WeAJa gets a presidential donation

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WeAJa gets a presidential donation


Left:GS Caltex Chairman Hur Dong-soo donated his Chinese porcelain.Right;President Park Geun-hye donated her own porcelain bowl.

There are just two days left until the WeAJa flea market kicks off on Sunday in Seoul, Busan and Daejeon, and donations are flooding in from various corners of the country, including the Blue House.

President Park Geun-hye recently donated her very own porcelain bowl, which she reportedly used long before becoming Korea’s first female president, according to a close aide.

The president keeps the blue-gray earthenware “at arm’s reach,” and often fills it with candy or other small items, the source added.

The lid is in the shape of a lotus, and the bottom of the container boasts Park’s official signature in Korean characters.

Donations have also come in from the National Assembly. Chairman Chung Ui-hwa donated a framed landscape of Bergen, Norway - a photograph he says he personally shot.

Choi Yang-hee, the minister of science, ICT and future planning, donated his hiking stick.

“I went up and down Mount Gwanak 100 times with this stick,” he said.

Both Chong Jong-sup, the minister of security and public administration, and Choi Hi-yeon, the Seoul education chief, put up calligraphy work, which they said were handmade.

Others who gave their goods to charity include Hur Dong-soo, GS Caltex chairman, and Hur Jin-soo, GS Caltex vice chairman. Hur sent in three pieces of earthenware, and Huh donated a black bag and a Montblanc pen.

Cheil Industries donated a gray suit reportedly “worn several times” by heartthrob actor Hyun Bin, who starred in the SBS hit drama “Secret Garden” (2010-11) alongside actress Ha Ji-won.

Cho-a, a member of the girl group Crayon Pop, best known for the song “Bar Bar Bar” (2013), donated her gray muffler.

The WeAJa flea market runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Gwanghwamun Square, central Soul; in Pororo Library in Busan Citizens Park; and Daejeon City Hall’s South Gate Plaza.

Donations by high-profile figures, like those aforementioned, will be sold at an auction; the rest, donated by companies, nonprofit organizations and individuals, among others, will be sold at a fixed price. Approximately 140,000 items will be up for sale this year.

The auction runs from noon to 3:30 p.m. in Seoul and Busan and Daejeon’s will last from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to the flea market, WeAJa will provide other services and entertainment, including musical performances, free health consultations, manicure services and crafts. Programs differ by host city.

Over the past decade, WeAJa has collected $688,000, proceeds that have gone to We Start, a civic organization aimed at helping children obtain proper education and medical care.

We Start operates We Start Villages, multipurpose care facilities in areas with more than 200 children in low-income brackets.

The villages provide family counseling, psychological and physical checkups, after-school study programs and nurseries, as well as additional services.

Free parking for attendees will not be provided at the fair. Taking the subway or bus is recommended. Admission is free.

For more information, visit weaja.joins.com or call (02) 2115-7331.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [selee@joongang.co.kr]

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