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Out & About in Cleveland

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2014 Ukrainian Festival

We spent all weekend from Friday, August 1st to Sunday, August 3rd tabling on behalf of Margaret W. Wong and Associates at the 2014 Ukrainian Festival at Pokrova Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Parish on Broadview Road in Parma. It was explained to us during the course of the festival that there are other Ukrainian parishes in the Cleveland area but Pokrova is the one that attracts those newly arrived from the Ukraine and Ukrainian is the main language spoken here.

We also tabled here last year and Father Drozdowski remembered us and told us hello. He opened the festival each day with a prayer which was only fitting.

There were all sorts of musical acts including Bayan Folk Music, Children's Folk Dancing, Ukrainian Folk Dancing, Male and Female Vocalists, and a Trio consisting of a Bandura, Violin and Piano.

Announcing the acts and serving as co-emcees for the festival were Ms. Marta Malutza and Ms. Svitlana Derekh. Ms. Malutza made the announcements in English and Ms. Derekh did the same in Ukrainian. Every couple of hours a tape was played in which the sponsors, including Margaret W. Wong and Associates, were read in both English and Ukrainian.

The food was excellent and we especially loved the pierogies and the potato pancakes along with cabbage and noodles.

While we were tabling we visited with a lot of people including some who might need our services someday or just wanted to say hello.

Some the guests at our table were:

***Ms. Jean Waschtschen who works with elderly immigrants at Asian Evergreen on Payne Avenue.

***Ms. Bev Arnabel who is retired now but used to work for Applied Industrial Technologies which was located very close to our offices; we used to assist her company with immigration matters.

***Attorney Mike Dobronos who has worked with Margaret W. Wong on several cases over the years. He told the person that was accompanying him that "I don't know many women who have their act together like she does" meaning Ms. Wong.

***We spoke to a man who owns an auto store who has a lot of foreign born clients. He took our contact information because he was told that if anyone has a problem with immigration then he/she should go to Margaret W. Wong and Associates and no one else.

***We talked with a family therapist who deals with a lot of people who have immigrated to the United States, many of which are Hispanic, and are worn down psychologically from wrestling with the immigration process. He was glad to take our information to pass on.

***Mr. Michael Mathena who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1977 when he was fourteen years old. He became a citizen in 1985 and worked as a school teacher for years but conducts an internet sales system. It seems that he has made the most of the opportunities that the United States has to offer.

***A man who plans to visit Europe soon. He has relatives there in the old Czech Republic and will talk to them about possibly immigrating to the United States.

***Mr. Michael Simonek, an accountant from Parma who is very happy because in a week he will be marrying "a very lovely lady" who immigrated to the United States from the Philippines. We got to meet her and can understand why Mr. Simonek is so happy.

***Ms. Linda Boyko who worked for Margaret W. Wong about 34 years ago for 3 months when she was only 21. Ms. Wong's sister Rose knows Ms. Boyko's sister, Ms. Rita Koral.

***Mr. Paul Pytak, a school teacher, who knows Ms. Marta Paul with the International Services Center who helped Ms. Wong with her own immigration paperwork years ago.

***We sold a copy of Ms. Wong's book "The Immigrant's Way" to Ms. Audrey Fedak who is Ukrainian/Czech and second generation American.

***A man who immigrated to the United States from Russia about 10 years ago. As it turned out, now only has he heard of Margaret W. Wong and Associates, he is working with our office right now on some green card issues.

***Of course, several people from the Ukraine who are involved/might be involved in some immigration issues. Two men (no connection between them) stopped by our table because they both recently obtained green cards and would like to become citizens but may need help with the process. Another person knows a young woman from the Ukraine who is here in the United States on a temporary visa and wants to remain here. Lastly, someone who knows a married couple from the Ukraine who are here in the United States now but are very frustrated by the immigration paperwork. We gave everyone our contact information and that we hear from them.

We had a really good time on Saturday night when we were approached by Ms. Helen Schneider, an elderly woman who was celebrating her birthday and saw us sitting at our table and asked us to dance with her. We did a couple of dances together and Ms. Schneider proved to be very energetic. We had a good time and got to meet the rest of her family.

All told, it was a wonderful way to spend a weekend!

Out & Aboutimwong