Fundraiser for Ukraine draws hundreds to Italian Cultural Center | Local News

A fundraiser at the Italian Cultural Center on Sunday brought in at least $8,000 in contributions for the Ukrainian relief effort, according to Lindsey Lauren Visser, the center’s deputy executive director.

Among the many contributions from community organizations were raffle baskets donated by the Hertel Business Association, food prepared by local chefs, beer tastings and family activities.

“Our event was about raising as much awareness as possible and having as much impact as possible,” Visser said.

“I think it’s so important as a cultural organization to preserve those immigrant values ​​of compassion, sympathy and selflessness that our ancestors taught us,” Visser said.

She said immigrants to the United States had fled dire situations in their home countries, but many had come through their experiences without bitterness or resentment, reflecting the human values ​​that New Yorkers in the West and others are now called upon to imitate.

“We want to celebrate their legacy by making sure no one in times of need is left alone, and I think that’s Western New York in a nutshell,” Visser said.

Mark Sommer covers preservation, development, waterfront, culture and more. He is also a former arts editor for The News.

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