Portland kayakers paddle to raise support and money for Ukraine

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — It was a beautiful day on the Willamette River on Saturday, with lots of people preparing to get out on the water.

But kayakers weren’t just enjoying the scenery.

“Portland paddlers are coming together to rally together and show their support for the people of Ukraine, who are trapped in a terrible situation and terrible war conflict,” said organizer Paul Steinberg.

It’s called “Padling for Ukraine”. Steinberg said 100% of the proceeds would go to charity.

“We support two charities,” Steinberg said. “Direct Relief Ukraine and the Ukrainian Foundation.”

The organizers have teamed up with Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe. The company donated the use of its kayaks and other equipment.

“It could be one of their busiest days of the year,” Steinberg said. “It’s a very beautiful spring day, one of the first beautiful spring weekend days. Instead of doing that, they are here to support this event.

Andre Romanelli is the Program Director for Alder Creek Kayak and Canoe. He said as soon as they heard about the event, they were eager to help.

“We felt that was still an important thing to address and consider,” Romanelli said. “I think a lot of people were wondering how they could help and what we could do for Ukrainians.”

This is help that the Ukrainian Foundation said it would gratefully accept.

“We are incredibly blessed to be here and to have (such) tremendous support from the American people,” said Yuriy Boyechko, president of the Ukrainian Foundation. “(They) understand that we are fighting for our freedom and the moral support is huge for us.”

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