Denise Keegan used last week’s Art in the Yard to raise money to help Eric Cudar’s family, who recently fled Ukraine. This fundraiser is the first step she has taken to, in her words, “just help out a neighbor.”
Denise Keegan

When thinking of a front lawn, many can imagine lush green strands of grass, an array of flowers, and unique ceramic decorations.

In the front yard of Gulfport resident Denise Keegan, viewers would notice the dozens of pieces of art displayed like an outdoor gallery. 

Keegan participates in the biannual “Art in the Yard”, which helps her introduce her art to locals as well as visitors – and generates sales. 

At the most recent event (March 26), Keegan hoped those visiting her yard would be drawn to a specific piece. On top of a deep blue cloth decorated with sunflowers lie dozens of paintings of  the flower with the word “peace” floating in a sea. Denise created these pieces to help out another Gulfport resident: Eric Cudar. 

Cudar’s fiance, Ulyana Fylypovych, has family who fled Ukraine following the outbreak of the war (The Gabber covered their story earlier this month). Cudar and Fylypovych placed their family in an Airbnb in Poland for the time being. 

“I worked on two original paintings, which I have made small prints or copies of. I am selling them for $10 each.” Keegan said. Keegan has raised around $300 so far for Cudar’s extended family and told The Gabber she will donate them via the gofundme page for Cudar’s family (gofundme.com/f/displaced-ukrainian-family-needs-help).

This fundraiser is the first step she has taken to, in her words, “just help out a neighbor.” 

Keegan is additionally in the process of organizing a fundraising event for Cudar’s family this summer, but is still in the early stages of planning. That being said, she has imagined hosting a silent auction and raffle at said event. Attendees will additionally be able to enjoy live music and food. 

“I would love to have some volunteers to help me organize this event. Anyone interested in assisting should contact me directly via call or text. They can reach me at 321-215-5108,” Keegan said. 

Cudar’s still in the process of contacting local officials and other groups to get assistance for his family. 

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