“Indiana Stands with Ukraine” Gained National and Local Support

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October 2022

A special celebrity concert benefit was held on Saturday, October 1, in support of Ukrainian refugees who have crossed and continue to cross over the Ukrainian and Polish border in seek of humanitarian aid.

Indiana Stands with Ukraine

With the help of the event committee and our sponsors, this event quickly evolved into a significant affair that featured internationally renowned singer and actor Franc D’Ambrosio accompanied by Stephanie Lynne Smith as the concert’s headliners. The event in Indianapolis raised a remarkable total of $41, 202.70. The funds raised have contributed to the combined total that has been raised by D’Ambrosio since he began fundraising on behalf of the Dominican Friars, who have been offering humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees since the onset of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Local and National Talents Featured

The concert also featured local artists and talents: Don Farrell accompanied by Terry Woods, Artistic Director Alyona Yakovleva-Randall and the Indiana Ballet Conservatory and a special “surprise” recorded performance by celebrity singer/songwriter John Ondrasik with Five for Fighting.

The fundraiser was hosted at the private residence of Mr. Ryan and Mrs. Amy Wright of Indianapolis and included small plates featuring both American and authentic Ukrainian fare — prepared by Lena and Amy’s mothers and culinary professionals Valentyna Osinnia and Teri Uhrig.

There was a live auction of some remarkable and hard-to-obtain items and 100 percent of the event proceeds went to the Dominican Friars, who are on the front lines offering food, shelter, medical and mental health care to Ukrainian refugees and their children.

The Dominican Friars have an established 501(c)(3) set up, and all of the donations made to their website are being used to provide humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian refugees in their care. Some friars have converted parishes into oncology wards and are providing both physical and mental health care to those who are in desperate need.

Indiana Stands with Ukraine

How Can You Help?

The “Indiana Stands with Ukraine” fundraiser is an ongoing fundraiser, and we hope that many of our friends and associates will continue to support this important cause and the friars’ extraordinary work and for Ukrainian refugees.

Carmel Monthly publisher, Lena Lucas, is from Kyiv, Ukraine, and still has family abroad. Through her lens, we have gained a perspective on the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the genocide that is ongoing — we cannot turn a cheek to this. This is not a political issue — it is a humanitarian crisis where men, women and children are being annihilated, but they refuse to lay down their arms and hoist a white flag. The Ukrainian people continue to fight for their very existence.

Carmel Monthly publishers, Neil and Lena Lucas, and the extremely dedicated committee are committed to continue raising as much awareness and monetary support as possible.

Donations made to the Dominican Friars’ fund can be made for any amount, day or night, 365 days a year. Please consider donating to the Dominican Friars website at https://opwest.org/indianadonation.

Together, we can help save and improve the lives of Ukrainians who are fighting for their freedom and their futures.

“Indiana Stands with Ukraine” Event Sponsors

Simply put, this event would not have been possible without the generosity and energy of our sponsors and performers. On behalf of the fundraiser committee, we would like to acknowledge the following:

Neal Burnett and Karen Brabender of Indianapolis: Neal Burnett, Karen Brabender and their seven children and three grandchildren, along with Wilson the chocolate Labrador, are all native to Indiana. Neal and Karen both own and work together in a commercial development company in downtown Indy. They have completed many notable projects in central Indiana over the past 35 years. One more recent project is the New Back 9 golf and entertainment facility located in downtown Indy adjacent to the Lucas Oil stadium. Back 9 is a state-of-the-art golf and entertainment facility where one can enjoy playing golf courses and different games while in the comfort of one of the 75 available bays. Back 9 features more than four bars and dining experiences, along with a full music pavilion and balconies that can fit 700–800 guests for some of the best music performances Indy has to offer. Neal and Karen both lead very active lives enjoying family, social gatherings, tennis and many outdoor activities together. They especially like being involved in helping our community here but also abroad advance and thrive.

Visit back9golf.com for more information.

Carmel Monthly and Zionsville Monthly: Publishers Neil and Lena Lucas are the owners and publishers of Carmel’s and Zionsville’s premier lifestyle magazines and have been publishing in these communities for nearly a decade. The Lucases and head writer Janelle Morrison publish stories on the communities’ arts, education, business, nonprofit, government and community affairs as they impact the lives of the residents and business owners. Visit carmelmonthlymagazine.com and zionsvillemonthlymagazine.com.

Ryan and Amy Wright: Ryan is a bankruptcy attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana (bankruptcybyphone.com), and fronts the band Dean Martini. Amy is a partner with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP. The Wrights are avid supporters of the arts and staunch advocates for humanitarian efforts both locally and abroad.

Hotel Carmichael: Hotel Carmichael, an Autograph Collection Hotel, is located in the heart of the Carmel City Center. This greater Indianapolis hotel offers modern accommodations located next to the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts, one of the greatest music halls of its time. Visit hotelcarmichael.com.

Piano Solutions – Carmel: Piano Solutions in Carmel prides itself on offering not only the best pianos available today but also a thorough understanding of the instruments it sells and services.

Today, it is Indiana’s largest provider of new and used pianos, digital pianos, hybrid pianos, organs and keyboards, with an extensive collection of pianos from all over the world. Visit Piano Solutions at pianosolutions.net.