Formed in April 1980 to assist a 7-year old boy named Christopher Grecieus who always dreamed of being a police officer, but was diagnosed with leukaemia, lead to the establishment of the non-profit organisation Make-A-Wish in the United States of America with the objective of creating life-changing wishes for children with a critical illness who have reached the age of 2 and a half and are younger than 18 at the time of referral.
Today Make-A-Wish has made wishes come true for more than 410,000 children with incurable diseases in 42 countries, and in the process has become the world’s largest “wish” fulfilment agency, for children.
The foundations mission remains “We want children who are battling life-threatening incurable diseases to achieve wishes” and their vision continues “We do our best to fulfill the wishes of all children with intractable diseases.”
Make-A-Wish, Korea was established in 2002 and has made 3 892 wishes come true as at 2018, with many more wishes due to be realised in the future.
On 24 April 2019, the second day of our world congress, members from around the world participated in our annual charity auction. Each member brought a special gift from their country which was auctioned to the highest bidder. The auction took place in the Diamond room at the Koreana Hotel in the centre of the vibrant and colourful city of Seoul. This annual charity auction is now an integral part of our annual world congress and provides delegates and their partners a time to relax and enjoy an evening of joy, friendship and sharing in the excitement of outbidding each other to take home a memento from fellow members countries.
The charity auction was opened by Hubert Czapinski (TCM Chairman) who emphasised the importance of children as he has recently become a father to their son and twin daughters so encouraged all to support the event bearing in mind the children that would benefit from all of our contributions.
Grace Choi from Make-A-Wish joined our auction and introduced the foundation and thanked all present for their participation and looked forward to the evening.
Whilst our annual congress revolves around the TCM Group business, allowing our members from different parts of the world to get together to discuss business and move forward with very important topics that concern the Group we continue to dedicate one evening solely to our commitment to social responsibility through the auction.
With our hosts selecting Make-A-Wish as the beneficiary of our auction it was only fitting that the four young men who attended the world congress with their parents assisted our auctioneers in showing the auction items to the bidders. The event was well supported with over 100 items going on auction.
Not forgetting the reason for establishing our annual charity auction Chunyang (Jeff ) Li (TCM China) started the evening by recounting his initiative in 2013 when he hosted our world congress in Beijing and introduced the social awareness program in the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Lushan County of Ya’an City in the Sichuan Province of southwest China in April 2013. It was followed by several violent aftershocks and eventually affected up to 383,000 people, claiming nearly two hundred lives and severely impairing the lives of thousands more. This initiative was to help those less fortunate and to raise funds for a charity of our future host countries choice.
In order to encourage the group to raise more than our target of US$25 000 for the foundation, Shaun Duncan (TCM CEO) committed to shave his head if the group exceeded this target. The evening started with Richard Brooks (TCM South Africa) being challenged to resolve a Rubik’s Cube within one minute. He took up the challenge and bids of US$1 000 were placed, and Richard succeeded in completing the task well under the 1-minute time limit.
Our auction followed with our resident auctioneers Amir Erez (TCM USA) and Pierre Haincourt (TCM UK) ably assisted by Zachery and Jonas Erez (TCM USA) and Richard and James Brooks (TCM South Africa) showing the items to our bidders to help promote participation in the auction. At the halfway mark young Zachery Erez asked if he could auction an item on behalf of the children that would benefit from the funds raised. He did such a good job that a second item was auctioned by him as the audience loved his enthusiasm, skills and movement whilst pushing the price of the items.
All said and done we raised US$27 055 from our members as they out-bid each other for their prized items. The TCM Group pledging a further US$2,000 to the foundation, taking our overall donation to Make-A-Wish, Korea to US$29 030 being a TCM Group record.
Our host of the 2019 – TCM World Congress, ACE Law Group / TCM South Korea represented by CEO & MD Jin Ra presented Make-A-Wish with a certificate representing the funds raised at our auction.
For more information go to www.wish.or.kr