Breaking News: $25,000 Record Fundraising Effort by Irvine's Talium Taekwondo Healthkick for Children's Hospital of Orange County

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Saturday, September 24th, over 250 students participated in Healthkick 2011, a taekwondo board break-a-thon raising money for the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Healthkick 2011 Check presentation. Seung Hyung Lee, Mayor Sukhee Kang and Breanna Weeks from CHOC.

While the checks are still be tallied, the event is expected to raise over $25,000 for the CHOC Foundation

Saturday, September 24th, over 250 students participated in Healthkick 2011, a taekwondo board break-a-thon raising money for the Children's Hospital of Orange County.

Special guests Mayor Sukhee Kang, Broadcom executive Vafa Rakshani, The Bridenbecker Family, and CHOC ambassador Bailey Spoonhower were present to help Talium Taekwondo Founder Seung Hyung Lee hand over a chack for $20,000 to Breanna Weeks of the CHOC Foundation.

The $20,000 was an early tally of donations as of the morning of the event, and subsequent donations are expected to push the tally past $25,000 and will put Talium closer to their Healthkick goal of funding a $50,000 radiology consultation room in the hospital's new building.

Healthkick 2011 was officially declared open by Grand Master Seung Hyung Lee, an 8th dan black belt, former undefeated taekwondo world champion, and American Taekwondo United (ATU) president.

Lee, who founded the charity event, uses Healthkick as a learning tool for including community awareness in his teaching curriculum as both physical fitness and spiritual harmony work together to complete the Talium philosophy of "an honest mind, a loving heart strength in the body."

Spectators were then treated to a world class demonstration from the Talium masters and demonstration team, where they matched daring stunts with skill, kicking apples off of knives blindfolded and various other eye-popping breaking moments.

The main event, of course, was the students themselves participating in board breaking, after raising money through pledges from family, friends and neighbors, the students chose their favorite breaking techniques to perform tournament style in front of a panel of judges. They were judged on their focus, confidence and taekwondo spirit.

Family and friends then stayed for a picnic of hotdogs and cotton candy while bidding in a silent auction consisting of items donated from local businesses such as botox from Serenity Plastic Surgery, a private wine tasting experience for 20 people from Total Wine and More, a coaching session from New York Times Best Selling Author Michael Levin, a "Death by Chocolate" basket by artisan chocolatier Chocolates a la carte and many more items from local businesses.

Going forward, Talium Healthkick aims to continue their goal of providing for the Children's Hospital of Orange County on a larger scale. Additionally they have embraced the idea of taking Healthkick global. In April of 2011 Grand Master Lee traveled to Seoul Korea to present the Healthkick concept to the World Taekwondo Federation--the governing body of olympic taekwondo--and discussed ways of adopting the concept throughout the world.

The idea of giving back, internal peace and harmony, and universal acceptance, are all qualities that are traditional values behind the concept of embracing and internalizing a taekwondo nature--which emphasizes harmony through balance and positivity--and are core values that Lee would like to see incorporated in to a global philosophy from the governing body of taekwondo.

Indeed, Lee's students know well the value he places on not just physical fitness, but education and leadership and compassion. They all willingly participate in Healthkick, knowing that their own lives are greatly impacted by their ability to find a way to utilize the skills they have learned in a meaningful way.

Most students from Talium Taekwondo train in classes multiple times per week at the Orange County schools in Irvine and Tustin.


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Sonya Versluys

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