'Voices for Ukraine' event set for noon Tuesday, March 1 at Calvary Lutheran Church

"This is not a prayer service. It is a gathering of support for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters," said Becky Ronkowski, event organizer.

Ukrainian servicemen ride on tanks toward the front line with Russian forces in the Lugansk region of Ukraine on Friday, Feb. 25, 2022. Ukrainian forces fought off Russian troops in the capital Kyiv on the second day of a conflict that has claimed dozens of lives, as the EU approved sanctions targeting President Vladimir Putin.
Anatolii Stepanov / AFP / TNS

GRAND FORKS — An event to bring the community together in support of Ukraine is planned for noon Tuesday, March 1, at Calvary Lutheran Church, 1405 S. Ninth St.

The event is not a prayer service, said Becky Ronkowski, who is organizing it. "It is a gathering of messages of hope ... (and) a gathering of support for our Ukrainian brothers and sisters.”

Marta Datsik, 16, an exchange student from Ukraine, has been invited to speak.

Others who are planning to speak are Grand Forks Mayor Brandon Bochenski, Grand Forks School Superintendent Terry Brenner, Pastor Kirk Meseck of Calvary Lutheran, and Reggie Tarr, president of the United African Community, a local organization, and former refugee resettlement coordinator with the North Dakota Department of Human Services.

Music will be provided by the Kelly Elementary School chorus, under the direction of Kathy Fiedler and pianist Julie Pederson. Soloist Ryan King will sing.


Pastor Aaron Bye, of Calvary Lutheran, will give closing remarks.

No offering will be collected.

Ukraine has been under siege by Russian armed forces since they invaded the eastern European nation last week.

“I was feeling very helpless about the Ukraine situation (recently). So this idea came to be,” Ronkowski said in an email to the Herald. “I made a few phone calls, connected with caring people, and we have an event!”

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Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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