Ridgefield residents walk to honor Ukrainian Independence Day
News 12 first brought you the story about a Ridgefield family, who helped evacuate their family out of Ukraine to Connecticut. Their family has since left the United States and is back in Ukraine, but the Voytovych's are still doing their part to help their country in a different capacity.
The Ridgefield community, along with the nonprofit Ridgefield Responds, walked from Ballard Park to Town Hall Saturday to honor Ukrainian Independence Day, which was on Wednesday.
"On Wednesday, Ukrainians could not gather in their cities to celebrate their independence...the war is raging," says Annetta Hewko, the Chair of Ridgefield Responds.
Ukrainian Independence Day also marked 6 months since the war started and the 31st anniversary of Ukraine becoming a country. It also was the same day Ukrainian officials say a Russian strike killed dozens of civilians and injuring many more at a rail station near the city of Dnipro.
"It's hard to express your feelings without tears... you're supposed to celebrate and you know those pictures and comparing them to last year... is day and night," says Ridgefield resident Julia Voytovych.
With the ongoing conflict and attack on civilians, Ukrainian-Americans residents and Ridgefield Responds are doing their part to support the ongoing humanitarian crisis on the ground.
"We have helped provide an ATV. We helped to repair and repurpose two vehicles, so they could be used for medivac and used on the front line," says Annetta Hewko, the Chair of Ridgefield Responds.
So far, the non-profit has dispersed $25,000 worth of aid through the Rotary Club of Lviv in Ukraine and is hoping to continue their efforts.
"We have helped to purchase five generators for military facilities on the front line," says Hewko.
Once the walk ended at Town Hall, residents, Ukrainians who are taking refuge in the area, and First Selectman Rudy Marconi raised the Ukrainian flag.
For more information on Ridgefield Responds efforts in Ukraine, click here.