• November 2, 2015
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Fundraising for Rossa in Poland and Lithuania

The 16th action „Poznanians for Rossa” finished successfully. Over 32 thousand zloty was gathered as a result of a Wielkopolans’ social collection of money for the aim of a historic cemetery in Vilnius.

The collection of money took place on the last weekend also at various cemeteries across the Vilnius region for the aim of a decaying necropolis. Donations collected during the fundraising organized in Vilnius region by Polish Medical Association in Lithuania are still being counted. A final result of Vilnian collection will be announced on Wednesday, at 5 pm, in room 005 in the House of Polish Culture in Vilnius.

The action „Poznanians for Rossa” started in 2000. Their initiator was the priest Edmund Jaworski from Gułty (near Poznań). Thanks to the action, the renovation of over a dozen historical tombs and chapel on the Vilnius cemetery was made possible.

„We managed to collect 32 500 zloty – priest Edmud Jaworski informed „The Messenger” about the results of this year’s fundraising in Poznań.-The action’s patron was the voivodeship marshal of Wielkopolska, Marek Woźniak, voivode Piotr Florek and archbishop Stanisław Gądecki. At the two biggest cemeteries in Poznań – Junikowo and Miłostowo – from 10am to 4pm, we were collecting the donations. The Olympic champion in a hammer throw  Szymon Ziołkowski, Polish team’s goalkeeper Piotr Mowlik, Poznanian Starosta Jan Grąbkowski and politicians from many political fractions – were collecting money for this purpose.

The fundraising, initiated by the priest Edmund Jaworski, is currently being coordinated by Social Committee “Poznanians for Rossa’’. Monika Straszewska, who is its president, was happy about a good weather and a generosity of Poznanians.

‘’The weather was good as it was sunny and warm in Poznań – Monika Straszewska informed “The Messanger’’-Poznanians were as generous as they were last year. We are happy that we have managed to collect an amount of money that, I hope, will make the renovation of the Edward Lewałd-Jezierski’s tomb possible. Unfortunately, we do not know this person and here is the request for the “Vilnius Messenger” readers: Does anyone know this person or his family?’’

This particular statue was chosen because the deep crack in his foundation may cause his soon collapse. A hilly landform and the roots of the nearby tree caused a burst of the foundation. Its tombstone is in a rather good state, however it is cracked and needs an immediate rescue.

By now, almost 500 thousand zloty was collected for the purpose of Rossa. Since 2000, thanks to generosity and good hearts of Poznanians, 17 tombs were renovated. Renovation of Mączyńscy’s Chapel is the first effect of a money collection in 2000. Last year, it were a statue of a January insurgent’s grave and a doctor Michał Burhardt’s grave. This year, the aim of the fundraising is to renovate the Edward Lewałd-Jezierski’s tomb. For many years, the action’s patron has been the “Vilnius Messenger”. Zygmunt Klonowski, publisher of the daily, takes care about every issue connected to the statue renewal, which means getting permissions for the renovation, creating a project, finding an executor and finally conducting conservatory works.

The fundraising for the aim of Old Rossa took place also at Vilnius region. It was organized for the 2nd time in a row by Polish Medical Association in Lithuania. –It’s hard to tell what the results of the collection will be – Dariusz Żybort, a president of Polish Medical Association in Lithuania said for “The Messenger”-Counting of the donations is still in progress. The most significant for us was to make inhabitants aware of the fact that there is a need for the money collection not only in Poland but also here, in Lithuania. Last year’s results of the collection were beyond our expectations.

Last year, during the fundraising, 12,5 thousand lit were collected. They were used for  renovation of a statue of the January insurgent Jakub Manini’s family. This year, the fundraising expanded geographically and took place in 19 towns: Suderwa, Rudomin, Kowalczuki, Połukń, Pakienie, Ławaryszki, Ejszyszki, Niemenczyn, Miedniki, Mejszagol, Bujwidzi, Soleczniki, Butrymańce, Szumsk, Dukszty, Niemież, Turgiele, Taboryszki and at Rossa.

-Big, as well as small towns participated in the fundraising– Dariusz Żybort said – The action wouldn’t be surely so successful without our volunteers’ help: scouts, socially engaged people from the Vilnius and Šalčininkai regions, media. The collection of money for the purpose of rescuing Rossa met with positive response among the inhabitants from the Vilnius region.

-In particular towns, we have specific persons who helped us both last year and this year. Some of them called us asking if we are going to collect money again this year – Dariusz Żybort did not hide his enthusiasm.-My quiet dream is for the money collection to become a common, usual thing organized every year, so that people visiting cemeteries on the 1st of November would know that there would be scouts and volunteers and that they could, by donating some money, help rescuing the statues. And our help is not only needed by Rossa but also Bernardine Cemetery at Antakalnis. We have to start somewhere.

The fundraising is organized in Vilnius Region by the Social Committee for The Care of Old Vilnius Rossa, directed by Alicja Klimaszewska. Money, collected by Polish Medical Association in Lithuania, will be passed to the Social Committee. Last Saturday and Sunday, people taking care of Rossa and the Social Committee for The Care of Old Vilnius Rossa, directed by Alicja Klimaszewska, were collecting money at Stare Powązki cemetery in Warsaw. During the fundraising on the Powązki, they managed to collect over 20 thousand zloty for the Vilnius necropolis. The fundraising for the Rossa was conducted next to the general fundraising for rescuing monuments at Old Powązki in Warsaw.


Translated by Aleksandra Nowakowska within the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.

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