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Out & About in Cleveland

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Ukrainian Festival at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral; 40th Annual Latin American Cultural Festival

 On Saturday, July 23, we stopped off for lunch at the Ukrainian Festival at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral IMG_3122on State Road in Parma.

 We were delighted to bump into Mr. Jury Pychowycz, our colleague from Margaret W. Wong and Associates, who was there with his lovely daughter, Morgan, having lunch too.

We said hello to Father John Nakonachny who has served here for 30 years. He remembered Ms. Margaret W. Wong, herself, visiting St. Vladimir's to conduct seminars and other programs pertaining to immigration at various times over the years.

For lunch, we enjoyed some delicious potato and cheese pyrohies and a side of sauerkraut. We walked around to the various tables and listened for a little while to Mr. Nick Halle who explaining to several people, with the aid of a map, the history of Europe and how several countries consolidated/expanded/evolved into what they are today. Mr. Halle told us that when he was a young student it occurred to him the he was spending a lot of time studying early American history but very little about the countries that his grandparents immigrated from. This motivated him to investigate things on his own and thus he became quite an authority on the subject.

 The rest of the day looked quite promising because there would be performances by the Harmonia Folk Ensemble, the St. Vladimir Dance Ensemble, and the Kashtan Ukrainian Dancers.

 Actually, we spent most of the weekend from Friday, July 22nd through Sunday, July 24th tabling on behalf of IMG_3114Margaret W. Wong and Associates at the 40th Annual Latin American Cultural Festival at La Sagrada Familia Church on Detroit Avenue in Cleveland.

  Thankfully, Ms. Mimi Colon, the festival coordinator did a terrific job on our behalf by placing us inside so we would not have to deal with the heat and humidity. In addition to this, she allowed us to hang our banner on the inside wall.

 Unfortunately, largely due to the extremely hot temperature, the festival was not as well attended this year as it was in other years.

We still made some new contacts and had good conversations with people such as:

 **** A volunteer named Emilio who has been a member of this church for 35 years talked to us for a while. His coordinator, Mr. Fred Feliciano complimented Ms. Margaret W. Wong for hard work on behalf of immigrants.

****A person who had a relative in Spain who was interested in immigrating to the United and a young man who was now a permanent resident of the United States but would like to explore becoming a United States citizen.

 ****A man named Jaime, who helped found La Sagrada Familia Church, talked to us about the history of Hispanic churches in Cleveland. Another man named Harry had come here from Puerto Rico over 60 years and had a lot of neat stories to tell about his experiences here in the United States. Harry served in the U.S. Army and spent time exploring various parts of the country in his camper.

IMG_3129****We met Mr. Rosa who does a lot to help people who have recently immigrated to the United States. Along these lines, we spoke with a woman named Millie who sits on the Justice committee of the church and was very curious about the immigration process itself so we emailed her some pages from our website and gave her a copy of Ms. Wong's book, "The Immigrant's Way".

 ****We gave another copy of Ms. Wong's book to Ms. Torres, a retired lawyer who worked on various immigration cases during her career and found them to be very rewarding.

 Throughout the weekend there were several other organizations tabling near us like the Craciun Funeral Home as part of the Dignity Memorial Network. Mr. Joe Craciun said that it was great that we were here and advised some people that if they were to seek the help of Ms. Wong, she would not make the wrong decision for them.

 Several of our friends went to the festival to enjoy lunch or dinner such as Cleveland City Councilman Matt Zone and IMG_3128his wife, Michelle; Mr. Luis Gomez, our colleague when we worked for U.S. Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich; Mr. Jose Feliciano, from The Hispanic Roundtable; and Mr. Luis Cartagena from the Minority Business Development Agency.

 We really liked the letter that Father Robert J. Reidy, Pastor of La Familia Sagrada wrote for the program book that in part read, "As in past years we invite family, friends and neighbors to come and enjoy the Hispanic culture. We with you our home, our variety of foods, our music, and our company. We have something for all ages. In a world that can be divided we bring together the cultures of over 14 Latin American countries. Our differences do not move us apart. We try to concentrate on what we have in common."

By:

Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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