OWENSBORO, Ky. (4/21/14) — The headlines seem to grow darker each day for the people of the Ukraine.
The UN works to bring peace, but with little results so far. Victims of the conflict caught in the middle are getting much needed relief through Canitas Olomouc, a Catholic mission service located strategically just over the border in the Czech Republic city of Olomouc. Canitas has several missions in Ukraine, struggling to help an ever growing number of wounded, homeless, hungry people, as they literally run for their lives as rebel forces advance.
To help raise much needed funds for the ongoing relief effort there, Brescia University, Canitas Olomouc, the Sister Cities and Regions organization, are teaming up to present a Ukraine relief concert featuring Heath and Molly Eric.
The husband and wife duo performed last year in Olomouc. Billed as "Heath & Molly," both of Rumsey, Ky., found themselves playing for tens of thousands of people last summer, bringing a message of peace with their through what they call revolutionary roots-rock music With a population about double that of Owensboro, Olomouc looks much like many cities just over the once peaceful Ukrainian border, with block after block of centuries-old cathedrals, museums filled with artwork, and cobblestone streets.
"Our performances in Olomouc came about after it's mayor visited Owensboro in 2012 as part of an Owensboro Sister Cities and Regions event," Eric told SurfKY News. "The mayor loved our music and invited us to perform several shows. This year we'll return for an extended tour. But right now we are just trying to do all we can to help with the relief effort centered in Olomouc. After being so close to what is Ukraine, we have really come to see just how much we take peace for granted here in the US. When we got the news of the tremendous need just the basics to survive, like food, water and shelter, we knew we had to do whatever we could."
"Heath & Molly" will do what they do best at "An Evening with Heath & Molly, a Benefit Concert for Ukraine Missions." The event will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 Brescia University's Taylor Lecture Hall. Admission is $20 per person. Showtime is at 7 p.m. with coffee and dessert at 6:30 p.m.
Pam Wilson, Executive Director of Owensboro Sister Cities and Regions, told SurfKY News there is an urgent need for food and other supplies that can now still make it to some parts of Ukraine by way of the Czech Republic.
"Canites Charities has established missions throughout the Ukraine," Wilson said. "The people there are poor by circumstances any time. But right now they cannot get goods and services into the country in any form, except for the Caritas Olomouc relief effort. They can still get through the borders. The problem is, like many charitable institutions, they don't have much money. They asked if we might help raise funds here. We thought the best idea. would be to have one big event like this. Greta McDonough, professor of human services and social work at OCTC, has been to the missions in the Ukraine. She will give a brief talk about her experiences there, and while Heath & Molly perform we'll scroll a photo montage showing some of the people she met, along with some of the missions and orphanages there."
Wilson said that communication is very limited with people she knows in the Ukraine. Sadly, what little information does make it out, indicates this will likely turn into a full blown Ukrainian civil war.
"I think that things are really bad in the east, and it continues to move to the west. This won't be good for anyone. But for now Canitas Olomouc can still make it to their missions there. We know poor here in the US, but these people have nothing. Anything we can do will be appreciated. It's really important to get the word out."
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