La Goulue Palm Beach recently held a reception supporting the Ukraine Resistance Organisation (URO), an on-the-ground organization based in Kyiv created by Aleksey Brynzak and Ireesha Blohina. La Goulue Operating Partners Ed Carter, Kevin Richards and Janna Bullock hosted the fundraiser after Richards returned from the Kyiv warzone to visit Brynzak and Blohina, who created URO the day Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine with 100,000 Russian troops.
During the reception, Richards spoke on his experience in Kyiv, while Brynzak and Blohina shared personal stories via satellite feed from their home in Kyiv of what life is like now in Ukraine while bombs erupted in the background. More than $20,000 was raised that will go directly to the families in Kyiv.
Among the 100 guests in attendance were Ramona Singer, Karen Klop, Lauren Day Roberts, Art and Mara Benjamin, Whitney Bloom, Kim Hierston, Jean Shafiroff, Michele Rella, Brett Orlove, Dina Fink, Camilla Webster, Robin Azqueta, Bobbie Lindsey, Brad and Lauren Torres, Dara Sowell, Dayna Hardin and Ron Burkhardt.
Richards spent close to a month in Kyiv photographing, reporting and volunteering. His photographs from the battlezones and war life in Kyiv and Lviv were exhibited at the event, with proceeds from sales being donated to URO. La Goulue Palm Beach underwrote the reception.
URO has worked to raise funds to support the front lines and humanitarian efforts during the war. Blohina is a Ukrainian Olympic coach in Rhythmic Gymnastics with strong ties to the Ukrainian government, military and sports worlds in Ukraine.
“This is our country, our city, our family. Like so many of you, I am a mother of two beautiful children,” she says. “We will not be pushed out. We are not leaving.”
Donations to the Ukraine Resistance Organisation (URO) can be made here: https://taplink.cc/ukraineresistanceorganisation