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Bereskin Gallery hosts ‘Ukraine Relief Project’ fundraiser, raises $8,500 for refugees

Bereskin said that $8,500 was raised and over 100 pieces of art were sold, and there are still items to be auctioned off.
Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - The United Nations estimates more than six million people have been displaced in Ukraine due to the ongoing war. Friday night, people in the Quad Cities helped as many of them as possible by using works of art.

An estimated 300 people poured into the Bereskin Gallery for the ‘Ukraine Relief Project’ fundraiser.

“Today, we have 118 pieces that were donated by local artists, and all of them were created with the purpose of donating 100 percent,” Pat Bereskin, owner of Bereskin Gallery. “The proceeds will go directly to Ukraine through the International Rotary.”

Pat Bereskin said that over 100 local artists contributed.

“The thing about the quad cities is that we are doers. We are the kind of people who want to make a difference, and it’s not about us. It’s about making a difference because we have all had struggles,” Bereskin said.

Each piece of artwork included sunflowers, Ukraine’s national flower.

“When nuclear weapons were removed from Ukraine, they planted sunflower seeds. They grow tall, they grow strong, and they always follow the sun. They are resilient, and that’s the Ukrainian people,” Bereskin said.

For painter Jean Johnson, the fundraiser hit close to home.

“My two granddaughters have Ukrainian background, so it made it very close to me, close to my heart,” Johnson said. “Thinking about what if my grandchildren were there in Ukraine? We send our love, and tonight we send out art.”

Bereskin said that $8,500 was raised and over 100 pieces of art were sold, and there are still items to be auctioned off at the upcoming Bettendorf Rotary meeting.

Bereskin said that additional donations can either be mailed or dropped off at the gallery.

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