Saturday the 12th of November was some enchanting evening for the attendees of the Masquerade Gala hosted by the Ukrainian American Youth Association. A fundraiser in honor of the Oselia CYM in Ellenville Capital Fundraising Campaign brought out nearly one hundred and fifty fellow members and friends of the organization in festive attire to the iconic Ukrainian Institute of America on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Recognizing one another from behind ornate masks, the evening brought together generations of CYM-members who reminisced about their childhood days at summer camps and the lasting memories and friendships they have carried with them throughout the years. The evening opened with remarks by long time CYM-member Askold Lozynskyj, who recalled Oselia’s founding generations who devoted their time and generosity to building our Oselia originally, and placed today’s responsibilities on the younger generation who are embarking on their journeys of marriage, children and of course raising future cymivtsi.
The music of the night brought a flare to the festive occasion, where CYM talent from generations enriched the rooms. Roman Kozicky (piano) and Olena Dolak (cello) played delightful contemporary and classical pieces. Continuing with the festive theme, Stefan Shkafarovsky, of the New York Metropolitan Opera, accompanied by Andrew Stasiw on the piano, gave dramatic performances of Phantom of the Opera’s ‘Music of the Night’ and South Pacific’s ‘Some Enchanted Evening.’ Later on, Olya Fryz had guests on their feet, dancing to her well known tracks.
Crossing-the-pond for this special evening, Markyan Szcur from London recalled the privilege he had to go to camp at Oselia CYM in Ellenville nearly a decade ago. The camaraderie and spirit he felt from his subsequent visits reminded everyone how much their Oselia means to them. Encouraging everyone to open their hearts and wallets, he and Oksana Czebeniak lead a very successful donation auction. Guests also partook in a silent auction where prizes included vacation resort vouchers, golf club packages, a smile make-over, and dining gift certificates. With the average age of the attendees being between the ages of 25-39, the success of the evening goes to show- that Oselia CYM Ellenville does indeed have a strong future ahead.
The evening concluded with the CYM tradition of joining hands and singing ‘Koly v vechir svityat zori’ as a slideshow flashed decades worth of Oselia CYM in Ellenville’s infrastructure, working hands, camp memories, and festive events.
The vision of the entire evening was brought together by an organizingcommittee which include Larissa Hrycyk-Dannenberg, Tatianna Powzaniuk, AlysiaShannon, Damian Shchur, and headed by Ulana Blahy. With the support of CYM’s yunatstvo, who volunteered their services as the evening’s wait staff, it was ensured that all guests left with a memorable experience.
For over 50 years, Oselia CYM in Ellenville has been a campsite for thousands of children through the decades- a place where the Ukrainian American Youth Association can carry out their mission over summer programs, children could gain knowledge of their Ukrainian heritage, earn cherished memories and establish enduring friendships; and where families and friends alike gather during festivals, summer holidays to create lasting memories. Over a year ago, it launched a capital fundraiser campaign to improve the children’s camp and make the resort facility better able to support the needs of our children. The goal of the campaign has been to modernize, repair and bring to working order the facilities and major systems of Oselia’s infrastructure as we move into the future.If you ever ate a varennyk, sipped Oselia’s borshtch, went to a tabir or cannon-balled into the Oselia pool- we hope to see you do it all over again this summer! Well, if not you, then certainly your loved ones!
If you are looking donate please visit us at www.cym.org/us/ellenville/fundraising
-Written by Ulana Blahy