A fundraising memorial dinner for Cranbrook’s Frank Sandor raised about $40,000 to help bring Ukrainian refugees to the community.
As Ukrainian citizens flee Russia’s invasion, a group in Cranbrook is working to offer them a safe place to stay.
On Wednesday night, many in Cranbrook’s business community met to help raise money and honour Frank Sandor, a well-renowned local businessman and an immigrant himself.
Sandor fled Hungary in 1957 and eventually ended up in Cranbrook by 1968.
One of the memorial service’s organizers Terry Segarty said about 170 people arrived.
“We probably raised in the neighbourhood of around $40,000. Everybody was very generous. Every person we asked for financial resources from, we were able to get it,” said Segarty.
“When you talk to them about the Ukrainian situation and the need to bring them from there to Cranbrook and provide them with an opportunity to continue their lives in some kind of normality, the response was huge,” said Segarty.
Some Ukrainian families have already made it to the Cranbrook area.
“Most of them that have come here so far have been sponsored by relatives or families in the area,” said Segarty.
Segarty said the money will go a long way, but more will always help.
“When you consider we have to raise something in the neighbourhood of about $500,000 at least, because it costs $25,000 per person per family, plus the airfare, $50,000 doesn’t go very far so we need to raise as much money as we can,” said Segarty.
A count of the total funds raised will be finalized by the end of this month.