Middletown chili parlor hosts fundraiser for Ukraine relief

Two sisters from Ukraine partnered with the restaurant to raise money and collect badly needed donations.
Photo: Gold Star Chili
Photo: Gold Star Chili(WKYT)
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 9:25 PM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A Middletown Gold Star Chili location on Thursday hosted a fundraiser and donation collection event for Ukraine relief.

Middletown police, local schools and healthcare officials all got in on the effort inspired by two local sisters, Stephanie and Annie King, who grew up in Ukraine. They’ve even been back after the invasion began to deliver donated supplies.

“There had only been one bombing when we went,” Stephanie said. “While we were there, there were two others.”

The sisters teamed up with Gold Star to collect donations including first-aid kits, gauze, Clorox wipes and more.

Additionally, 50 percent of all sales from Thursday went to Ukraine relief, according to Hatem Shteiwi, who owns the Gold Star location.

For one of Shteiwi’s long-time employees, the issue is personal.

“I have parents and sister back in Ukraine,” said Dymtro Teteriatnyk, who has worked at Gold Star for 12 years.

Although Teteriatnyk now lives in Ohio, he says his heart remains with his family back in his homeland.

“I ask him everyday, ‘How is your family doing?’” Shteiwi said. “And the answer he gives me is, ‘They’re alive.’”

Stephanie worries the plight of Ukrainians is diminishing in interest among Americans. She believes it’s because the countries are so far apart.

“The world doesn’t end at American borders,” she said. “Like, yes we love America. But there’s a country that’s 5,000 miles away with people who are now homeless. Their homes are being destroyed. It’s not their fault. They’re not doing anything wrong.”

Thursday’s fundraiser may be over, but you can still drop off donated items at the Gold Star location through the end of May.

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