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									      Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association
нське Культурно-Освітне Товариство в Приморській Вір
                  Newsletter No. XXXI, December 15, 2004
    Holiday Greetings!
           We take this opportunity to wish all our members, supporters and friends a wonderful Holiday
    Season, a truly Joyous Christmas and a New Year full of happiness, good health, success and prosperity!

                  Веселих Свят! Христос Родився! Щасливого Нового Року!
                 Veselykh Svyat! Khrystos Rodyvsya! Shchaslyvoho Novoho Roku!
                        Happy Holidays! Christ is Born! Happy New Year!
    Our Next Meeting – The CHRISTMAS PARTY!!!
            This year’s TUCA Christmas Party will take place on Saturday, January 8, 2005, at 5:00 PM,
    once again in the home of Karen and Paul Krop.
            Everyone should know that January 8 is just one day after Ukrainian Christmas according to the
    Julian calendar, so lets do this right. We hope that everybody will bring some Christmasy Ukrainian food.
    For a nation that has a tradition of a twelve-course Christmas Eve Supper that should not be difficult.
    Please put your culinary thinking caps on and surprise us with all sorts of delectable offerings. Since
    January 8 is two days past Christmas Eve (Sviatyj Vechir), we will not adhere to the meatless rule, so bring
    on the kovbasa or anything else.
            Please don’t also forget some of your favorite liquid refreshment. With all the food we hope you
    will bring we are bound to get thirsty!
            Be prepared to sing carols. Ukrainian, English, or any other language you know. And of course,
    please wear your embroidered blouses and shirts, if you have them. We hope to see everyone there!

    A Few Words from Our New President:
           Greetings TUCA members! It is indeed an honor for me to address you in what is my first column
    as the new TUCA president. I would firstly like to extend a welcome to the new board, and to all our
    members, new and old, as I look forward to building on the tremendous achievements which my
    predecessors have made in making TUCA the wonderful organization it has come to be.

            What I found so attractive about TUCA a few years ago when I moved to this area was the vitality,
    enthusiasm and professionalism of its members. Over the next couple of years my goal will be to ensure
    that TUCA remains a relevant and fun organization for all those in Tidewater who care about Ukraine and
    Ukrainian culture. We welcome everyone regardless of whether they are U.S. born and bred and wanting to
    get in touch with their Ukrainian heritage, or whether they are a recent arrival from Ukraine - from east or
    west - needing to find their feet in the new country.

          What a month it has been since our last TUCA meeting at the end of October! At the beginning of
    November we had the pleasure of seeing the spectacular Virsky Ukrainian Folk Dance ensemble at the
    American Theater in Hampton. A large number of TUCA members went along to the performance, and I
don't think anyone left disappointed. The performances were of the highest quality - the professionalism,
bright colors of the costumes, and the choreography were truly spectacular, making for quite a memorable

        Our last TUCA meeting coincided with the first round of voting in the Ukrainian presidential
elections, which a number of our members went to Washington DC to take part in. Following the
controversial run-off elections on November 21, we have witnessed some truly inspirational scenes in Kyiv
amidst the "orange revolution", in which hundreds of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians lay fear aside and
took to the streets determined to make their democratic voice heard. It has been said that while in 1991
Ukraine got its independence, in 2004 it earned it. With the rest of the world watching on, Ukrainians
showed that they are a peace-loving people, prepared to tolerate freezing cold and snow to demand their
right to live a normal life, which we in the west often take for granted. The response of the people
exceeded even many of our most optimistic expectations, and we can all be very proud of our brethren in
Ukraine for the courage they have shown.

       With the events rapidly unfolding, several TUCA members made the trip to Washington DC on
November 24 to join the approximately 2000 demonstrators from all across the U.S. in front of the
Ukrainian embassy to voice their concern over the threat to democracy in Ukraine. As this newsletter is
going to press, the Supreme Court of Ukraine ruled that a repeat of the 2nd round of the elections should
take place on December 26. We all await with hope and expectation that the elections will conclude
peacefully, and that democracy and the will of the Ukrainian people shall be respected.

       As we look forward to the TUCA Christmas party on January 8, which Paul & Karen Krop have
most generously offered to host (see details in the announcement above), I wish everyone Veselykh Sviat
and a joyous Christmas Season, with the sincere hope that the New Year 2005 will bring peace and
prosperity to you all.
Submitted by Wolodymyr (Wally) Melnitchouk

TUCA October Meeting and Board Elections:
       Our October general membership meeting and elections of a new Board of Directors took place on
Sunday, October 31, at the home of Wally Melnitchouk. Our thanks go to Wally for making his home
available for this important meeting. Unfortunately, the turnout for this meeting was very low, only about
20% of Tidewater residents showed up. Also, the day of our meeting coincided with the Ukrainian
presidential election, so some of our members who are still eligible to vote in Ukraine were probably in
Washington doing their civic duty and could not attend. In spite of this, we did manage to elect a new
Board of Directors for the next two years. The elected officers are:

       President:                   Wolodymyr (Wally) Melnitchouk        Hampton, VA
       Treasurer:                   Lucy Halunko                         Richmond, VA
       Secretary:                   Anatol (Andy) Grynewytsch            Newport News, VA
       Cultural Director            Elaine Hampton                       Newport News, VA
       Humanitarian Director        George Makowiec                      Seaford, VA
       Education Director           Melanie Paul                         Hampton, VA
       Director at Large            Nadia Hoots                          Virginia Beach, VA
       Director at Large            Thomas Krop                          Virginia Beach, VA
       Past President               Myron Bilyj                          Hampton, VA

      We wish the new Board of Directors a successful and productive term. All TUCA members should
know that all Board members are available at all times if you have any concerns, suggestions, or ideas for
TUCA activities in the next couple of years.

Virsky Performance in Hampton:
        We were most fortunate that the world-renown Virsky Ukrainian National Dance Company has put
Hampton’s American Theatre on their American tour schedule. Due to the small size of the Ukrainian
community in Tidewater most Ukrainian performers bypass us. We hope they were not sorry they came
this time, as some sixty of us, many in embroidered Ukrainian shirts and blouses, filled about five or six
consecutive rows of American Theatre on November 1. All of us, as well as the rest of the almost sold out
house, were ecstatic about the artistry of the dancers, the colors of the costumes, and the exuberant
Ukrainian music. I am certainly not an art critic, but all you need to do is read the glowing review of
Virsky’s performance in the November 9 issue of the Port Folio Weekly magazine. Judith Hatcher, the
local art critic, could not find enough superlative adjectives to describe Virsky’s visual extravaganza.
        One sad note, the November/December issue of Hampton Arts Commission magazine Diversions
in describing the coming Virsky show, to our dismay headlined the otherwise fine article as “Russian Folk
Dance at Its Best”. Needless to say we approached Mr. Michael Curry, Hampton Arts Director, about the
error. We also wrote a formal letter to the Arts Commission pointing out that we, and Virsky, are
Ukrainian and not Russian. I am pleased to report that Mr. Curry sent TUCA a very nice letter of apology.
Submitted by Andy Grynewytsch.

TUCA Participates in November MAVA Event:
        As many of you know, TUCA is a member organization of the Multicultural Alliance of Virginia,
or MAVA. On Sunday, November 21, MAVA held a friendship and get acquainted event at the
Contemporary Arts Center in Virginia Beach. Although we invited all TUCA members to come out and
join us, alas, nobody showed up. Elaine Hampton, Orysia Stefaniw and Zina and Andy Grynewytsch
represented TUCA. Nadia Hoots, our MAVA Rep., joined us even though she just barely got off the plane
from Florida. We joined MAVA groups from India, Mexico, Panama and Turkey. There was quite a
selection of ethnic food, some wine, and good company.
        Meyera Oberndorf, the mayor of Virginia Beach, addressed the attendees, emphasizing the value of
many ethnic communities to the fabric of Virginia Beach. We were also addressed by the chairman of the
Virginia Beach committee planning the 400th anniversary of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists at
Cape Henry. The committee is looking for input from all national groups that can show how they, or their
ancestors, have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the city.
        No boasting, but TUCA’s Ukrainian display table was by far the most attractive one. We managed
to display a good selection of Ukrainian artifacts, embroidery, weaving, wood carving and wood inlay,
pysankas, ceramics, books about Ukraine, and one of Elaine’s Madonna icons. Of course, Zina’s kapusta
was a hit with all the participants. Our musician and bandurist Olia was unfortunately out of town, so we
hand no musical act to follow the Mexican dancers or the Indian sitar player.
Submitted by Andy Grynewytsch.

We Join the Orange Revolution:
        The crisis in Ukraine following the presidential run-off election resulted in a flurry of short notice
announcements about demonstrations in New York and Washington. We attempted to get at least a small
contingent of TUCA members to go to Washington to join Ukrainian demonstrators from as far away as
Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, New York and of course Washington. Unfortunately no one could join us on
such a short notice, so Wally and I proceeded to Washington early in the morning November 24 in a steady
drizzle from overcast skies.

       We joined about 2000 Ukrainians, young and old, armed with a multitude of signs, orange hats and
scarves, balloons, portable PA systems, but especially with a lot of spirit and a desire to support the
hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the snow and cold weather in Kyiv’s Khreshchatyk and
Maidan Nezalezhnosti.

       The crowd was very well chaperoned by what seemed like half of the Washington’s police
department. Police cars and flashing lights were everywhere, and although the gathering was orderly and
peaceful, we did manage to tie up traffic on M Street. After several hours in front of the Ukrainian
Embassy the whole group marched to the Russian Embassy, a good long walk along several side streets
and then up Wisconsin Avenue. We were surprised by many smiles and signs of support by residents of
Georgetown homes we passed and by motorists who passed us.

        After a few hours in front of the very well protected Russian Embassy, some of the demonstrators
who arrived in buses proceeded to the State Department by bus, the rest of us returned to wherever we left
our cars and started the trip home. Wally and I were very glad that we took part in this small token of
support for our brethren in Ukraine. Not that we think that the two of us made any difference, but it felt
good to be part of something big, something that connected us in rainy Washington with people in snowy
Kyiv, something that was both inspirational and humbling. Humbling, because after some five hours we
got into our warm cars and drove to our warm homes while Ukrainian kids slept in cold tents and did not
know whether the next day they would have to face troops or tanks sent to disperse them.

       We know now that the court has declared the election invalid and a new run-off will be held on
December 26. Let us hope that the rule of law and justice will prevail and the crisis of the last few weeks
will be resolved peacefully. All of us can help by contacting the White House, our Senators and our
Congress representatives and urge them to support democracy in Ukraine.
Submitted by Andy Grynewytsch.

The TUCA Art Scene:
         Our award winning artist and Cultural Director, Elaine Hampton, would like everyone to know that
her art is on display at two of the local galleries, as indicated. Everyone is invited to come by.

              Two pieces at the Barry Robinson Theater Fine Arts Center, 4552 Princess Anne Road,
       Virginia Beach, until December 21. Telephone 466-0989.

              Also, at the Hermitage Museum (Miniature Show), 7637 North Shore Road, Norfolk VA
       until December 31.

              Elaine also has art items for sale (cards, reproductions, etc.) until Dec 31st at the Gallery on
      the York, 7907 A George Washington Highway, Yorktown VA. Telephone 898-3076.
Submitted by Elaine Hampton.

Orange Ribbons:
         It may be a little late, but anyone who wants to join the Orange Revolution in a small way can do so
by hanging orange ribbons in front of their house on trees, fences, whatever. I managed to buy a 75 yard
roll of two inch wide orange ribbon, the only roll I could find, and have orange bows on all the trees in my
front yard. Thanks to media coverage of events in Ukraine some people actually know what the orange
ribbons signify.

        When my American neighbor was asked by someone why we had orange ribbons on our trees,
since orange was not a Christmas color, he not only knew the answer, he went out and put an orange ribbon
on his tree. Mac, I am proud of you! (If anyone is interested, I still have leftover ribbon.)
Submitted by Andy Grynewytsch.

Scott Potter’s Trip to Ukraine:
       In our last Newsletter we reported that Wally Melnitchouk’s real estate agent, who sold him his
house, was about to make a trip to Zhytomir oblast in Ukraine with a medical team. He has since returned
and has provided Wally with a touching description of his experiences in several villages, some orphanages
and a few places that pass for village medical facilities. His medical team saw over 1000 patients,
provided eye care or eye glasses for another 800, and distributed about $150,000 worth of prescription
drugs to both patients and clinics. Scott was very touched by his contact with Ukrainian people and is
hoping to repeat his trip next year.
Submitted by Wally Melnitchouk.

Time Magazine Man of the Year:
        There is an effort to have Viktor Yushchenko nominated as Time Magazine Person of the Year.
You can help by writing to TIME Magazine Letters, Time & Life Building, Rockefeller Center, New York
NY 10020. You must include your name and full address for your letter to be considered. Letters may
also be sent via Fax (212-522-8949) or via e-mail to Feel free to express your own
feelings why you think Yushchenko deserves this honor.
Submitted by Olga Cehelska

TUCA Annual Dues:
        This is a reminder to all TUCA members that it is time to pay your annual dues for 2005. Please
refer to the year that appears on this issue of your TUCA Newsletter address label. Our records show that
the TUCA annual dues were paid up to the year posted. A “0000” will indicate that we have no record of
you ever paying dues. If you are not up-to-date, all we ask is that you send us $20.00 for 2005 if you wish
to continue your TUCA family membership. Please make checks payable to the Tidewater Ukrainian
Cultural Association and mail checks to the new TUCA Treasurer, Lucy Halunko. Dues will also be
collected at the next TUCA meeting. We greatly appreciate your support.
Submitted by Lucy Halunko.


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