Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift. That is why it is called the present day.
I want to thank all of the more than 1,000,000, yes more than one million, Ukrainian and Iowa people in making my past 30 years so special.
It was because of each and every one of you that O.P.E.N., Newton, Iowa’s sister city, organization and the Iowa/ Cherkasy sister state organization was so unbelievable successful in the creating, funding and the delivery of over 50 major Ukrainian humanitarian aid and culture projects through those past 30 years.
My 2022 year wish is that the people from Iowa and Ukraine will continue with making O.P.E.N. one of Iowa’s leading sister cities organizations like they did during the past 30 years and to continue in the future with the creation of more people to people projects that will help with improving the understanding and friendship between the people in Iowa and Ukraine.
I also want to send a special BIG WOW thank you to my American family, Marvin Shawver co-founder of O.P.E.N, Tana Yarmish, my first Ukrainian host, Natasha Campbell, my ex Ukrainian wife, Lyudmyla Melnyk, my Ukrainian sister, Maria Sihetii, my Ukrainian daughter and their families and to Doreen Van Ryswyk, Iowa U.S. K thru 12th grade Junior Duck Stamp Coordinator. None of the past 30 years of projects would have been possible without your trust, help and, friendship.
Co-creator of O.P.E.N. and special projects chair