Deacon Igor Kalinin from Ukrainian Baptist Church dines with friends and family at Autre Monde’s community dinner to support Ukraine. | Melissa Elsmo

On Wednesday, March 16, Autre Monde, 6727 Roosevelt Rd in Berwyn, bustled with both enthusiasm and purpose as eager diners sipped sunflower inspired cocktails and savored cozy cabbage rolls. The community dinner, organized by the decade old Berwyn restaurant, was designed to support relief efforts in Ukraine organized by Berwyn’s Ukrainian Baptist Church (UBC), 6751 Riverside Dr.

Chefs Dan Pancake and Beth Partridge added themed specials to the menu, Autre Monde staff members donated their time and talent for the evening, and dinner guests included UBC leaders and congregation members; 100% of the proceeds from the evening were donated to the relief effort.

“We were able to raise $3,500,” said Christine Tully, general manager of Autre Monde. “Also, a number of people asked for a direct link so that they could make additional directed donations.”

Deacon Igor Kalinin, who lived in Kyiv, Ukraine until 1991, attended the community dinner with his family. It was clear the table full of UBC congregants savored the moment of levity during such serious times. Kalinin said they “ordered nearly everything on the menu” and singled out the Italian seared ahi tuna with mixed green olive panzanella salad as a dining highlight. The deacon was also quick to share his appreciation for the local restaurant’s support.

“This was very awesome,” said Kalinin. “The fact that Autre Monde reached out to us was very emotional. We are thankful for their outreach and the community support. There are no words to describe how much this means to us.”

For decades, UBC has worked with approximately a dozen missionaries affiliated with numerous churches in Ukraine. After the Russian invasion, those missionaries began working out of “hubs” in Poland. They pack trucks full of protective gear, food and medical supplies and drive through Lviv, Ukraine making their way to churches, vetted by UBC, to distribute supplies in areas facing immediate need.

“The missionaries’ duties have shifted because of the war,” said Kalinin. “A lot of stores are shut down because owners have fled, and our missionaries drive back and forth between Poland and Ukraine delivering supplies.”

Additionally, UBC is sponsoring a bakery in Kyiv to craft and distribute bread to the population for free.

More information

Visit ubcchicago.org to learn more about the Berwyn church’s relief efforts.

Ukrainian Baptist Church

Autre Monde

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