Hammonton Arts Center Art for Ukraine Fundraiser


Some of the artwork on display at the Hammonton Arts Center Art for Ukraine fundraiser. (THG/Sean Friel. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

The Hammonton Arts Center held a fundraiser for Ukraine on July 8, titled Art for Ukraine. This specific gallery featured works by artists created for the fundraiser, including multiple references to the Ukrainian sunflower. The sunflower, known as the national flower of Ukraine, has become something of a symbol of resistance to Russian invasion.

The fundraiser took place at the newly acquired Education Center, part of the Hammonton Arts Center located at 10 S. Second St. Along the walls of the Education Center, many different pieces hung from the walls, ranging from landscape photos to abstract art. Each piece of art was auctioned off, with a starting price on the wall next to the piece. Guests could then bid more than the starting price, hoping to get the artwork or piece that caught their eye.

Slavik Aleksandruk and Olga Lyuppa attended the fundraiser, along with Dan Bachalis and Dave Murphy. Each of these individuals was present at the Rally for Ukraine event on April 30 and had the opportunity to speak at the fundraiser held at the Education Center.

“I am one of the ordinary citizens of Hammonton, along with Dave Murphy. We have worked with the Hammonton Arts Center and the Art Club here in Hammonton to organize this art auction to benefit the relief effort in Ukraine. Hopefully, we will make a difference in the lives of the long-suffering Ukrainian people,” Bachalis said at the fundraiser.

“We want to help people who don’t deserve the pain they’ve been forced to endure,” Murphy said.

Some of the artwork on display at the Hammonton Arts Center Art for Ukraine fundraiser. (THG/Sean Friel. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

Bachalis then thanked Annette Rinker and Don Swenson for all their help and effort in setting up the fundraiser, as well as their contributions to the event.

“There’s not much we think we can do except speak up, so we can give something that comes from us and help support them financially,” Swenson said.

He went on to say that even though many of us are far from Ukraine, that doesn’t mean we can’t still try to find ways to help.

Alesksandruk was the next to speak at the event, thanking everyone for coming out to support him. He went on to explain that he was born in Ukraine and it was his home.

“If you can imagine, a thousand pound bomb, dropped in the middle of my street that I was walking down. The crater is nine feet deep. Nine feet deep…that’s the new reality we live in,” said Alesksandruk.

“We call it World War III in Europe,” he said, showing even more the intensity of the situation.

Some of the artwork on display at the Hammonton Arts Center Art for Ukraine fundraiser. (THG/Sean Friel. To purchase photos in The Gazette, call (609) 704-1940.)

After finishing his speech, Lyuppa added a short addition to Alesksandruk’s words.

“Thank you so much for being here,” Lyuppa said.

She went on to explain that many other organizations such as AtlantiCare and Shore Medical Center have reached out to provide support, as well as the City of Ocean City. With the support of so many people, Lyuppa said he has received over $1,000 in donations so far.

The total funds raised during the fundraiser was $2,323, all of which will be used to help with relief efforts. For more information on the Hammonton Arts Centre, visit www.hammontonartscenter.org.

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