‘Unite For Ukraine’ benefit concert raises funds to send medical supplies to war zone

The people of Virginia Beach came together in support of Ukraine on Sunday evening.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — On Sunday, a group of bands held a benefit concert in support of Ukrainians affected by the Russian-Ukrainian war.

A large group gathered at Elevation 27 in Virginia Beach for the Unite for Ukraine concert.

“We came to support Ukraine and the people there, and we are very concerned about their safety,” said concert attendee Laura Low.

The groups performed in English, Ukrainian and Russian.

Anatoliy Stepanenko is a member of the VO-BLA group and organized the concert. Stepanenko is also from Russia.

“Nobody wants war. It doesn’t matter who you are. You’re Russian or Ukrainian or whatever. Nobody wants war. That’s a problem for them right now,” Stepanenko said.

Stepanenko said his band’s drummer was from Ukraine and had recently returned to his homeland to fight in the war.

“I tried to help him, to help his family to help his friends, to help everyone,” Stepanenko said.

Ticket sales for the concert will help Ukrainian Tidewater School send medical supplies to Ukrainians.

“To date, we have already had five expeditions. That’s over 400 boxes,” said Ukrainian Tidewater school principal Tetiana Ordono.

Right now, teachers from Ukraine’s Tidewater School are sorting through supplies at a church in Virginia Beach. Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer supports the cause.

Dyer said he was working with the school to get a bigger place to keep the supplies.

“We are now arranging a free storage facility for them where people can drop off materials needed in Ukraine,” Dyer said.

According to Ordono, the school has so far spent $20,000 sending supplies to Ukraine.

Dyer said Virginia Beach city leaders are also considering a “sister city-type relationship” with the city of Odessa, Ukraine.

“Now Odessa looks like Virginia Beach. They have a naval presence, they have a port, they have beaches and tourism and everything,” Dyer said.

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