Leon Tsoukernik decided to help Ukrainian families and funded both their move from Ukraine and local activities. “In the beginning, Leon and I welcomed everyone and wished them a lot of fun. We tried to convey the belief that everything is better with a smile. It was a day full of joy and sunshine, where we all had the opportunity to leave our worries at home and smile. The children enjoyed the carousels, laughter was heard everywhere, so they were able to forget the war for at least a day, “says the organizer of the Sandra Tsoukernik event.
The event included rich banquets, and the adults also enjoyed it. “The children enjoyed nuggets, rib steaks, rib steaks, chicken, pork, beef, but also goulash with rice. There were eight types of salads to choose from, sausages, hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, cotton candy, popcorn and many other sweets were available for sweet tongues, as well as various drinks, and we also had mulled wine prepared for adults,” he describes.
Children were also lined up with toys such as stuffed animals, bubble blowers and children’s musical instruments. “A total of 25 children had birthdays, so we had 25 cakes made and each child received a personal gift,” explains the co-organizer.
Eleven-year-old Bohdanka, who saved her mother’s life during a walk in Mariánské Lázně, received a special prize, such as an easel, canvases and paints. “Mom slipped, lost consciousness and fell into the river. But the little girl kept a cool head and quickly ran for help, where she ran into an ex-nurse who dragged her mother and her out. resuscitated,” says Sandra, who is proud of her husband Leon. “He bought 400 tickets, sent countless cars just to help. He accommodated 500 people in hotels in Mariánské Lázně, all at his own expense. Each of these people has a very strong story. I raised babies and cuddled children myself, and as my mother’s heart, I only broke at the thought that my children would never be able to sleep in their beds again and would lose the home we let’s build for them as parents,” he says.
Léon Tsoukernik remembers waking up on the morning of February 24 to read the terrifying news that war had broken out. “I immediately started calling my friends and acquaintances in Ukraine and persuading them to get to safety immediately. I called well-known hotel managers in Mariánské Lázně if they did not want to rent me their hotels for take in refugees. Some said yes, some didn’t, he said.
Leon managed to rent the Vltava, Elba, San Remo and Berounka hotels. “Thanks to our Ukrainian employees and the Ukrainian Embassy in Prague, I started looking for Ukrainians who needed urgent help. On February 27, the first 50 people we received arrived To date, we have 475 people, including 168 children, who have fled the last three weeks from the horror of the Kremlin in beautiful Ukraine,” he laments.
He visited kyiv at the turn of January and February 2022. “I was invited to a poker tournament. There was a great atmosphere and everyone was living a good life. Nobody believed that something as it could happen. I must say that it is a very beautiful city. Many newcomers are under enormous stress, depression and general exhaustion. We must morally support these people, “emphasizes he.
14 days ago, Leon organized a conference with the Ukrainian consular officer of the Ukrainian Embassy, Olexander Lutsenk, for around 250 people at the Vltava hotel in Mariánské Lázně, where they explained both the rights and the possibilities of the Czechs and theirs. “We told them that the Czech lands are beautiful and peaceful, and that they are here to contribute. That they are not here for a tourist stay, that the Czech nation loves Ukrainians and considers them close to them,” he recalls.
On Sunday, March 20, he invited around 200 people, now registered and some already employed in Czech companies, for tea. “I also thank the support of Dagmar Havlová, Ivana, Charlotte and Nelinka Gottová, who accepted my invitation to tea and came to support our dear Ukrainians with their participation. On Monday, March 21, my family, with the support of the city of Mariánské Lázně, organized a children’s day, the 168 children received gifts, we also bought personal gifts and baked cakes for the 25 children who celebrated their birthday since February 24. In conclusion, I would like to thank the government, all Czech institutions and all Czech citizens who help Ukraine and the Ukrainian nation with such dedication and selflessness,” concludes Léon Tsoukernik.