SPECIAL EVENT – Involved in the Philoptochos Society of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church’s “Pasta and Prayers” effort to benefit the Ukrainian War Relief Fund which raised over $5,000 were, front row, from left, Nick Tranto, Pearl Tranto, Violeta Turianyn, Natalia Turianyn, Vasyl Turianyn, Mika Turianyn, John Greco, Sue Greco, and Mayor Harold Miller; and back row, second row: City Manager Mike Adams, Mark Zilich, Tammie Zilich, Alex Weld, Dr. Manuel Ballas and Sen. W.Va. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke. — Contributed. Credits: All Saints Greek Orthodox Church, Weirton, West Virginia
All Saints Philoptochos in Weirton, WV Hosts ‘Pasta and Prayers’ for GOARCH Ukraine Relief Fund, Raising Over $5,000
On March 20, 2022, Ladies Philoptochos Society of All Saints Greek Orthodox Church in Weirton, West Virginia sponsored a “Pasta and Prayers” fundraiser for the GOARCH Ukraine Relief Fund.
In their letter to His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros, Father Frank A. Milanese, Proistamenos of All Saints, and Mrs. Pearl Tranto, President of All Saints Philoptochos, shared an enclosed donation of $6,350, raised through fundraising efforts.
The event, organized in collaboration with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the National Philoptochos Society and the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), followed church services and included a lunch of pasta, salad, fruit and desserts in the Hellenic Memorial Hall on West Street.
The room was decorated with Ukrainian flags and sunflowers, the national flower of Ukraine.
Special guests were Vasyl and Natalia Turianyn from Ukraine. Five years ago, the couple and their then 4-year-old daughter won a lottery granting them a visa to immigrate to the United States. Once in Weirton, then Byzantine Catholic Church priest Reverend Vasyl Symyon asked John and Sue Greco if they would sponsor the couple by providing temporary accommodation for “two weeks”.
They agreed and later Vasyl and Natalia and their daughters, Violeta, now 9, and Mika, 1, were moved into a house owned by the Grecos and have been living there ever since. Greco shared that the Turianyns are now “part of the family”.
Vasyl, a skilled craftsman, has now started his own construction business which includes renovation, painting and various other projects.
As keynote speakers, the couple spoke passionately about their homeland, the friends and family they left behind, and the war that began on February 24.
Every day, they said, they anxiously await news of loved ones left behind in Ukraine, and they continue to watch news reports about the destruction of their homeland.
Their daughter, Violeta, a student at St. Joseph the Worker in Weirton, also spoke, ending her speech with, “I love my mother and my father. And I love America.
The Turianyns said they were grateful to be in the United States and looked forward to one day becoming American citizens.
The Ukrainian people are in desperate need of basic necessities such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies, the event stressed.
Anyone wishing to help support this war relief effort can always send checks to Philoptochos, PO Box 128, West Street, Weirton, WV 26062, with “Ukraine” in the memo or call the All Saints office at (304) 797-9884.
“We thank everyone who has donated and offered support,” a spokesperson noted. “Our prayers are with the Ukrainian people whose spirit will never be broken.”