Ukrainian soldiers honored in Chippewa Falls

CHIPPEWA FALLS, WIS. (WKBT)– Nearly 300 people attended the Chalice of Mercy’s 16th Annual Ukranian Christmas Dinner, but four people in particular made the event special.

12 courses of traditional Ukranian Christmas food, served by boys and girls in traditional Ukrainian garb, all to raise money for those in need back at home.

Valentyna Pavsykova was born and raised in Ukraine. She founded Chalice of Mercy in 2009 to bring medical assistance to the poorest areas of Ukraine. Pavsykova says this mission is very close to her heart.

“People who lived on territories of war before, we take them, evacuate them and help them with whatever they needed. We’re really happy to bring awareness to people in the United States.”

Pavsykova is also partnering with the Protez Foundation to provide prosthetics to those injured in the war at zero cost. The Protez Foundation is based out of Oakdale, MN and was started by another Ukranian native, Yakov Gradinar.

“They have lost limbs, they have lost legs, some have lost two, some have lost their hands,” says Pavsykova.

Four Ukranian soldiers, now amputees as a result of the war, were helped by the Protez Foundation. These soldiers were honored at Saturday’s event.

Pavsykova ushered them to the front saying, “I would like to welcome to the front our heroes, our soldiers, our defenders, our hope.”

This ceremony gave the soldiers a chance to be recognized, and for guests to show their gratitude.

“I’m really thankful for people in the United States for supporting and helping in any way they can,” Pavsykova says, “With prayer, with financial support, with whatever, medical supplies. I’m really deeply grateful, and on behalf of my people in Ukraine, I thank you all.”