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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Fundraising campaign under way to purchase building for Korean community center

The Korean Community Center Organizing Committee launched a fundraising effort at the Fairfax County Government Center in November 2014.
After a search of more than five years, members of the Korean community have found a suitable building for a community center and are engaged in an urgent fundraising effort so they can purchase it.

The community center would serve as a focal for the Korean community throughout the entire D.C. region but would also be available to other groups. The site has plenty of parking and is easily accessible from Interstate 395 and the beltway.

The building is in Mason District but can’t be identified until negotiations are farther along. The Korean Community Center Organizing Committee (KCCOC) has so far raised $1.4 million and has a goal of $5 million, says committee chair William Hwang.

The committee needs to raise enough money by mid-July to show that it will be able to purchase the building by a mid-October deadline.

The KCCOC is inviting the public to a classical concert July 1, 6 p.m., at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College to raise money for the building fund. Tickets would be $20 and will available at the door. The Korean Embassy is funding the concert.

The community center would house classes, meetings, and community events. Space within the building could be leased to schools, businesses, nonprofits, or other community groups.

The KCCOC doesn’t plan to make changes to the building other than to create an auditorium for large gatherings, community events, performances, and even weddings, Hwang says.

Hwang is also a member of the board of the Fairfax County Park Foundation and chairs the Washington chapter of the National Unification Advisory Council. Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova is the honorary chair of the KCCOC.

The center would be a real asset to the whole Korean community and could play an important role in improving U.S.-Korea relations,” the building owner says. “However, since the deadline is short, the entire Korean community needs to actively support the fundraising campaign and help develop a plan for how the building is to be used.”

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