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Star Athletes Mark Christmas by Helping the Needy

Posted December. 25, 2008 06:35,   


“To all the people, merry Christmas!”

Sport stars dressed up as Santa Claus yesterday spread plenty of Christmas cheer to help the underprivileged

○ Christmas carol with fans

The Hong Myung-bo Educational Foundation, named for a former soccer international who founded it, and Hana Bank will hold an annual charity match at Seoul World Cup Stadium at 2 p.m. today. Started in 2003, the event is geared to help children suffering from cancer and teenagers who are the breadwinners of their families.

Active players and those from the 1990s will be divided into two teams dubbed “Love” and “Hope.” Each half will be 35 minutes.

At halftime, they will sing Christmas carols with their fans.

Hong, now an assistant coach of the national soccer team, will join 21 former players from the 1990s including Hwang Sun-hong, now head coach of Busan I’Park, and Kim Ju-sung, international affairs director at the Korea Football Association.

Eighteen active players such as Lee Woon-jae, Suh Dong-hyun, Cho Won-hee, Lee Gun-hoo, Lee Chung-young, Ki Sung-yong, Chung Jo-kuk, and Cho Jae-jin will play.

Women’s soccer prospect Ji So-yeon will also participate. Korea Football Association Vice President Lee Hoi-taek will lead Team Love and Gangwon FC Coach Choi Soon-ho Team Hope.

Also attending will be association president Chung Mong-joon and Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon. Chun and Hong will play offense for Team Love and Oh will join Choi’s team.

Chung will also donate 30 million won (23,000 U.S. dollars) to the foundation.

Those who want to join the charity event must donate 10,000 won on the homepage of the foundation (www.hmb20.com) or Interpark (www.interpark.com). Hana Bank and Family Mart are also receiving donations.

Each donation is worth two tickets, and on-the-spot donations are also available.

○ Kim and Weir become Santas

Korean figure skating sensation Kim Yu-na will perform at the Kookmin Bank-sponsored “2008 Angels on Ice” at Mokdong Ice Rink in Seoul at 3 p.m. today. Proceeds of the event will go to ailing children and the underprivileged.

Johnny Weir of the United States, who won the bronze medal at the Senior Grand Prix Final, will perform with Kim in a “friendship show.” Kim will perform to “Gold” like she did at a gala show this season and Weir to “Ave Maria.”

Table tennis players Yu Nam-kyu, Hyun Jung-hwa and Ryu Seung-min will hold a charity event Sunday at Hogye Gymnasium in Anyang, Gyeonggi Province.

Pro baseball player Lee Dae-ho of the Busan Lotte Giants will deliver briquettes to the elderly Saturday.