Pysanky and perogies: Ponoka making a difference for Ukraine

(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
Leah Bennett teaching a pysanky class April 9. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)Leah Bennett teaching a pysanky class April 9. (Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)
(Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News)

A couple of local fundraisers have sprung up in support of Ukraine: a pysanky (Ukrainian egg) painting class, and a perogy lunch and bake sale.

Leah Bennett held a pysanky class on April 9 at the Fort Ostell Museum. There were only a few participants this time, however, if there’s interest in future, she may hold more classes.

“It doesn’t have to be Easter time,” said Bennett. “Some of make pysanky throughout the entire year.”

Bennett may also consider holding private lessons. The proceeds will be going to a charity, most likely the Canadian Ukraine Foundation.

Bennett’s maternal grandfather was Ukrainian. Both of his parents came to Canada separately in the early 1900s.

“I’m third generation Canadian, but I feel a connection to my Ukrainian roots. I’ve always been interested in learning this art form after seeing a pysanka in my grandparents house,” said Bennett.

She added that she’s mostly had to learn pysanky on her own, as it seems the art form is usually passed down from mother to daughter.

“My auntie gave me a quick pysanky lesson about 15 years ago. The past three years I’ve been learning more about the art form and writing eggs year round,” she said.

“I have always thought they were absolutely beautiful and was intrigued by the intricate designs. I also really appreciate the symbolism in the traditional designs.

“Every colour, every detail has a meaning. So each egg can tell a story or be given as a gift for protection, health or a good harvest.

“I feel like now more than ever is an important time to write, to carry on the tradition to write eggs to ward off evil,” said Bennett.

“When it feels like there’s nothing I can do to help Ukrainians right now, it’s the least I can do to take a couple hours out of my day or week to write with love in my heart and prayers in my soul. It’s a meditative process that I find is extremely helpful.”

The batik, or wax resist, method will be taught during the class. Participants will make at least one egg. The cost will be $30.

If people aren’t able to make it to a class, Bennett said she could make them a pysanky in exchange for a donation.

For more information or to register for the class, email Bennett at leaheam@gmail.com.

Perogy and bake sale

Crestomere School Grades 7 to 9 students are holding a perogy lunch and bake sale fundraiser on April 14 from 12 to 1 p.m. every dollar raised will go to the Canadian Red Cross to help Ukraine.

The school has been discussing the Russian invasion of Ukraine in their instruction on current events.

The staff and students were concerned about the people of Ukraine and wanted to make a difference.

Staff and students held a meeting to organize the fundraiser. Everyone has been assigned roles for the event.

Students and staff will all be donating perogies and baked goods for the sale.

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