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Out & About in Cleveland

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Spending Quality Time with Cleveland's Ukrainian Community

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After the Families Belong Together rally on Saturday, June 30, we spent the rest of that day and also the afternoon of Sunday, July 1 tabling on behalf of Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC at the Cleveland Ukrainian Heritage Festival. The festival was held at the Ukrainian Museum-Archives on Kenilworth Avenue in Tremont.

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Primarily organized by Ms. Nadiya Petrov, President of the Cleveland Maidan Association, and Ms. Aniza Kraus, Curator of the Ukrainian Museum-Archives, the festival in its first year was "envisioned as a way for the local community to learn more about Cleveland's Ukrainian diaspora, as well as the city's diverse ethnic and cultural history through museum exhibits, cuisine, and folk performances while also helping the local and global causes supported by the Cleveland Maidan Association and the Ukrainian Museum-Archives."

Accordingly, we tabled next to the booth of the Ukrainian National Women's League of America, whose purpose is to unite women of Ukrainian descent and those affiliated with the Ukrainian community for such purposes as providing financial assistance to Ukrainians within and outside of the United States.

We enjoyed watching the Zorya Ukrainian Female Vocal Ensemble and the Girls Folk Dance Ensemble of St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral. They were real troupers, as they performed in 90+degree heat. And we loved when Mr. Walt Mahovlich and Mr. Alexander Fedoriouk of Harmonia talked about the music and musical instruments that originated in the Ukraine, because by doing so, they also shared with us a lot about the Ukrainian culture.

Throughout our time at the festival our good friend, Mr. Andy Fedynsky, Director Emeritus and Resident Scholar at Ukrainian Museum-Archives, was present and doing all that he could to ensure that things went as smoothly as they did. In addition, Ms. Marcia Mandel, Mr. Tom Yablonsky, and Mr. Tim Donovan spent time at the festival representing Cleveland History Days, which was debuting this year, too.

While we tabled, we talked to several people who were familiar with Ms. Wong and/or the services that our immigration law firm offers, including a young man who saw Ms. Wong at a fundraiser for U.S. Senator Brown earlier that week, and a young woman who is in the process of immigrating to the United States from Ukraine with the help of Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC.

On a more humorous note (at least to us), we talked with a person who seriously wanted to re-institute Ellis Island because "that was the way my grandparents came here," as well as a young man who wanted to emigrate out of the United States because he believed he was being discriminated against here because he was white. We avoided a grin as we suggested to him that he check with the embassy of the country he would like to immigrate to in order to make sure it was okay with them.

 

Michael Patterson

Community Liaison

Margaret W. Wong & Associates, LLC

Aimee Jannsohn