History of the UECC
The year 2020 marks our 40th year anniversary.
We are proud to have positively touched and affected many lives since 1980. We thank the countless supporters and volunteers who have, through the years, financially and physically supported our programs, events and our work for the Ukrainian community.
We promise to continue working on our purpose of serving the Ukrainian community in the Greater Philadelphia Area.
Parents Committee of the Ukrainian Saturday School initiated search for a permanent home.
Cedar Elementary School, was found by Mrs. Roma Salak and Mrs. Yaryna Telepko (Realtor)
December 15, 1979
Dr. Alexander Chernyk spearheaded the project
October 19, 1980
First UECC Board of Directors elected; Daniel Maxymuik Esq. appointed UECC's solicitor, serving for 20 years on a pro bono basis.
September 19, 1981
Official UECC dedication ceremony with Archbishop Metropolitan Stefan Sulyk providing the blessing
16 Ukrainian organizations joined the UECC
1982 - 1983
Lottery for Building Renovation/Expansion raised $112,000 – organized by Board Member Christine Kulchyckyj
December 11, 1982
1st UECC Christmas Bazaar held with art exhibits of local artists
VISTA Social Services Federal Grant awarded for $65,000 due to the efforts of Vera Andryczyk, Orysia Hewka, Martha Tatunchak and Maria Kondrat
Ukrainian American Senior Citizens Association formed as a program of the UECC. Social services of UECC obtained contract with Montgomery County Department of Aging to provide hot lunches for our seniors
UECC joined United Way
First UECC Newsletter organized by Dr. L. Onyshkevych and V. Andryczyk
Courses in folk arts offered at UECC
Mrs. Orysia Hewka appointed Executive Director by UECC Board
Dr. A. Chernyk “Roast” held to benefit UECC.
5th UECC Banquet - $300K Mortgage Burned
1985 - 1987
Construction of new wing and atrium began at a cost of $850,000.00 USFCU contributed $154,000.00 for renovating the Main Hall
Social Services Bureau expanded to 1325 West Lindley Ave.in Philadelphia – the branch continued to operate until 1994
February 22, 1986
Sen. M. Joseph Rocks (PA-R) honored as Man of the Year at 6th UECC Banquet. He helped secure a $50,000 grant for UECC Social Services.
February 15, 1987
UECC & Ukrainian Community Committee took part in “We the People 200, Inc.”
Constitutional Bicentennial at Balch Institute presented an exhibit of Ukrainian heritage and customs
February 22, 1987
UECC formally incorporated and received nonprofit status
June 24, 1987
Celebration of the Millennium of Christianity in Ukraine in the Capital Building Rotunda in Harrisburg, PA - UECC & Philadelphia Organizations
September 17, 1988
Ribbon Cutting and blessing of New Wing dedicated by Dr. Chernyk
1st Phonathon held, organized by B. Zacharczuk to pay down UECC building expansion loan
Borys Zacharczuk elected president.
February 24, 1990
Dr. A. Chernyk was honored for bringing many organizations to the Center
Spearheaded by the UECC, “Ridna Shkola” and “Nasha Ukrainska Shkola” CYM united into one school “Nasha Ukrainska Ridna Shkola;” Alexander Lushnycky, Ph D. elected as 1st principal
1990 - 1991
Organized 1st performers from free Ukraine: Vika Rock group, Cultural Exchange, Leontovych String Quartet, etc
Ukrainian Library (Plast - Chortopolokhy) became program of the UECC
11th UECC Banquet, Sen. Greenleaf named “Man of the Year.”
His efforts brought UECC a second $25,000 grant for Building Renovations.
October 13, 1991
UECC and other Ukrainian Organizations took part in “Neighbors in the New World,” annual “Columbus Day” Parade
Philadelphia Electric Co. building proclaimed “Ukraine is Independent” on its rooftop lighted sign. The project was initiated by P. Sawchak and executed by Mrs. O. Hewka under the direction of Borys Zacharczuk.
May 2, 1992
1st Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk visits Philadelphia and the UECC
August 24, 1992
1st Anniversary of Ukrainian Independence celebrated at UECC
March 16, 1993
UECC presents distinguished Service Award to Eudokia Dyczko Blawacka (Ukrainian Radio program from ‘52 - ‘92) at the 13th UECC
B. Zacharczuk initiates UECC Radio program at station WNWR 1540 AM
February 26, 1994
UECC honors UNA at Centennial Anniversary – Supreme President Ulana Diachuk honored at UECC's Banquet
UECC organized a protest against the defamation of Ukrainians in a CBS “60 Minutes” documentary called “Ugly Faces of Freedom.” A monetary penalty was paid by CBS
UECC second newsletter – Quarterly was published with editors: Dzwinka Zacharczuk and Petrusia Sawchak
The Metropolitan Ballet Academy/School under the direction of Ms. Lisa Collins opened at the UECC.
March 9, 1996
16th Annual Banquet honored Dr. Julian Kulas and Pres. B. Zacharczuk.
Second Mortgage of $500,000. was burned at the banquet
1996 - 1998
UECC TV Programs produced and aired weekly Produced by B.Zacharczuk
The first contribution from Ann and James Ganley, non-Ukrainians from St. Louis, Missouri who became very generous donors to UECC, contributing more than $85,000.00 over a number of years
First One Hour TV program in conjunction with “KONTAKT” directed by B. Zacharczuk was aired
April 5, 1997
UECC honored Editor Zenon Snylyk of “Svoboda” at their 17th Annual Banquet with special exhibits by the state of Pennsylvania and the PA Dept. of Agriculture
July 25, 1997
UECC featured Ukrainian Culture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art as part of the Community Outreach program (1500 people attended)
Mykola Lutyj elected 3rd UECC president
October 12, 1997
UECC Scholarship Pageant held. Natalka Sendecki was crowned “Miss Ukraine” of Greater Philadelphia
December 7, 1997
Ukraine proclaimed Independence! UECC staff under Mrs. O. Hewka organized a motorcade and rally from 60th Street to Philadelphia Art Museum
March 28, 1998
UECC held a reception for Rep. Jon D. Fox who was instrumental in securing $225 million in foreign aid to Ukraine. Vera Andryczyk chaired the effort
1st Annual UECC Report prepared by O.Hewka. An annual report is now prepared before each Annual Meeting
18th UECC Banquet, Pres. Mukola Luty welcomed and honored Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Anton Buteiko
Untimely death of UECC President Mykola Lutyj; Alexander Mychaluk became interim President
Patricia Sawchak elected as 3rd UECC president
February 26, 2000
UECC 20th Anniversary Banquet held - Amb. Kostiantyn Hryshchenko & wife Natalia attended - Service awards presented to Borys Zacharczuk, Eudokia Sorochaniuk, and Senior Citizens Association
April 15, 2000
1st annual UECC Easter Bazaar held
2000 - 2002
UECC Social Service Bureau under direction of Mrs. O. Hewka assisted Ukrainians forced to work in Germany during WWII in claiming reparations. More than 350 were interviewed and assisted.
P. Sawchak achieved sales tax exemption for the UECC and established a website and an email address
At UECC 21st Banquet, President P. Sawchak presented recognition award to John (Ivan) Hynansky for his generous contributions in USA and Ukraine
The UECC welcomed the crew of Ukrainian “Tall Ship” “Bat'kivschyna”
April 21, 2001
15th Anniversary of Chornobyl disaster commemoration held at UECC – proceeds earmarked for orphanages in Ukraine
June 9, 2001
UECC organized (P. Sawchak and O. Hewka) and presented “The Brave Rooster” a children’s operetta and political satire
August 8, 2001
UECC sponsored 2nd Mosaic of Ukrainian culture at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
September 29, 2001
Gallery renamed in honor of Dr. Alexander B. Chernyk at a special dedication ceremony
March 2, 2002
UECC Banquet held to honor Archbishop - Metropolitan Stefan Soroka of Ukrainian Catholic Church, chaired by UECC Director Mrs. T. Katruk
Borys Zacharczuk elected President of the UECC for a second time.
Concert and tribute reception for Roma Pryma – Bohachevsky
March 4, 2004
Sculpture of Taras Shevchenko by Vitaliy Simianciw unveiled during commemorative concert. It now stands in the UECC lobby
May 8, 2004
UECC 24th banquet honored the continued support of Ukrainian Self Reliance Federal Credit Union and Ukrainian Heritage Foundation (1st Security Bank)
September 17, 2005
UECC joined in co-sponsoring a Banquet and organizing a choral performance at the Philadelphia
Constitution Hall to honor Pres.Viktor Yushchenko in receiving the coveted Philadelphia Liberty Medal
UECC 26th Banquet lauded Ukraine’s new Trade relationship and celebrated the Jackson-Vanik Trade Amendment. Sen. Rick Santorum and Ukraine’s Ambassador to the U.S. Oleh Shamshur were honored
Borys V. Pawluk elected President of UECC
April 21, 2007
First Cabaret-style night organized by Ms. L. Krywusha featuring Ukrainian born virtuoso Vasyl Popadiuk & his band “Papa Duke”
First Malanka Cruise (7 day) to the Western Caribbean organized and chaired by Mrs. A. Zharovsky. More than $25,000.00 was raised for the UECC.
April 20, 2008
UECC 25th Anniversary Banquet with the Honorable Judge Bohdan A. Futey as a keynote speaker.
Two new events organized for children - Den Ukrainskoyi Dytyny and a Cartoon Festivalchaired by Mrs. A. Zharovsky and Mrs. N. Firko
May 28, 2008
UECC took part and assisted in commemorating the 75th anniversary of Ukraine's Famine 1932 – 33, and passed the Ukrainian International “Torch of Remembrance Day” to Mayor Michael Nutter
English as a Second Language (ESL) classes organized by UECC and funded by Western Union
Ukrainian Greenhouse Association of Kyiv welcomed and hosted by Ukrainian Federation of America and UECC directors
Tribute luncheon for Dr. Eugene Novosad for twenty-five years of service as president of the Ukrainian American Senior Citizens’ Association
September 12, 2008
First “Meet & Greet” Festival organized by Mrs. Natalka Firko, UECC Program VP
September 30, 2008
UECC assisted the Ukrainian community in Philadelphia in voting in Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada elections by organizing buses to New York City.
Ukrainian Selfreliance Federal Credit Union local branch opened at the UECC
Grant Committee reactivated – received $6,000 Grant from Western Union for ESL classes and $5,000 Grant from Congressman Josh Shapiro – initiated by Mrs. P. Sawchak
April 25, 2009
Ukrainian American NASA Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper honored at UECC banquet – met Ukrainian children/hromada over a two day
Ukrainian Library celebrated its 50th anniversary with UECC and the Heritage School
Theater group formed by local new Ukrainian immigrants presented the first of a series of Cabaret-style shows “Lvivsky Vechir – Yazykata Dzhezva” chaired by Mrs. A. Zharovsky
Committee formed to celebrate the 30 year Anniversary of UECC chaired by Ms. Natalka Firko. A sub-committee, chaired by Mr. L. Pyrih, was formed to prepare and publish a 30 Year Commemorative Book of the UECC’s
Mrs. Orysia Hewka, Executive Director of the UECC for over 25 years retired. Announcement and accolades presented at the 29th Annual UECC meeting
January 27, 2010
“Schedryj Vechir” co-sponsored by the UECC and New Ukrainian Wave Organization
UECC organized 3-day HIV/AIDS awareness in Ukraine with the participation of Miss Universe, Justine Pasek
June 23, 2010
Mark Tarnawsky hired as New Executive Director.
September 25, 2010
30 Year Anniversary Gala Celebration held