Photo Fundraiser To Aid The Rescue Squad


Share post:

A dance festival in Japan

As a figure skater, Matej Silecky has been fortunate to travel to many places around the planet. In addition to packing his skates, Silecky often packed a camera and, now, he’s using his photographs as a fundraiser for the Verona Rescue Squad.

“I wanted to support the community and the people who are out there helping us,” Silecky says.

Among the Rescue Squad volunteers who have been out helping Verona is one person with a particular place in Silecky’s heart: his father, Markian, who has been an ambulance driver for the past year. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the elder Silecky facilitated donations of personal protective equipment to first responders and hospitals in our area, but he later learned of the squad’s need for drivers through an unusual local connection. The younger Silecky’s former pairs skating coach, Felicia Zhang, has also been a VRS volunteer.

“My dad said, ‘well I drove buses when I was in college’,” Matej Silecky says, adding that his father, an international corporate attorney, has come to love driving for the Squad. “It’s inspiring to see him in a different field.”

Amsterdam at night

Matej Silecky believes that his photos could also be inspiring. “I think that they can bring people closer to the travel that they’ve been reaching for since the pandemic started,” he says. “Travel is amazing. You can have a cultural experience that connects you with people in different places.”

You can see many different places on Matej Silecky’s photography website, from the Netherlands to France, Japan, Hong Kong and more. For the VRS fundraiser, Silecky has pledged to donate 20% of the profit from every photo sold if shoppers use the code VRS20. (If you want to see some of his photos in person, head over to Cedar Beans in Cedar Grove, where they are on display for a few more days. “The owner is super-supportive of artists,” Silecky says.)

While Matej Silecky is running this fundraiser for his hometown first responders, he is actually skating and photographing far away—in southern California. Silecky had been coaching skating for a while, but was recruited back to pairs skating to compete in figure skating’s national championship this coming January. In between training sessions in Irvine, Calif., he is exploring landscapes and cityscapes that he says are very different from the northern California he came to know as a college student at the University of California, Berkeley.

And however people see his photographs, Silecky hopes they can share what he experiences when he takes them. “I’ve had the opportunity to travel since I was a child,” he says. “Photography allows me to capture what I feel and see in the moment.”

A southern California sunset
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related articles

Lions Seek Community Donations For Ukraine

Last October, the Verona Lions Club sent about $20,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies to Ukraine from...

Library’s Summer Reading Program Begins Saturday

This summer, unlock a world of adventure with the Verona Public Library’s 2024 Summer Reading Program, "Adventure Begins...

Lions Club Honors Myron Spektor

At the Verona Lions Club 73rd annual Charter Night held at Glen Ridge Country Club on Wednesday, June...

What’s Next: Finding Her FIT

Putting the FIT in outfit, one Verona High School 2024 senior is transforming her passion for style into...