Ukrainian church in Riverhead to host annual BBQ Sunday for benefit of war-torn Ukraine

Since February, when Russian troops invaded Ukraine and began bombarding its cities, St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Church in Riverhead has been ground zero on the North Fork for getting help to that war torn country.

Volunteers began collecting everything from clothes to medical supplies, organizing and boxing them in the church’s basement, with other volunteers driving them to Newark Liberty International Airport for shipment to refugees in Poland and Ukraine.

“It has been really amazing how much has been collected,” said Father Bohdan Hedz, the church’s pastor. “In all, we have collected and shipped more than 40 tons of critical supplies.”

On Sunday, the church will hold its annual family day and chicken BBQ at the church, at Franklin St. and Roanoke Avenue. In a time of war, the goal of the event is straightforward: raise money for critical supplies needed to keep the volunteer effort going and to get help to the millions of refugees who have been forced out of Ukraine because of the violence.

“Everything we raise will be for the people we want to help,” said Father Hedz. “This is our mission — to help as many as we can and to keep helping.”

According to the church’s website, the event begins at 1 p.m. with raffles and games for children. Food will be served from 3-5 p.m, with takeout available. Tickets are $23 for adults and $10 for children under 10. At the gate, tickets will be $25 for adults. For more information on tickets, call 631-727-2766.