Notwaste Outdoor Centre hosts open house/celebration for Ukraine Defender Day

Hosts Rivendell Bongard and Elena kuznetsova stood with invited Ukrainian families with the Canada-Ukrainian flag being sent to the front lines in Ukraine. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)

 

DESIRÉE DECOSTE

STAFF WRITER

Notwaste Outdoor Centre (NOC) Inc., a local business in the Quinte region hosted an open house/celebration for the Ukrainian national holiday on Oct.14 known as Ukraine Defender Day.

Hosts Rivendell Bongard and Elena Kuznetsova opened their property for the celebration and invited guests to sign a Canada-Ukraine flag.

“I just thought we should make Bay of Quinte and County residents aware this is a bigger event than us,” stated Bongard. “And we need to be ready to support Ukrainian refugees and anyone else that is forced to leave because of occupation.”

Ukraine Defender Day is a public holiday in Ukraine celebrated annually on Oct. 14 with its first celebration in 2015. The holiday honors veterans and fallen members of the Ukrainian armed forces. 

Kuznetsova, who is Russian, is ashamed by the military action taken by Russia and is glad to not be living there any longer.

“Although I am Russian, I am ashamed to say I am Russian but I’m not a part of that country,” Kuznetsova expressed. “I do not support the policy of the government or the policy of our president. I came up with the idea of this local celebration because this day is really important. Ukrainians now are fighting for all of us, for the rest of the world and for our future as well.”

The flag will be delivered to front line soldiers in Ukraine through the Ukrainian Embassy.

Ukrainian families signing the flag. (Desirée Decoste/Gazette staff)

“I know its a small thing to do but at the same time, it’s important for those who are fighting  to know they are supported all over the world,” said Kuznetsova. 

Local Ukrainian families were invited and present for the celebration.

“We were introduced to some Ukrainians here in the area,” Kuznetsova said to The Gazette. “Some families are coming today with their kids, some are new comers, some have been here for awhile and I think it will be great just to celebrate the holiday together as Russians, Canadians and Ukrainians, no matter what the nationality is.”

NOC Inc. a family based business based on Miron Road in Quinte West, is an outdoor wellness centre complete with an outdoor sauna or banya, as well as forest therapy walks and a clay tennis court. All services follow the principle of zero-waste.

For more information on NOC Inc. please visit https://notwaste.ca