St. Joseph & St. Patrick’s Parish raised $7,489 for Ukrainian refugees

The Ethnic Food Fest is over but the parish is still accepting donations
Father Timothy Ferguson, pastor of St. Joseph and St. Patrick's Parish and Jillena Rose, one of...
Father Timothy Ferguson, pastor of St. Joseph and St. Patrick's Parish and Jillena Rose, one of the organizers of the Ethnic Food Fest.(WLUC)
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 3:02 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - A total of $7,489 was raised for Ukrainian Refugee efforts in Poland at St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s Parish Ethnic Food Fest, Sunday.

The event ran just under two hours; in addition to the $2,239 in meal tickets sold during the food fest, there were two anonymous donations of $5,000 and $250.

“All proceeds from the Ethnic Food Fest will be donated to Caritas, Ukraine, to support the care of the innocent and vulnerable refugees of the current war,” Father Timothy Ferguson, pastor of St. Joseph and St. Patrick Parish, said.

One of the volunteer chefs at the Ethnic Food Fest, Gabriela Boyle, had the idea to raise money for the Ukrainian refugee efforts. Boyle, originally from Lublin, Poland, lives in Escanaba now. Her family currently lives in Poland and is housing Ukrainian refugees.

“As of March 14th, there have been almost two million Ukrainian refugees who arrived in Poland,” Boyle said. “Every day, there are thousands of people crossing the border to escape the genocide that is taking a place in Ukraine.”

Boyle said her family and friends in Lublin, Poland are helping the refugees as much as they can, but every day, she says there are urgent needs such as blankets, toiletries, baby formula, cribs, strollers, mattresses, not to mention food and housing.

“I am super proud of people from Poland for their generosity, hospitality and empathy, but I know that there are still many people that are in extreme need.”

She is also thankful to the local community for helping at the Ethnic Food Fest to raise money for the Ukrainian refugees.

“I would love to thank everyone for helping in this matter,” Boyle said. “I was absolutely moved by everyone’s commitment to the ethnic food fest, and peoples’ generosity.”

Father Ferguson was also thankful for the kindness of people who gave of their time, money and resources for the cause of helping the Ukrainian refugees.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the community,” he said. “It’s good to know that there is still compassion left in the world.”

Some of the dishes that were served at the Ethnic Food Fest included Carnitas, quiche, Chicken Kiev, cheese-filled Nalysnyky (Ukrainian crepes), Irish stew, borscht, cheese-filled ravioli, soda bread, buttery croissants, and for dessert, biscotti, caramel empanadas, homemade raspberry rose macarons and vanilla macarons, and non-alcoholic Sangria.

“The food was great,” Father Ferguson said. “And the atmosphere was tremendous.”

Though the event is over, people can still donate to Caritas, Ukraine to help Ukrainian refugees in Poland, through the first week of April by calling St. Joseph and St. Patrick’s Parish office at (906) 789-6244. Gabriela Boyle is also holding a fundraiser to purchase necessities for Ukrainian refugees in Poland. The link to this fundraiser is:

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