THE TORONTO SUN
Friday, March 5, 1999
They'll live happily ever after, after all.
Dubbed the seven Ukrainian dwarfs, a troupe of little circus performers has gone from grumpy to happy thanks to a man with a big heart -- and wallet -- willing to fly the stranded Europeans home.
Mississauga businessman Victor Deschenes announced his gift on CFRB Radio yesterday when three of the Ukrainians were on a call-in show telling of their plight. The studio was brought to tears by the good news.
"My head is spinning around," troupe manager Leonid Ovsyannikov said after the radio show. "I feel very, very fortunate, very lucky."
The group's woeful tale began in November 1997, when they were wooed to Canada with six other countrymen to work for the National Circus School of Canada. Their work in Canada never really came to be, however, leaving the diminutive denizens dependent on an Oshawa autoworker who had offered his help after seeing them perform.
Oleh Perun and his wife, Liliana, had scraped together $1,300 to help get their wayward friends home, but figured they were still about $6,000 short until yesterday.
"It's absolutely wonderful," said Liliana. "They're just flabbergasted." Deschenes said he offered his help thanks to CFRB morning man Ted Woloshyn. He said he can get some cheap fares for the group. He also plans to give them $500 each.
Copyright 1999, The Toronto Sun Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.