Planting Love gala success

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Planting Love gala success

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This year’s charity dinner concert for the Planting Love organization proved to be a grand affair. Now into its 16th year, the annual event, which was held at the Grand Hyatt ballroom attracted about 900 guests. Set against an elegant backdrop, the evening included a three hour program of musical entertainment, food and a lucky draw with extravagant prizes.
Founded in 1990 by a group of dedicated women ― both foreign and Korean, Planting Love supports individuals with physical disabilities by offering educational and training programs. All proceeds from this year’s charity dinner will go to the Seton Rehabilitation Center in Gwangju ― to extend facilities and to create additional training areas for students with physical disabilities. The Sacred Heart Residence in Chungju, North Chungcheong province, will also benefit with money to construct additional bedrooms for children with visual impairments.
Planting Love’s honorary chairwoman, Mrs. Kim Sang-hyup has been integral to the charity’s steady growth over recent years. However, the heartbeat of Planting Love is Sister Jane Ann Cherubin, who heads the development office and was the first principal at Eun Hae School in Gwangju, one of the schools the chairty continues to support.
“We are always looking for ways to help these children ,” says Sister Jane. “Everyone who attended the event offered their help and many of the guests are loyal donors who look forward to this event yearly. There is one company who instead of giving Chuseok bonuses this year, decided to buy nine tables for their staff .”
There are also many other ways apart from money in which people give what they can to the charity. As part of the fund’s outreach to those who could not attend the event there were some tables of student artwork, bakery products and imported wines (donated by foreign ambassadors or their wives) all of which were sold to raise funds.
The evening’s program included a choir performance by the Seton Sisters of Charity, Korean traditional songs by the Sacred Heart Residence Children and a special guest appearance by award winning singer, Lee Moon-sae, who charmed the audience with several of his most popular tunes. In between performances, emcees Kim Byung Chan and Caroline Kim announced the lucky draw prizes. In addition, a silent auction was held, at which the highest bid came in at 1,500,000 won for an Alois Cargiet lithograph donated by Kim Mi-hae. However, the highlight of the evening for many was the music, including a memorable performance by a visually impaired student who sang several Korean traditional songs.
“I was touched by the music tonight. Music unites us all and there was a spiritual element in the pieces which were performed here,” said Mrs. Magdalena Alcorta, wife of the Ambassador of Argentina.
Sister Jane Ann Cherubin said she finds the event exhausting. “Every year when we finish organizing this event, I tell myself never again due to all the work of putting things together, but of course it is never enough and we always have to think of the children and donate and raise funds as much as we can on a continuous basis.”


by Irene Lam

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