HALFMOON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Dozens of runners and walkers took to the streets of Halfmoon Sunday morning to help children in Ukraine. The 6th annual Sasha Superhero Run raised money for various causes in Eastern Europe to assist kids impacted by the ongoing war.
“It feels incredible, just everywhere we go we see flags, Ukrainian flags, everyone wants to help,” said Olya Prevo-White, the race director and Sasha’s mother said, when asked what it’s like to see so many people running for the cause.
Sasha’s Superhero Run has been happening in Saratoga County for the past six years, in memory of Sasha White, who passed away unexpectedly on Christmas Eve in 2016, just a few weeks after being born. The race’s superhero theme is a way of honoring parents who lose their children.
“We’re just grateful for having people be here and help us remember him. Most importantly, help us say his name. When your child dies, you usually have fewer and fewer opportunities to talk about your children that are not around,” Prevo-White explained.
In the past, the event exclusively raised money for the Ronald McDonald House, generating north of $50,000 for that cause over the years. But this year, Sasha’s parents knew they wanted to offer support to his mom’s home country.
“I’m originally from Ukraine, my whole family is from Ukraine. Some of them are still in Ukraine, some of them are displaced,” she explained.
$12,000 has already been raised to help a number of efforts. This includes money for the primary children’s hospital in Kyiv, displaced families, and individuals on the ground in Europe offering assistance, “Pretty much kids affected by war in Ukraine, which is pretty much every child in Ukraine unfortunately,” the race director said.
It’s help that hopes to make a huge impact as Ukraine’s fight against Russia continues each day. Sasha’s grandmother, Nataliya Prevo, who lives in Kyiv, just arrived in the United States and attended Sunday’s race, outlining what the situation is like in the capital.
“The war situation is terrible in Kyiv right now. The situation is really scary. People die, but life continues and people try to make the best of the awful situation. I’m grateful to the United States for welcoming me and being here and helping me honor my grandson, Sasha,” she said in Ukrainian, with her daughter translating.
Proceeds from this year’s event will be split between the Ukrainian efforts and the Ronald McDonald House.