The Australia and New Zealand Association in Korea is gearing up for Australia’s biggest horse race, the Melbourne Cup, which it will stream live in a fundraiser for a local children’s home.
ANZA President Cathy McQuade said that there would also be a ladies’ tea morning Tuesday, where those attending would be given hats to get ready for race day on Nov. 1.
“But the important thing from our perspective is the fundraising on that day and the cultural side of bringing an Australian event to Seoul,” she said.
At the tea morning, there will be a draw to receive one of the hats provided in various styles. The hats will be decorated with pink ribbons to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
At the Melbourne Cup event proper, there will be various prizes for best dressed, raffle events and, naturally, opportunities to have a flutter on the race, which will be streamed live.
The money raised will go toward an educational fund for residents of the Mubeop Jeongsa Yongin Home for Youth in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province. The house, sometimes known as Big Mama’s House, is a home for abandoned and orphaned children run by a Buddhist nun named Mubong.
“She keeps disabled and nondisabled siblings together, so she forgoes government funding to keep the families together,” said McQuade. “She currently has 26 kids from 6 years old up to early 20s who have stayed on after they finish school.”
The government doesn’t fund mixed facilities like Mubeop Jeongsa, and recent regulations have meant that disabled and nondisabled children had to be housed on separate floors. This required expensive renovations to the home that ANZA, along with other expat organizations, have helped pay for.
The education fund has 40 million won ($35,600) so far.
“At the moment we’ve been funding two girls with mild intellectual disabilities to do online courses ... because that’s a suitable educational step for them. And they can hopefully get a welfare certificate so they can be paid to work in the home or in a nearby (welfare) facility and become independent,” said McQuade.
“Then there’s two boys who are coming up and they are very bright and want to be teachers or have a career that they are interested in, so (university) would be a great thing for them. Otherwise they wouldn’t be going because there’s no money available with the limited funding that this private orphanage has.”
McQuade said ANZA was expecting more than 180 people for the Melbourne Cup event, and hoping to raise around 10 million won. The group also holds a ball each spring as their main fundraising event.
For enquiries about either event, visit anzakorea.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Paul Kerry (email@example.com)