The fight to help the people of Ukraine continues as one local man from Westport is giving back in the most delicious way.

Joseph Carreiro, 70, is well-known for cheffing it up at the Westport Social Club and his culinary skills paid off tremendously this past weekend.

Carreiro held a lasagna benefit for four families who are doing everything in their power to flee Ukraine to safety as the Russian military drew closer to their home cities.

Carreiro is a frequent flyer to Ukraine and has been visiting friends multiple times a year for the past three years. Stunned and saddened by the Russian invasion of that country, he wanted to help in any form possible, so he's been raising any money he can to help people escape.

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On March 4 and 5, Carreiro sold $15 tickets for a lasagna dinner that included homemade garlic bread, salad, rice pudding, and gooey cinnamon buns. He served over 100 meals.

"I've been visiting these people for the last three years," Carreiro said. "I've become friends with people in the west, over in the Carpathian Mountains, in a town called Truskavets, and even people in Odessa on the Black Sea.

"I'm helping a family from Kyiv who fled from an apartment that was right across the street from a direct missile attack on a high-rise apartment, and we are getting a single mom and her daughter to safety in Poland and then into Norway where she has friends who will take care of her."

The Odessa family that Carreiro is helping has two children. The boy, 16, is an amateur tennis player who recently won the Ukrainian championship. The daughter is an acrobatic modern dancer. Both children have won countless trophies. The family is now safe in Moldova, but the father/husband has stayed behind to protect and help his own parents.

The third family is from Truskova in the mountains, a single mom with two children: a 9-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy.

The fourth and final family has been left behind and is only 15 miles away from the bombings on the southeast side of Ukraine near the frontlines of the Donetsk region.

"We can only talk for a small period of time because they're worried about being targeted or tracked from the phone's tower signal," Carreiro said. "This shouldn’t happen to anyone, especially my friends and we need to help them survive and escape this mess of a war."

The Westport Social Club will host a two-day (Friday and Saturday) St. Patrick's Day dinner that will also donate 100% of ticket sales to the Ukrainian people. Anyone who would like to help give back to these families can buy tickets for $15. Dinner includes corned beef and cabbage and Irish soda bread. Stephen Pettey, Ashley Ford, Mariah Ford and Chelsea DuPont will be joining Carreiro's side, and 100% of the donations will be paid forward to the families in desperate need.

"St. Patrick chased the snakes out of Ireland and we're going to use his day to chase the snakes out of Ukraine," Carreiro said.

For more information on how you can donate or purchase a ticket, contact the Westport Social Club at (774) 264-9618 or message them on Facebook.

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