The Ukrainian Educational and Cultural Center (UECC) is a non-profit organization located in the suburbs of Philadelphia in Jenkintown, PA. Founded in 1980, UECC is a focal point of Ukrainian-American cultural life in the Delaware Valley. The objective of the UECC is to preserve and promote awareness of Ukrainian heritage throughout the community. The UECC houses over 30 community, educational, scholarly and professional organizations and a Ukrainian Library. Educational programs range from a nursery school to a twelve-year Saturday School that provides instruction in Ukrainian language, literature, history, geography, music and culture.
The Mission of the UECC is to establish and maintain the facilities; promote, support, conduct and maintain social services and educational programs; and act and function exclusively for charitable and educational goals.
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)