Earlier this month the Ukrainian group Kalush Orchestra took home the win at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, and they are using the opportunity to help support their home country during the ongoing Russian invasion.
According to Reuters, the group held an auction to sell the crystal trophy they picked up for their song “Stefania.” Proceeds from the sale were then donated to the armed forces to purchase several drones.
The auction was held on Facebook and raised approximately $900,000.
“You guys are amazing,” the group enthused on Facebook, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We appreciate each and every one of you who donated to this auction, and a special thanks to the team (of cryptocurrency exchange) Whitebit who purchased the trophy for $900,000 and are now the rightful owners of our trophy.”
Kalush Orchestra secured the win earlier this month. CNN noted that they took the stage to a warm welcome from fans. This marked the third time that Ukraine took home the win in the contest, which has been around since 1956.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy celebrated the news with a proud post on Instagram.
“Our courage impresses the world, our music conquers Europe,” he wrote, according to a translation provided by Google. “Next year Ukraine will host Eurovision!”
The president proposed hosting the event in Mariupol and said that he was hoping it would be “free, peaceful, rebuilt” by the time the song contest started again in 2023.
“I am sure that our victorious chord in the battle with the enemy is not far off,” Zelenskyy added.
Check out his post below:
The band members of Kalush Orchestra have used their global fame to help support Ukraine. The BBC noted that they also appeared at a charity concert in Berlin. While the auction will benefit the military, funds from the concert will help provide medical care.