SAN DIEGO–

A gala performance fundraiser, organized by Elena Baltovick the USA President of Aesthetic Group Gymnastics, for Ukrainian gymnasts refugees drew in a large crowd Saturday evening.

The gala was held at Torrey Pines High School.

“It was very inspiring, and these children came together as a whole, to help one another,” Baltovick said.

“Just coming out here and doing what I love and raising money as a result of it, is something I was more than happy to be part of,” said Emma Donnelly, one of the performers from the Danceology Academy of Classical Ballet.

“Being right next to them, makes me proud and inspiring towards them,” said Valentina Moyra, a performer from Emerald City Rhythmic.

Ukrainian and American athletes in gymnastics and dance, united together to raise more for Team Ukraine Aesthetic Group Gymnastics and their families in San Diego County.

“Great way to show their cause, to have these local dancers supporting them,” said Julie Watts, a spectator. Watts learned of the gala because she is one the board at Pathway Citizenship, which is one of the donors for the fundraiser.

 “We finally felt the spirt of performing. We haven’t had that in a really long time,” said Alina Salmanova, Team Ukraine captain.

This is Team Ukraine’s first performance since fleeing their country. It has been a long journey for the team, going from Poland, Colombia, Mexico before finally reaching the U.S.

Salmanova said, “its like a gulp of fresh air we are so touched so many people are helping us and given us so  much support.”

“We can’t even imagine like what they are going thru right now. It was really great to help them thru this hardship,” said Sophie Cheng, AGG USA juniors team member.

As the war in Ukraine is at the six month mark, Ukrainians have said it is important to remain strong.

“Reminded that we cannot take anything for granted. That one day everything and anything can end with a snap of a finger, and that we have to be thankful what we have, respectful of each other, love each other. And appreciate what we have here now,” Baltovick said.

Click here to donate to the Ukraine Aesthetic Gymnastics Team, on the USA AGG website.