Published On: Fri, Mar 31st, 2023

Boca Raton artist/sculptor Yaacov Heller and students raise funds to benefit Ukrainian citizens

By Dale King

A charity event with an artistic flair was held in Boca Raton last month for the purpose of creating awareness of the war in Ukraine, as well as raising funds to benefit the families and children of Ukrainian veterans.

Local sculptor and jewelry designer Yaacov Heller and his wife, Sue, hosted the event in the artist’s Gallery 22 in Royal Palm Place.

“The charity event included the introduction of Ukrainian Veterans Foundation projects and a silent auction which was created from the works of Yaacov’s students, particularly children from Ukraine who have been displaced by the war,” said Kateryna Teslenko, the head of the project and an employee of the UVF.

“100 percent of all funds raised will be spent to create educational opportunities for children of veterans,” she added.

The highlight of the occasion was the performance of the National Anthem of Ukraine by the founder of the Florida Intergenerational Orchestra of America, Lorraine G. Marks.

Yaacov and Sue are members of the Rotary Club of Boca Raton, which joined forces with Rotaries from Broward County and in other South Florida locations to expedite the method of delivering donations to Ukrainians.

Using its 501c3 charitable status, one of the Rotaries was able to deliver all the donations to Ukraine so contributors could make their donations tax-free. “We are very grateful to our partners for their support,” said Kateryna.

In addition to Boca Raton, similar fund-raising events have been held in Coral Gables and Los Angeles, and another is planned in April in Washinton, D.C.

To donate to the cause, use your cell phone to scan the QR code elsewhere on this page.

“Yaacov Heller is one of the greatest sculptors and silversmiths in the world, “said Kateryna. “His works have been used to express hope, tolerance, acceptance, remembrance and peace by interpreting the human form and spirit.”

“Throughout his 60-year career, Yaakov was entrusted with creating historically significant works for presidents, kings and queens, heads of state and other dignitaries and celebrities.”

The Ukrainian Veterans Foundation is a tool of the state in fulfilling its duty to veterans and the families of the deceased, a partner of veterans, which increases the stability of the state by promoting the implementation of veteran initiatives, said Kateryna. “The UVF is creating a platform for the development of veteran opportunities.”

“We make projects so that Ukrainian veterans receive state support for the development of their own initiatives. And families of veterans and family members of fallen heroes could develop their own business and receive crisis assistance from hotline specialists.”

During its first year:

  • 53 veteran entrepreneurs won competitive programs.
  • Under another program of the UVF, 141 businesses of veterans and of their family members received compensation for the assets purchased to support their business.
  • We also provide legal consultations. Within two weeks from the launch of legal consultations, we processed 100 applications.

“We are open for partnerships. You can find out more about us by following the links below:

E-mail: [email protected] 
FB: veteranfundua
Instagram: veteranfundua
Twitter: veteranfundua
Location: 01001, Ukraine, Kyiv, 12, Museum Lane


Last June, with support from the Ukrainian Veterans Association, a hotline was opened to support veterans and their families in times of crisis. “We also provide moral support to all those suffering from the Russian-Ukrainian war,” said Kateryna Teslenko, the head of the project and an employee of the UVF.

The hotline is open every day:


Teslenko said The Ukrainian Veterans Foundation aims to:

  • Provide urgent assistance in crisis situations during the Russian-Ukrainian war.
  • Employ specialists who will gain experience working with veterans, as well as support the economy of Ukraine.
  • Contribute to science. After all, we will have a new wave of veterans, whom we want to help adapt to civilian life. 

The crisis support hotline has received nearly 9,000 calls from veterans and their relatives.

The executive director of the UVF, Natalia Kalmykova, said: “Before the launch of the hotline, the Foundation’s team prepared especially responsibly. More than 30 qualified professionals with experience in providing emergency assistance in crisis situations underwent a two-week training before launching the hotline. Veterans and their families can call when they are in a crisis, when they need someone to listen, someone to be there, someone to help and support is just a phone call away. Our line is first aid.”

Teslenko explained: “The purpose of our support hotline is like the access of a wounded person to an emergency first aid kit on the battlefield. When you urgently need to stop the bleeding and relieve the pain shock. To survive and feel safe. To feel that you are needed, that they are ready to support you at any moment.”

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