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Ice Bucket Challenge raises W700m in Korea

Park Seung-il. (Seungil Hope Foundation/Yonhap)
Park Seung-il. (Seungil Hope Foundation/Yonhap)
The viral fund-raising campaign the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised over 700 million won ($689,500) in contributions to Seungil Hope Foundation, established to build a special hospital for patients of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in Korea.

“Over 7,000 people have participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge,” said the singer Sean on Sunday through a statement from his agency, YG Entertainment. Sean cofounded the foundation with Park Seung-il, a former basketball coach for Ulsan Mobis Phoebus who is currently fighting ALS.

“The large sum of 700 million won results from many individuals giving from their hearts,” said Sean. “We would like to continue to raise awareness about ALS and more money ― about one-tenth the sum raised in the United States (which would amount to approximately $10 million) ― to construct the first ALS clinic in Korea.”

In Korea, the challenge among celebrities began when singer Tim was nominated by a friend in the U.S. He then nominated the singer Sean, Brian Joo and K-pop idol Choi Si-won. Sean then nominated K-pop group Big Bang’s G-Dragon, who doused himself and donated 81.8 million won to Seungil Hope Foundation on his birthday, Aug. 18.

Many local A-list celebrities, including Suzy, Choi Min-sik, Yoo Jae-suk, BoA and Jo In-sung, have joined the challenge by dousing themselves with ice water.

The Ice Bucket Challenge, begun in the U.S., asks people to make a recording of themselves getting drenched with ice water, post it online and nominate others to do the same within 24 hours or donate $100 to ALS research.

By Ahn Sung-mi (