140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Thursday, May 20, 2010

They’re busting up for charity

Break-a-thon will display martial arts skills and help Shriners Hospital
Jill Barville jbarville@msn.com May 20, 2010 in Washington Voices

Jung Kim’s martial arts studio will hold a board break-a-thon fundraiser to benefit Shriners Hospital for Children. Former and current Shriners patients, left to right, Tyler Schmidt, Grant Gilmore, Spencer Young, Jerrod Galles (in back), Ryan Thompson and Gayle Gracio, shown with El Katif Shrine Potentate Von Chimienti, are taking sponsor pledges for Saturday’s event at Gonzaga Prep.

Fast facts

What: Jung Kim’s Martial Arts Break-a-Thon. Free event with sponsored board breaking, martial arts demonstrations and safety information. All donations benefit Shriners Hospital in Spokane.

When: Saturday, 10:30 a.m. Where: Gonzaga Prep, 1224 E. Euclid Ave.Contact: www.jung kimtaekwondo.com

More than 400 tae kwon do students from Jung Kim’s Martial Arts will break approximately 2,000 boards Saturday in a marathon board-breaking event to benefit Spokane Shriners Hospital for Children.

Master Jung Kim, who owns dojangs on the North Side, South Hill and Spokane Valley, said he sponsors a break-a-thon every three years to benefit a local charity because it’s part of the tae kwon do philosophy. It’s also a hands-on way to show his students the importance of giving back to the community. Each student raised pledge money for the boards they will break.

“My tae kwon do family is community based. Tae kwon do philosophy is not for yourself,” said Kim. “It is helping others, working as a team. I train (the students) to help other people.”

“A lot of people need help in this world right now,” he added. “I like to let (students) know we have to help other people or this world will be very challenging.”

With that community spirit, the free event at Gonzaga Prep will have representatives from the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane Police Department and Mayor’s office and also feature performances by the school’s instructors and elite demonstration team. To round out the entertainment, Kim will break a brick.

Kim and his team of teachers picked Shriners as the charity this year when, in the fall, they heard the hospital was at risk for closure. Since several of Kim’s students have benefited from the hospital’s orthopedic services, it was also a fitting cause.

“It is a cool event and the money is going to the right place,” said Jeanette Thompson, whose son Ryan was born with cerebral palsy and has gone to Shriners Hospital since he was 2. When Ryan was 8 he began studying tae kwon do because it’s a sport that helps his limited range of motion. Now, at 13, he has a black belt and will be breaking five boards to support the hospital where he continues to get care.

“Shriners has helped so many people, so many kids,” said his mom, adding that Ryan’s therapy at Shriners and martial arts training with Master Kim have been a successful combination that has helped him improve enough to not need surgery yet. “It is a very personal thing to us, too, because both have helped Ryan. The combination of the two has helped Ryan immensely. I can’t say enough about them. Master Kim is very in tune to each individual child’s needs, as is the Shriners.”

Though the nonprofit hospital is now slated to stay open and will begin billing insurance in July to offset a small portion of the cost of care, public relations director Sally Mildren said they rely on donations like Kim’s to provide specialty pediatric care at no charge to patients.

“We are grateful and the ongoing support of donors like Jung Kim is critical for us still,” said Mildren, noting that the Spokane hospital served about 9,000 children free of charge last year. “The way our community rallied and supported us in voice and donation is part of what helped keep us here.”

Kim said he hopes to raise $30,000 for the hospital through the break-a-thon and is covering event costs with the help of a few sponsors so that 100 percent of donations go directly to Spokane Shriners Hospital.

That’s what makes the break-a-thon especially fun for Tyler Schmidt, who received treatment at Spokane Shriners Hospital for severs disease, a painful condition that caused his muscles to grow at a different rate than his bones. Schmidt, 21, has a black belt and will be breaking five boards for the charity.

“The break-a-thon is fun,” he said, “because you get to break boards and every board you break builds money up for the people you are donating the money for. By supporting them you are helping out a lot of young children.”
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