Rising up in Auburn, cousins Maryanne and Anna Latanyshyn knew their Ukrainian heritage was not solely understood, however appreciated.
“I by no means needed to clarify what being Ukrainian was to anybody. No one assumed I used to be Russian,” Maryanne advised The Citizen. “We at all times had that group assist to aspire to be the perfect we will.”
That assist grew to become much more obvious to the Latanyshyns once they left Auburn — Maryanne when she was 17 and Anna when she was 9. All over the place they’ve lived since has lacked it. They know that is partly as a result of none of these locations had populations with such a excessive share of Ukrainian heritage. Cayuga County, with 2.3%, has the very best of any county in New York.
Nonetheless, there’s one thing about Auburn that is uniquely supportive of Ukraine and its individuals, the Latanyshyns stated. They had been reminded of that not too long ago throughout a serendipitous assembly downtown.
Maryanne, who now lives in New York Metropolis, returned to the realm in March to fulfill her cousin Sarah at Shepherds Brewing Co. Sarah, who lives in Auburn, is sister to Anna, who lives in Atlanta.
They did not simply meet for a beer, however to brainstorm. The month earlier than, when the Russian invasion of Ukraine started, they had been contacted by one other cousin on Fb, Anna Rempel. An legal professional in Germany, she’s the president of Feine Ukraine, a reduction group offering humanitarian help there. In her message, she requested her cousins for any assist they may ship.
The Latanyshyns principally knew Rempel via social media. Solely Maryanne had met her in particular person. When she requested her cousins to assist their ancestral nation, nonetheless, they did not hesitate.
“None of that issues when your loved ones is in disaster,” Maryanne stated.
She and Sarah had been speaking about how they may assist once they had been overheard by Shepherds proprietor Garrett Shepherd. On the spot, he provided to host a fundraiser for Feine Ukraine. Phrase unfold to Lynn Varley, proprietor of Moondog’s Lounge, who was organizing a musical profit, Shining the Moon on Ukraine. Initially deliberate for March, it was postponed attributable to COVID-19.
Varley, Shepherd and the Latanyshyns then agreed to merge the 2 occasions, and produce extra downtown venues aboard, for Increase a Pint for Ukraine. Going down this Sunday afternoon at 10 bars and eating places, it can accumulate proceeds from meals and beverage gross sales for each Feine Ukraine and the reduction fund organized by SS. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Auburn.
(See under for a full listing of collaborating venues and their occasions.)
The cash is not going to solely go to Rempel’s group, it can possibly assist among the many family members the Latanyshyns have inside Ukraine. For security causes, they declined to say any extra about them.
“It is actually dangerous,” Maryanne stated. “They desperately want help.”
If their final identify is Latanyshyn, she continued, they’re in all probability associated to her. The oldest two sons of the household, which she in comparison with a Scottish clan, had been forcibly eliminated to labor camps from their ancestral lands in an ethnically Ukrainian space of Poland in 1939. One, Nikolai, was dropped at Soviet Ukraine, the place he later died as a younger father engaged on a collective farm.
The opposite of these two sons, Michael, was liberated in Munich as World Battle II got here to an finish. He and his younger household, which included Anna and Sarah’s mother and father, settled in Auburn in 1951.
One other son, John, settled within the metropolis in 1962. Maryanne, his daughter, is to her information the primary member of the household born within the U.S. She did not be taught English till she was 4.
In Auburn, amid a wave of Ukrainian immigrants throughout and after the conflict, Maryanne remembers cultural actions like dancing and picnics, seeing the nation’s flag flying at Metropolis Corridor, and attending college and church at SS. Peter & Paul. Anna was extra built-in into American tradition, however she remembers preserving monitor, at all times, of what was occurring in her household’s homeland.
That traditionally shut reference to Ukraine is what makes it so arduous to observe what’s occurring there now, Anna stated.
“We’re feeling a really particular, intergenerational trauma,” she stated. “We all know what our mother and father and grandparents went via to be right here within the U.S., and it is arduous to see these similar occasions unfold.”
Likewise, Sunday’s profit is so significant to the Latanyshyns as a result of they know they cash they elevate will go someplace near them — even when a lot of that cash will come from strangers.
“We’re so lucky individuals exterior the Ukrainian group are so prepared to assist us,” Anna stated. “I will always remember that kindness.”
Gallery: Folks rally to assist Ukraine on the steps of metropolis corridor in Auburn