A motorcycle charity event next month is expected to draw donations that will help families in war-torn Ukraine.
Ukraine Train will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, at Marlton Middle School and end in Philadelphia, at a location yet to be determined. Items requested for donation include medical supplies, mobility aids, baby formula, diapers and wipes and undergarments and linens.
All donations will go to the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee Inc. (UUARC), a nonprofit providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainians. Paul Lokianovich Jr., a Marlton resident who organized the event, is of Ukrainian ancestry: Both his maternal and paternal grandparents emigrated from there to the U.S.
“My grandmother had fled (Ukraine) back in the late 1930s after the Bolshevik invasion (of Ukraine),” he noted. “So she’s kind of reliving this.”
Lokianovich said his motivation for the motorcycle event came from his family’s desire to help struggling Ukrainian citizens.
“We felt like we needed to do something, so (being a new motorcyclist), I reached out on Facebook to see who could help me set up a charity ride event,” he said. ”Someone responded and said, ‘Hey, I’m looking to do a charity ride. I could be your road captain to get (to Philadelphia) safely.’
“And one thing led to the next,” Lokianovich added, “and now (the charity ride event) is slowly gaining traction.”
He emphasized the importance of helping Ukrainians and has urged locals to show support for them by attending the charity ride or donating requested items.
“People in Ukraine are suffering greatly,’’ he noted. “I’ve been there. I know how beautiful (Ukraine) is, and what’s happening there is … absolutely mind-blowing. The women, children and elderly that are fleeing (Ukraine) need as much help as they can get right now.
“I would love for people to come out and help support this cause,” Lokianovich added, “and help get us supplies to Ukraine and bring them the things they need the most.”
The cost to participate in the motorcycle event is $20 per bike and $10 per passenger. Lunch will be provided.
The UUARC will have a truck at the middle school for residents to drop off donations. The complete Ukrainian Aid Collection list can be found online at www.uuarc.org. Any additional questions can be emailed to email@example.com