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Sesame Place hosts Ukrainian children on World Refugee Day


June 21 has been officially designated as World Refugee Day and Sesame Place in Middletown honored it by entertaining a group of Ukrainian refugees living in Philadelphia.

Children ranging from in age from 3 years old to teenagers along with their mothers and caregivers enjoyed a full day of activities, including rides, lunch with Elmo and visits with many other costumed characters.

“It was a complete day of laughter and joy,” said Bishop Luke Zhoba pastor of St. Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in Philadelphia. “The children have had such a difficult time since escaping the war in Ukraine. To see them having so much fun made all of us feel joyous.”

Thousands of Ukrainian refugees are living in the area and, with their fathers serving in Ukraine, the refugee facility on Bustleton Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia serves as a daycare center for the youngest children while their mothers work.

“Every day we have more families arriving in Philadelphia,” said Zhoba. “We take them all. We provide for them all, over 100 children from infant to school age. We are so thankful to the people at Sesame Place who gave them a day to remember.”

Zhoba said he welcomes support of any kind for the Refugee Center. Donations can be made at

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