September 27, 2023

Letter to the Editor: FAN-TAS TEE-CHIS-KEE

This word “Fantastic” in the Ukrainian language perfectly describes the great mini-museum at the home of Mariya Dovganyuk here in Newton, at 323 E. 10th St. N. It encompasses two large rooms in her basement, devoted entirely to historic pictures and memorabilia from Marya’s home country in Ukraine, where she was born years ago.

When I joined our Sister City’s first delegation to Ukraine back in 1993, we had the privilege of visiting Mariy’s apartment in Cherkassy, and it has been a closely knit situation ever since. Mariya relocated to Newton several years back, and her daughter Svieta Miller also lives here with her husband Zack.

After a rather large group of Newton citizens had the tour of this great little museum in Mariya’s home, we were served some tasty Ukrainian food, which reminded me of previous trips to our Sister City of Smile, located just 30 miles south of Cherkassy. Our trips have been curtailed in recent years due to the devastating war, but we look forward to our continuing “connect” sometime in the near future.

Svieta has been a member of Newton’s Sister City Organization “O.P.E.N.” for a number of years, and her mother is also a great supporter. You have read about them several times in the Newton News, related to this ongoing attack of Russia on the Ukrainian Nation. These folks are part of a group of Ukrainian women in support of Ukrainian citizens and military. So we also had the opportunity to show some monetary support for the cause. A minister from Carlyle, continues a bi-annual trip to Ukraine, where he monitors the investment of American dollars in the best possible manner. To help in this worthy cause, just call Svieta at 641-521-7145 for details.

Meanwhile, Mariya and daughter Svieta extend an open invitation for any individuals, family or group to visit their home “mini-museum” at 323 E. 10th St. N., for a good education about this great nation of Ukraine. Just give Svieta a call, and she will schedule a visit at a convenient time. It is indeed something you will thoroughly enjoy!

John McNeer