CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — While the war in Ukraine continues, Ukrainians in Colorado are doing everything they can to help. In this instance, it comes in the form of a cake.
Ivanna Filippova was born and raised in Ukraine and moved to the United States when she was 21. Most of her family is in Italy at the moment, but her father chose to stay in Ukraine.
“He made a decision to stay to protect his motherland. I'm very proud of my father," said Filippova. “I'm a proud daughter of my parents, who taught me not to forget about my culture, not to forget about who I am. I am a Ukrainian girl, even though I have an American passport.”
Filippova spoke from her kitchen in Castle Rock as she prepared a dessert she grew up eating in Ukraine. She and many others will be making traditional treats and savory foods from Ukraine in preparation for a bake sale on Saturday.
It will be the first fundraiser for the Ukraine Aid Fund, which was founded after Taras Overchuk traveled to the country in early March.
“At some point, I decided, "Well, I need to go." I just couldn't hold myself and just watch it from outside," said Overchuk, who spent two weeks there. “It was pretty much the beginning of the war, and the flow was huge. It was thousands of people waiting for several days in line just to get out.”
As refugees fled the country, Overchuk went into it.
“You enter like a ghost town," Overchuk said.
He described hearing and feeling explosions while close to a war zone. When asked about the one thing he wishes everyone could see, he said it would be the lengths people have taken to survive.
Filippova is a board member of the Ukraine Aid Fund. She says one of the reasons the fund was created was to be open about how the donations were used and what they are doing to support the people of Ukraine.
The bake sale will be Saturday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be held at 8480 East Orchard Road, Suite 300, in Greenwood Village.