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Bakery chef cooking up ‘sweet’ support for Ukraine while his Poland family hosts refugees

<i>KCNC</i><br/>This weekend
This weekend

By Conor McCue

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    LAKEWOOD, Colorado (KCNC) — Coloradans are continuing to show tremendous generosity for causes supporting the people of Ukraine. The latest effort comes from a Polish immigrant who is now using his bakery to fundraise for medical supplies.

At Elegant Bakery in Lakewood, each creation is a labor of love for owner and chef Janusz Zrodlowski.

“I have passion, especially when I make custom designs,” said Zrodlowski.

On Saturday, the special was a four-layer lemon coconut cake, an idea born out of his need to do something, as millions of Ukrainians flee a country under siege.

“I was thinking how I can, what I should do to use my bakery to help people, and I just came up with an idea – let’s make fundraising, let’s make sweets,” Zrodlowski said.

This weekend, every dollar spent on specially made cakes and cookies will go toward sending medical supplies to Ukraine. Zrodlowski, a native of Poland, said his son was previously stationed in Ukraine, and his daughter-in-law was born there.

“This situation, you can’t describe what those people go through,” he said. “I know a lot of stories from my parents about what they went through with the second World War, and in the 21st century to have the same is a shame, really.”

For Marina Dubrova, president of Ukrainians of Colorado, the situation hits even closer to home. The native of Ukraine has helped organize countless fundraisers around Colorado, including the effort at Elegant Bakery.

“Friends and family in Ukraine are exhausted emotionally, physically, they’re exhausted that the bombing is not stopping,” Dubrova said. “Poland and Polish friends are our backbone right now. They’ve always been, I hope always will be.”

In Poland, Zrodlowski’s family is currently taking in Ukranian refugees. Here in Colorado, he plans to keep doing what he can to provide support.

“I think this is my obligation to give back,” he said. “It’s a little bit of work, even more than a little bit of work, but it’s worth it. To give a little bit of love to them because the light can kill the darkness.”

The final day of the fundraiser is this Sunday. The bakery is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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