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Oak Bay lawn bowlers pitch in $2,300 for Ukrainian refugees

Last-minute call for donations leads to housing help
Efforts to host refugees from Ukraine in local communities got a cash boost from members of the Oak Bay Lawn Bowling Club. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Players at the Oak Bay Lawn Bowling Club raised $2,300 for refugees coming to Greater Victoria after a simple request during a tournament last weekend.

Club members set out flowers in the shape and colour of a Ukrainian flag alongside a donation bucket during a July 31 tournament.

Over the day, 35 players donated funds to the local Ukrainian church to help with housing for refugees from the war-torn country, explained member David Anderson.

Fellow member Constantine Botea hails from a neighbouring European country and posed the spur-of-the-moment idea, Anderson said. “We had no idea of how it would go but we’re proud of the members.”

RELATED: 3 groups build relationships to house Ukrainian family in Oak Bay

Meanwhile, Oak Bay council has approved lease negotiations with the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria for the municipally-owned home at 1531 Hampshire Rd.

The term would run two to three years with the organization providing required repairs. A larger Oak Bay-owned house at 1538 Monterey Ave. needs repairs estimated at $300,000. While the ICA, alongside other partners, expressed an interest in that home, district staff will explore further uses that would offset some or all of those costs.

Last weekend, the Ukrainian Village opened with fanfare Aug. 6 in the Kiwanis Village residential facility on Cook Street in Victoria.

RELATED: Seniors home reopens for Ukrainian newcomers

In an effort to aid some of the most vulnerable Ukrainians fleeing violence – including single mothers with children, seniors, people living with disabilities and members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community – up to 45 people can take up temporary residence for free in the village.

The project is a partnership between the Capital Regional District, Help Ukraine Vancouver Island, Kiwanis Club of Victoria, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker Ukrainian Catholic Church, Ukrainian-Canadian Congress Victoria branch, Ukrainian Cultural Society of Vancouver Island and the Victoria Foundation.

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

Longtime journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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