By HyunCheon Kim
Translated SeungYeon Woo
The end-of-the-year party held by the Korean Dry Cleaners Association of New England has come and gone relatively quietly and simply. Compared to the one three or four years ago when the party was an exciting festival of Koreans with talent shows and many other programs, this year’s party ended with people’s feeling that something was lacking.
The party was held at Spinellis Function Facility in Peabody last Saturday, December 17th at 6:30pm. About 100 dry cleaners gathered and enjoyed the dinner and merriment. However, considering that the membership of the Korean Dry Cleaners Association of New England is about 300, only a small number of people joined the party. On-gu Cho, the president of the association, said, “It’s probably because of the present days’ economy, but also I think people have many end-of-the-year events competing for their attention. When more people in their 30s and 40s gather and unite, there is more chance we can improve the association and the power of Korean dry cleaners.”
Ok-hyun Chun, one of the members and the former vice-president of the Korean Society of New England, said, “We can’t really blame the decreased attendance just on the recession. A meeting of dry cleaners used to be as big as the event of the New England Korean society. I wish all members could join together in harmony. The most important thing in the immigrant community is unity. Although only a few members gathered in the party, it was very meaningful that we could wrap up the year and share our thoughts together at this party.”
According to Bong-jun Cho, the acting director, the Korean Dry Cleaners Association of New England hasexisted for31 years. The former presidents and directors still have been supporting the association for more than 20 years now. Cho was very thankful for the dry cleaners whoattended the party and said, “The year was very eventful. Although the economy of Europe and our home country was in a bad situation, I saw some signs of business recovery, such as the creating of more jobs and the increase of Dow and NASDAQ.” He wished the members luck. He also added, “At the end-of-the-year meeting, we c praised each other’s efforts of the year and we also made a resolution to begin a promising new year.” Moreover, he urged the members toencourage Ki-hwan Lee, who is a victim of this year’s snow storm.
The Consulate General, Kang-ho Park, also joined the party with the dry cleaners by delaying his other commitments. Park said, “The Korean Dry Cleaners Association of New England has been a firm foothold of Korean society. Also I surely know that it is contributing greatly to our society, as many leaders of Korean society have been produced from the dry cleaners association. Although dry cleaners are going through hardships during the recession, I believe that they still can support Korean society with bright prospects for the future.
During the party, many leaders visited, including Kang-ho Park, the Consul General and his wife, Eun-han Kim, the former president of Korean American Citizens League of New England (KACL NE), Kyung-hae Lee, the current president of KACL NE, Jin-seop Hong, the president of National Unification Advisory Council (NUAC), Hak-ryul Lee, the president of Korean American Senior Citizens Association of Boston, Ki-hwan Lee, the president of ChungcheongHyangwoo Association, Jun-hwa Kang, the former president of Korean American Society of Connecticut, Young-ki Kim, the former president of the Korean Society
of New England (KSNE), Young-tae Cho, the former president of KSNE and Bon-jaeGu, the former president of the Korean Golf Association of New England. Also the leaders of the dry cleaners association, who have been supporting the association more than 20 years, attended the party, including the former presidents, Ki-seok Kim, Dong-in Choi, Dong-ki Kim and the former directors Byung-jun Chang and Hoo-seok Lee. Also membersand visitors held a donation for Ki-hwan Lee.
ⓒ 보스톤코리아(http://www.bostonkorea.com), 무단전재 및 재배포 금지