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16th Annual Ukrainian Festival of The Pokrova Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church; British Car Day at Ursuline College

IMG_3418  On Friday evening, August 5th, we tabled on behalf of "Margaret W. Wong and Associates" at the 16th Annual Ukrainian Festival of the Pokrova Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church on Broadview Road in Parma.

We had made arrangements to table there with Mr. Myron Sitlala who stopped several times to make sure we were all right.

At 6pm the festival officially started with a prayer in Ukrainian by Bishop Pohdan Danylo who kicked off the proceedings along with Father Drozdowski from the Pokrova Church, Ms. Olga Migielicz who helped to organize the festival, and Ms. Khrystyna Skabyk who would be performing emcee duties. Later on, Ms. Skabyk introduced us to IMG_3409 Mr. Volodymyr Syroyizhka who was acting as the sound level coordinator.

Then we ate some potato pierogies and sauerkraut as we got ready to table.  Among the people who stopped by to talk to us were:

****A woman named Myroslawa who immigrated to the United States from Ukraine (via Germany) in 1950. Myroslawa still loves Ukraine because it is the land of her birth but believes that the United States is the greatest country in the world and it really bothers her when people say bad things about it.

****Brother David from St. Josaphat 's Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral on State Road stopped by to visit with us for a minute. He told us that he knew of people who had used our services before.

****A man who noticed that we represented an immigration law office. He said aloud, "I wonder what Trump will do in this regard?" We replied that we didn't believe that the American public will give him the opportunity to do anything. Along these lines, another person said that he thought foreign-born people were an asset to the United States and he didn't "care what that guy says..."

****A man named Karl who immigrated to the United States from the Ukraine 18 years ago just loved the letter openers that we were giving away. He took several of them for his family. He, too, knew people who were helped by "Margaret W. Wong and Associates."

****Mr. Dionisyj Demianczuk immigrated to the United States from Ukraine via various routes after WWII. He took aIMG_3415 copy of Ms. Wong's book, "The Immigrant's Way" because he loved to read about the immigrant experience.

****We gave another copy of Ms. Wong's book to Mr. Paul Ambrogio who speaks several languages and saw us at the Asian Festival several months ago. He talked to us about the Refugee Olympic team and we both thought it was great.

We left the Pokrova Church about 9:30pm on Friday so we could get up early and spend a little time at the "British Car Day" at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike.

We talked for a few minutes with Mr. Tony Burgess who works hard each year to put this car show together. Mr. Burgess said that this was the 30th Anniversary of "British Car Day" and its 10th year at Ursuline College. Its prior locations were Shaker Square for 20 years until they outgrew it and one year at Legacy Village.

IMG_3432On this day, Mr. Burgess said that there were 150 cars on display. He told us that most of the car owners at this event were in their 50's (if not older) who were really taken with British sports cars when they were younger but were nudged into getting more family oriented cars when they had their own families. Mr. Burgess smiled and said that after the kids got older and left home the parents started eyeing the sports cars again. Accordingly, most of the car owners present were not the original owners of these cars but people who had acquired them after several owners and fixed them up to be beautiful.

One of our reasons for attending this event was wanting to see an Aston Martin because James Bond drove one in "Goldfinger" which we saw several times back in the 1960's. And we did get to see a beauty, even though a man who owned an Aston Healey told us that the latter was really just as good and more affordable.

The British Chamber of Commerce had a booth there so we walked over and talked to Ms. Tricia Allen, the Executive Director who remembered us from our mutual attendance at other events. We plan to see each other later this week at a program put on by the International Business Network. Her husband, Mr. David Allen, told us that he really admired people who immigrated to the United States because they possessed a "pioneering spirit" in terms of taking advantage of the opportunities that the United States has to offer and doing such worthwhile things as starting businesses.IMG_3427

Before we left, we saw a lovely little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a breed very popular in both the United Kingdom and the United States. In fact, we had heard that King Charles had passed a law saying that this breed of dog would be welcomed in any public building including Parliament. In addition, it was said that a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel entering the United Kingdom would not be subject to be quarantined.

For the fun of it, we looked on-line and found both claims to be untrue, the only dogs allowed into Parliament are seeing eye dogs and Cavaliers are allowed no special treatment at public buildings. The same can be said for the quarantine requirements although, as we learned from "for a long time, taking a dog to Britain for a holiday was unthinkable, as strict quarantine regulations applied. But since these regulations were relaxed in 2000, Britain has become a popular destination for dog owners..."

Soon after we left "British Car Day" it was time to go back to Pokrova for more tabling at their Ukrainian Festival which started at 2pm. On this day, the location of our table was changed to the other side of the room so we set up next to "ATS Institute of Technology" which offers ESL programs. In fact, Mr. Daniel Simpson, its ESL Program IMG_3434Director, also tabled at the Russian Festival last week at German Central Farm and is always glad to see us.

Another person who we had seen earlier in the week who stopped by our table at Pokrova was Ms. Liz Rife from the "International Services Center" who tabled on behalf of the Center at the "Night Out Against Crime" in Steelyard Commons. Ms. Rife told us that her brother and sister-in-law had once worked with the Peace Corps in Ukraine so she was very concerned about the political turmoil taking place over there.

Not many people were at Pokrova at this time so we decided to leave our table (already set up) for an hour or so and see what was going on at the "Taste of St. Casimir's Polish Food Festival" on Sowinski Avenue in Cleveland.

After  we arrived at St. Casimir's we treated ourselves to a delicious dish named Buraczki ze Smietana (Polish beets with sour cream) as we listened to a Polish band named "Mr System" play on the patio.


We said hello to Judge Matthew A. McMonagle of Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court who was campaigning there accompanied by Mr. George Popovich. Soon we encountered Mr. Joe Feckanin and Mr. John Niedzialek who were conducting church tours.

Before we left, we shook hands with a person named Tang who was here from China. He was still struggling with our language so we couldn't understand his specific words but we could tell that he was very happy to be where he was.

So we headed back to Pokrova which was quite crowded by this time. The entertainment had begun so we listened to  the music of Mr. Vasyl' Ravlyk, an accomplished violinist.

IMG_3435 At this time our table was visited by:

****A former member of the U.S. Armed Forces named Dennis who was once stationed in Europe. We discussed the Schengen Area which is, according to Wikipedia, "a group of 26 European Countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. Joining Schengen entails eliminating internal border controls with other Schengen members, while simultaneously strengthening external border controls with non-Schengen states." We wondered what the effect of the current refugee crisis would have on Schengen.

****Ms. Helen Schneider who told us that our Mr. Scott Bratton had guided several of her family members through the immigration process.

****A man who immigrated here many years ago from Hungary took two of our letter openers to give to two friends of his who may need our help to become U.S. citizens. One of these is a person from Poland and the other is from Ukraine.

****A man who took our contact information because he wanted to explore the H-1B visa possibilities for several of his employees.

****Finally, a little toddler named Ariana who loved touching the photo of Ms. Margaret W. Wong on our banner. Her daddy held her in his arms as she patted our flimsy banner with her tiny hand and watched it fluctuate. Her daddy grinned as he said, "huh, I guess she has a thing for Wong."


Michael Patterson 

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC







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