An art auction to benefit the Ukrainian people is scheduled to be held Sunday in downtown Durango.
The fundraiser starts at 1 p.m. at Durango Rug Co., said Durango resident Vladimir Koshevoy, an ethnic Ukrainian born and raised in Lithuania. Koshevoy works in the information technology department at Fort Lewis College and has family in Kharkiv, 30 miles from the Ukrainian-Russian border.
Local artists have donated art to be auctioned as part of the fundraiser, he said. His wife, Alena Yaremchuk, will also provide art for the auction. Yaremchuk, also living in Durango, is a Ukrainian socialite who has family in Kyiv.
“It’s going to be like a freedom rally,” Koshevoy said. “We’re going to spend some time in the Durango Rug Co., in the store. Then we’ll probably go outside and do a circle on Main (Avenue) with posters and stuff like that.”
Koshevoy said he and his wife created a nonprofit called Intellectual Leadership to facilitate the fundraiser.
The fundraiser was endorsed by Indivisible Durango, a self-described “grassroots, nonviolent resistance movement” with a mission to safeguard democracy and quality of life.
Farmington resident Olena Erickson, who fears for the safety of her family in Ukraine, including her 80-year-old mother and teenage nieces, told The Durango Herald in an interview that people who want to donate money in support of Ukrainians should do so through verified outlets.
Erickson said she prefers people use official donation channels rather than GoFundMe pages or cash donations to private parties.