"Every year, someone from our group is picked to be in the pageant," she said, explaining that this year turned out to be her year.
In addition to dancing and being in the pageant, Borowiec will likely be selling Polish food with her parents. Amera said the food is consistently one of the festival's big draws. He encourages people to bring take-out containers since there's no way they can sample all of the offerings.
The Ukrainian booth will be selling stuffed cabbage and potato dumplings, Kushnir said. Beyond food, it will spotlight pysanky, or Ukranian Easter eggs. There will be kits available for people to make pysanky at home, and ceramics and books will also be sold.
Kushnir said the Ukrainian National Women's League is a humanitarian group, and the Festival of Nations serves as a great fundraiser. There are branches of the league across the country, and they correspond with regions of the Ukraine. This year, the league is focusing on projects that will benefit senior citizens in the Ukraine, with an emphasis on raising funds for substandard nursing homes. Kushnir said her sister recently returned from a trip to the Ukraine to inspect nursing homes, and while some were "so clean you could eat off the floor," some fell short of the most basic sanitary guidelines.
"It was horrible," Kushnir said.
In the past, the group sent money to aid victims of Chernobyl, a cause that the league was dedicated to for probably 10 years. Kushnir said General Electric was generous enough to donate an MRI to the league, which was very helpful in treating some of the cancers that resulted from Chernobyl, but it was very expensive to ship the MRI overseas.
"This is a wonderful opportunity to make some money," she said of the Festival of Nations. "Last year, [Amera] just handed out a $600 check to all the countries." That was above and beyond whatever profit the countries made from selling their own items.