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Donation to help special athletes

The New York Taekwondo Championships, started by Grandmaster

The New York Taekwondo Championships, started by Grandmaster Y.H. Park, celebrated its sixth year with a day filled with sparring, board breaking, forms, performances and Korean food and dance at the Chaminade High School Athletic Center in Mineola. (Oct. 22, 2011) Credit: Nancy Borowick

East Meadow resident Y.H. Park on Tuesday donated the $4,000 proceeds from an October athletic and Korean cultural event to a program that supports autistic and other special needs athletes.

Park, a former U.S. taekwondo Olympic coach and the undefeated Korean national taekwondo champion from 1971-75, partnered with Nassau County for the New York Open Taekwondo championship/Korean Cultural Festival two months ago at Chaminade High School in Mineola.

“Y.H. Park understands that charity begins at home, and I ... hope others follow this incredible example of giving,” said County Executive Edward Mangano, who announced the donation outside his office in Mineola.

Park said, “It is with honor and distinction that the New York Open Taekwondo Championship/Korean Cultural Festival donates these funds.”

The money was given to Family Residences and Essential Enterprises of Bethpage, whose athletic program sends between 150 and 200 special needs athletes to the annual Special Olympics in New York.

FREE is a not-for-profit that provides services for children and adults with developmental disabilities, mental illness or traumatic brain injury. Anita Dowd-Neufeld, a top FREE official, said the program serves about 3,000 people in Nassau, Suffolk and Queens.

Above: The New York Taekwondo Championship/Korean Cultural Festival was held at Chaminade High School Athletic Center in Mineola in October.

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