LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Over the weekend, 10 McGillis Public House put good food to good use, in order to raise money for a relief effort aiming to keep Ukrainian refugees and citizens fed at cities and border crossings, as the country’s invasion by Russia continues. As of Monday morning, the restaurant had raised around $1,700 for Central World Kitchen, and they have no intention of stopping there.
“We do not plan to stop until we reach a minimum of 5K,” said 10 McGillis co-owner Nicole Travis on Monday. “We are going to continue collecting donations through the month of March.”
On Saturday, 10 McGillis hosted a fundraiser as part of the national #ChefsForUkraine effort. Donations could be made at the restaurant, with 10 McGillis matching a portion of all proceeds. More money has been raised online. Now, some of the restaurant’s village neighbors are getting involved as well.
Lake George’s Pizza Jerks, Lagoon, and Gaslight restaurants are all taking up donation buckets inside their businesses, gathering more for the effort. United World Kitchen is feeding displaced citizens at eight locations along the Ukrainian border, as well as five cities in Ukraine, and occupation by Russian forces residents to move their entire lives in many cases.
10 McGillis is intending to keep the momentum going throughout the month of March. Currently, Travis is working on a basket raffle with prizes for patrons to win in exchange for helping the cause.
Like many businesses in Lake George, the staff at 10 McGillis have personally gotten to know students from Ukraine who would come and work over the summers through the national J-1 student work visa program, which brings over 1,000 students to the area annually. 10 McGillis has a former J-1 employee who is now married with children, and lives in America. She attended Saturday’s fundraiser.
The restaurant is still reaching out to more businesses in the village to see who else is willing to put a donation bucket at the counter, or create another way to send support to Ukraine. This summer, the village is expected to see its usual crowd of well over 1,000 J-1 visa workers, but is expected to be missing groups from Ukraine and Russia, as the occupation continues.