vitovskyj branch, of which many of the debutantes belong to. Each debutante was introduced, receiving a traditional sash and congratulated by Yarka Abramiuk, President of the Mykola Pavlushkov Branch, as well as by Michael Osyka, Bulavnyj of the Pavlushkov Branch in Chicago and Deanna Fedaj, a counselor in SUM over many years for most of the debutantes of the Dmytro Vitovskyj Branch in Palatine. The debutantes individual presentations ended with each of them greeting the guests with a deep and graceful bow as their parents looked on beaming with pride.

Yarka Abramiuk greeted all of the guests and their families with warmest wishes for the coming New Year. Congratulating the debutantes, she wished them success as they embark on their path into adulthood. She encouraged them to follow CYMs motto for 2010 As long as you live, dream and search. She offered the advice to never forget who they are or where they came from that they are Ukrainian first and always and to be proud of that.

Adriana Karawan continued with the presentation, calling upon the fathers to lead their daughters in a waltz. Throughout the beautifully choreographed dance, one could not help but notice the bond of love between father and daughter, appropriately expressed at the end of the dance with a kiss from the fathers. The mothers were honored next in a touching ceremony. Each of the debutantes was given a long-stemmed rose to present to their mothers. There were many tears of joy visible among the mothers as well as on-looking guests.

The spotlight was then on the debutantes and their escorts. They delighted the guests with another wonderfully choreographed dance, interweaving traditional and Ukrainian flavor. Throughout a spirited series of dips, twirls and bows they covered the entire large dance floor. Their radiance, grace, beauty, elegance and charm were awarded with extended applause from the guests.

Before dinner, guests were led in prayer by Very Reverend Bohdan Nalysnyk of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Chicago. After dinner, guests then enjoyed the rest of the evening, dancing to the sounds of the HRIM band from New York. At the stroke of midnight New Year favors were brought out and friends and acquaintances embraced each other, welcoming the New Year. Reluctantly, guests left, but did so with wonderful memories. Sincerest thanks and recognition are due to all those who helped make this lovely evening possible, particularly the Malanka committee: Chairperson, Kristin Chylak; members Heather Baranivsky, Irene Czerniuk, Nadya Dudycz-DiBartolo, Adriana Karawan, Andrea Mulyk, and Deanna Wruskyj.

The American Ukrainian Youth Association, Mykola Pavlushkov Branch would like to thank its members for their commitment and hard work throughout the year. Thanks go out to parents for their cooperation and for bringing their children to weekly meetings and activities; to its benefactors for their enthusiastic support and belief in the organization; to our spiritual fathers for their continued prayers and guidance. Once again we congratulate our debutantes with heartfelt wishes for a bright and blessed future.

2010 Debutantes (and escorts): Olenka Berezecky (escort Vasyl Ilchyshyn), Tamara Bozio (escort Jarema Pylypczak), Sophia Fedachtchin (escort Alexander Ralko), Roxolana Horajsky (escort Michael Olshansky), Orysia Lawrin (escort Vasyl Dobrianski), Victoria Lewytskyj (escort Oles Wasiunec), Hanna Mendyuk (escort Ivan Horajsky), Danielle Owerko (escort Nick Kulas), Tanya Skworch (escort Daniel Wereminsky), Olga Tymouch (escort Markian Popowycz), Areta Wasiunec (escort Marc Zaparaniuk), Roksanna Wasiunec (escort Markian Pylypczak), Natalia Woodbine (escort Alexander Magera).

Kristin Chylak

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