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Local Ukrainian-owned deli raising funds for victims of war

Local Ukrainian-owned deli raising funds for victims of war

by TIM MOSIER

September 28, 2022

Estes Park’s own Rocky Mountain Deli – located in the Stanley Village — is Ukrainian-owned and over the last few weeks owner Iryna Irklliienko has been hosting a weekly fundraising lunch to directly support those in the war-torn country.

Every Wednesday since March 30, beginning at 11 a.m. and lasting until the food runs out, Irkliienko and friends Irina Lekhno and Natasha Pleshkova have been providing traditional Ukrainian cuisine to the local community with all proceeds going towards their fundraising efforts.
“We have been running out of food within two hours so we have to cook more,” Irkliienko said with a laugh. “Borscht and Kompot — kind of like a fruit punch — are going to be an every time thing and we’re going to do different things on top of that.”
There are no set prices for the cuisine, patrons just donate what they feel comfortable with and enjoy.
Pleshkova’s mother, Tamara, is a retired school teacher who has chosen to stay in her home in the Kirovograd Region in central Ukraine rather than flee to safety. Her home has become a stop for refugees escaping to the East for the safety of surrounding countries.
“All three of us are from three different regions so we just find a source of need and we try to help that source, and then we try to find somebody else,” said Irkliienko, who is from Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine. “I have a friend currently in Poland and I sent her package with shoes, there was a shortage of shoes for some reason in Poland. It just depends on the area and the need.”
Recently, because of donations from Estes Park, Tamara has been able to provide much needed anti-seizure medication to one man, heart medication to another, $1,000 to keep the power on in a regional hospital, groceries for soldiers, and money to help several elderly individuals who are no longer receiving government checks.
“Our main goal is to satisfy the direct need. We communicate with the people in the Ukraine directly, we see what they are doing, and we are helping them directly,” Irkliienko said. “These are people that we know … friends of the friends … family of the family and things like that.”
Irkliienko is using the international logistical services company Meest to order items that are needed and have them shipped directly to family and friends in Ukraine.
“We purchase the products and my friend sends it directly to her mother’s address in central Ukraine and she distributes it to refugees,” Irkliienko said. “We are satisfying the direct needs of the families and the families and friends we know.”
Those interested in an authentic Ukrainian meal should arrive early on Wednesdays as the event has become quite popular over the past weeks. Those simply wishing to donate can do so at the deli any day of the week.
“We tell the people to come as early as possible … we have had a line out the door so we’re trying to be a little more efficient,” said Irkliienko. “All the proceeds from these events go directly to the families in Ukraine, every single cent.”
As of April 11, Irkliienko estimates they have raised roughly $3,000 through their efforts and will continue the fundraiser for the foreseeable future.

How to find this Ukrainian Owned Business in Colorado: Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049256535140 Address - 541 Big Thompson Ave, Unit B, Estes Park, CO, United States, Colorado ***https://www.rockymtndeli.com/

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