With the unsettling situation in Ukraine, a young woman from Bruno with family attachments to the beleaguered nation took it upon herself to raise awareness and support. Camilla Saretzky is a grade 11 student in Bruno School taking a Leadership course. As part of her tasks for the course, she took on an assignment to plan a school activity. Her choice was to create an event that would help to support those in Ukraine who are fleeing the carnage of the Russian invasion. Part of the activity involved a smokie and perogy sale fundraiser that raised an incredible $932.02.

“We had some great volunteers,” explains Saretzky. “We had our school secretary, Mrs. (Marie) Moore and Caroll Roussel, who came in and cooked them, and we also sold donuts, and lots of people donated.” 

The 63 dozen perogies were made and donated by Lorraine Sorokoski. The sale, which included handcraft rainbow loom bracelets, was held at the school on a single day. The donuts were decorated in blue and yellow, colours representing Ukraine.

Camilla and her twin brother are heavily involved in aspects of Ukrainian culture with her paternal grandmother’s Ukrainian background. Both are involved in the Verba Dance Group from Wakaw. Camilla and her brother Chet performed a traditional hutzl dance for the assembled classes of Bruno School.

“The money went to the Canada Ukraine Foundation,” Saretzky says. “The money is to help refugees and give them the supplies they need.”

Along with the fundraising benefits that the students and staff of Bruno passed along, Saretzky recognized the benefits that she derived from the experience.
“Definitely the planning aspect and talking in front of the school helped me grow as a leader. It just is so heartwarming how much a small community and school could come together to raise so much money in one day.”

There’s no stronger evidence that Bruno School is creating a generation of leaders than Camilla Saretzky with the help of her school and community.