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Instruments of change: Benefit concert at 123 raises funds to help Ukraine

With rock ’n’ roll and resolve, the Ukrainian Community of Morgantown hosted a concert Wednesday night at 123 Pleasant Street to raise money for the cause.

Six local bands performed sets on the stage at the downtown music venue, with 100% of the proceeds going to people on the ground in Ukraine, which has been waging war with Russia for six months now.

Several Morgantown area businesses offered goods and services for a raffle that was part of the evening.

It didn’t take long for the altruism to form in Appalachia, on the other side of the globe from the besieged country.

After weeks of mobilization, Russian troops began spilling over Ukraine’s border Feb. 24, and Krystyna Pelchar has been beside herself since.

Pelchar is a 24-year-old doctoral student in political science at WVU. She hails from Lviv, in western Ukraine which has been heavily shelled of late.

Her mother, sister and grandmother remain in the country, aiding in the home front effort.

While she is still able to communicate with her family, the only thing she can really do, she said, is watch the televised news reports — even though that’s painful.

“It’s the same every day,” she said. “I see the shelling and I start grieving again.”

She starts smiling, however, when she thinks about the outpouring from Morgantown and the region to her country.

As of Wednesday, the community here has raised $16,000, concert organizers said.

Every single dollar to date has been wired to a WVU graduate student currently living in Ukraine who uses the outlay to buy medical supplies and other items necessary to the resistance effort.

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