Glow sticks in blue and yellow, the colors of Ukraine, form the shape of a heart during a fundraiser held in April 2022 in White Rock to support Rotary international’s relief efforts in the war-torn country. Hundreds in the community participated. Photo by Linda Hull
BY LINDA HULL
Rotary Club of Los Alamos
In April of last year, the Rotary Club of Los Alamos, under the guidance of President Oliver Morris, sponsored Peace Glow, a fundraiser for Rotary International’s Disaster Relief/Response Fund for Ukraine.
As 2022 came to an end, Linda Woodward, the Foundation Chair for Rotary District 5520, wrote,
“I could not let Christmas come and go without letting you know about the wonderful gift you are providing Ukrainians in need! This past Rotary year so many of you and your clubs gave to the Disaster Relief/Response Fund for Ukraine. As the result of the outpouring of Rotarian support for Ukraine, the door was opened for districts to apply for a Disaster Response Grant. Therefore, I am pleased to inform you that District 5520 has been approved for a Disaster Response Grant with Rotary Club Olsztyn in Poland. This grant of $25,000.00, which you helped to fund, will purchase a van and food. It is already ready to go into Ukraine.
“I wanted again to recognize your thoughtfulness in the giving that has enabled all of these things to move forward. I would like to send you words from the individual I work with in the Polish Club. The email from Darek reads, ‘Thank you for helping for refugees this makes new meaning of Christmas. We wish you all the best for Christmas and next holidays without the war. Rotary is working hard here with your help to make this happen.’
“Thank you from your Foundation team and many, many blessings to you and your club.”
The members of the Rotary Club of Los Alamos would like to thank the community once again for its support of this important humanitarian fundraiser. You have helped provide food and a van for many needy and displaced Ukrainians.
The following is a submission to the Los Alamos Reporter from Linda Hill on April 23, 2022:
Update/Thank-You Rotary Peace Glow Fundraiser for Ukraine Disaster Relief Fund
“Hope is the one thing that can get us through the darkest of times. Los Alamos citizens gathered to encourage hope for the Ukrainian people,” remarked Rotary Club President Oliver Morris reflecting upon the April 16th evening fundraiser, Peace Glow, which raised over $4100 for Rotary International’s Ukraine Disaster Relief Fund. Gathering at Spirio soccer fields in White Rock, Rotary Club members and its enthusiastic high school organization, the Interact Club, sold blue and yellow glow sticks, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, to a crowd of at least 300.
As the sun set, supporters were asked to stand on the perimeter of a heart shape marked by traffic cones on the field. Yunseo Kim, a junior at Los Alamos High School and the President of the LAHS Interact Club, gave the opening words she had written for the occasion. Acknowledging that “we may all feel powerless right now, seeing war crimes and history being changed in our lifetime.” She continued, “Here today, we may not have the power to stop this war, but in some way your contribution tonight may have saved someone’s life, someone’s family, their parents, or their children.”
With the Beatles’s ‘Let It Be’ playing softly in the background and glow sticks shining, the Los Alamos Police Department flew two drones overhead to capture the message of hope. With the last colors of sunset fading behind the Jemez Mountains and the waning gibbous moon brightly cresting above the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, many in attendance expressed their sense of heartfelt meaning in the moments given for peace.
The Rotary Club of Los Alamos sincerely thanks all in the community who supported this disaster relief fundraiser for Ukraine and all those who helped in the many details of its planning, preparation, and implementation.
Supporters have been especially generous. If you would like to join the fundraising effort for Ukraine, please send checks payable to the LA Rotary 1312 Foundation, PO Box 986, Los Alamos, NM, 87544. Donations are tax-deductible; 100% of the money raised will go directly to Rotary International’s Ukraine Disaster Relief Fund. For more information, please contact Linda Hull, 505-662-7950.