Bay Ridge

Aelita Social Club offers immigrants the opportunity to make new friends

Elected Officials and Community Leaders Attend First Annual Aelita Club Reception

August 23, 2017 By John Alexander Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan, Leonora Bulychova, founder of the Aelita Club holding her award; District 47 Assemblymember William Colton; City Council candidate Nancy Tong; attorney Anna Latkovskaia; and Democratic District leader Ari Kagan. Eagle photos by Arthur De Gaeta
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On Sunday, 100 attendees gathered at the Gravesend restaurant Lights of Baku for the Aelita Club’s first-ever reception to support the organization’s cultural and social activities.

The Bensonhurst-based organization was founded more than two years ago by Leonora Bulychova, an immigrant from Belarus, whose objective was to offer immigrants, seniors and younger residents the opportunity to form new friendships. She named the club after her late mother and decided to promote all of its activities free of charge for the general public.

With assistance from Assemblymember William Colton (D-Bensonhurst, Gravesend) and the Citizens Committee of New York, Bulychova and her assistants organized celebrations for firefighters and police officers, along with yoga classes and trips throughout New York City. The club also helped organize and promote concerts and fashion shows within the community.

Elected officials attending Sunday’s event included Colton, U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan (R-Staten Island, Southern Brooklyn), Councilmember Mark Treyger (D-Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Coney Island), City Council candidate Nancy Tong and Democratic district leader Ari Kagan, who served as one of the hosts for the evening.

Kagan praised Bulychova and charitable programs the Aelita Club sponsors. The attendees were treated to a variety of Russian entertainment including musical recitals featuring a violinist, opera singers and a children’s dance troop. There was also a fashion show with clothes designed by Bulychova.

“The Aelita Club unites people of different ages, religions and ethnicity,” Kagan told the Brooklyn Eagle. “Leonora has brought together both young and old. She finds talent in every person and has helped immigrants and seniors to overcome loneliness. Her energy, enthusiasm and generosity created the grassroots organization. I am very glad to support the Aelita Club.”

Other dignitaries at the event included Alex Budnitsky, CEO of the Jewish Community Center (JCH) of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn Civil Court candidates Connie Melendez and Patria Frias-Colon and Joseph DeMarco, lieutenant governor of the Brooklyn Division-Kiwanis International.

Bulychova credits America with giving her and her family everything they have and sees the Aelita Club as a way for her to give back to her community and to pay it forward.


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