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Celebrities donate to help wildfire victims

Apr 08,2019
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Celebrities have been making donations to help the coastal cities of Gangwon recover from the aftermath of the recent wildfire, including singers Psy and IU, and celebrity couple Lee Byung-hun and Rhee Min-jung, who each donated 100 million won ($87,900) to the Korea Disaster Relief Association. [YONHAP, ILGAN SPORTS]
The coastal cities of Goseong and Sokcho in Gangwon may be suffering from the devastation of perhaps the biggest wildfire the region has ever experienced, but they’re not alone. Dozens of actors, singers, comedians, models and other celebrities have donated money to help the cities recover from the damages, and have encouraged others to help in whatever way they can.

On Friday, Singer IU donated 100 million won ($87,900) to ChildFund Korea, while other stars from the Gangwon region also made donations, including Kim Hee-chul from boy band Super Junior - who donated 30 million won to the Community Chest of Korea - comedian Yoon Jung-soo and singer Yoon Ji-sung, who each gave 10 million won to the Korea Disaster Relief Association.

The next day, actors Song Joong-ki and Nam Joo-hyuk each contributed 30 million won, Jung Il-woo and Yim Si-wan gave 20 million won, and former baseball player Lee Seung-yuop pitched in 10 million won. K-pop megastar Psy threw in 100 million won. The singer is known for taking the lead in helping fellow Koreans in the wake of natural disasters, such as the Daegu Seomun Market fire in 2016 and the Pohang earthquake in 2017.

Celebrity couple Lee Byung-hun and Rhee Min-jung shared their condolences and donated 100 million as well. Other celebrity couples provided monetary support, including Gummy and Cho Jung-seok, who donated 30 million won, and Hong Hyun-hee and Jason, who gave 5 million won.

Actors Kim Woo-bin, Kim Seo-hyung, Lee Jun-ho (also known as Junho of boy band 2PM), Yoon Bo-ra, Cha Eun-woo, Chun Woo-hee, Kim So-hyun, Kim You-jung, So Yu-jin, Lee Je-hoon, Lee Jung-hyun, singers Kim Jin-woo of boy band Winner, Kim Jin-hwan of boy band iKON, Kang Min-hyuk and Jung Yong-hwa of boy band CNBlue, Yoon Doo-joon of Highlight, Kim Dong-wan of Shinhwa, K.will, Narsha of the Brown Eyed Girls, Sunmi, trio Koyote, comedians Kim Na-young, Yoo Byung-jae, Shim Hyun-sub, Yoo Sae-yoon and model Yano Shiho also took part in the philanthropic contribution. Cube Entertainment, home to groups BtoB and Pentagon, donated 50 million won in the company’s name.

Newly-wed celebrity couple Kim Sang-hyuk and Song Da-ye who tied the knot on Sunday afternoon, began their marriage with a meaningful contribution, by donating 10 million won to the Korea Disaster Relief Association on Saturday.

On Sunday, news came that Hwang Kwang-hee passed along 20 million won to the Korea Disaster Relief Association, as well as actors Lee Hye-young and Yoon Se-a, with each giving 10 million won donations. Singer Ong Seong-wu made a contribution of 10 million won, actors Kang So-ra and Han Hyo-joo gave 20 million won each and model Han Hye-jin provided 30 million won.

“We have been receiving calls from people asking how they can donate to us since Friday,” said a representative from the Korea Disaster Relief Association, adding that they are expecting more donations to come in the coming days. On Saturday, the disaster relief association said that they have collected 4.7 billion won in just two days.

The wildfire began around 7 p.m. on Thursday, sweeping through 400 houses and 530 hectares of forest across the Gangwon region. The local government declared Goseong, Sokcho, Gangneung, Donghae and Inje special disaster zones, entitling the residents to financial, administrative and medical support.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr ]