Korean-Americans bond at New York gala event

NEW YORK — Hundreds of Korean-Americans and others who are interested in Korean culture gathered in a huge networking event Saturday as part of efforts to strengthen their bonding in New York City.

More than 350 Korean-Americans, mainly students and young professionals living in New York, attended a special gala event hosted by MOI’M, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting networking among Korean-American students and young professionals.

The host organization, launched in 2013, pursues a primary mission of “networking through entertainment.” This was MOI’M’s second gala event hosted and participated in by Korean-Americans.

“Success in Korean-American families is all about being the first to cross the finish line. Get into the best school, find the best job, make the most money, leave the most distance between yourself and the rest of the Korean American community as possible,” said Kyung B Yoon, executive director and co-founder of the Korean American Community Foundation in her keynote speech.

“But what if we stopped thinking about success as coming in first place? What if we redefined success to be about how many people we can take across the finish line with us?” Yoon is formerly an award-winning correspondent for WNYW Fox Channel-5 News, and the first Korean-American broadcast reporter in New York.

Gary from Korean duo Leessang, joined by frequent collaborator Jungin, heightened the mood by performing their hit songs, “Girl Who Can’t Break up, Boy Who Can’t Leave,” “Ballerino,” and “Rush.”
“I am amazed to see such an event for the Korean-American community in New York,” Gary said.

Most of the attendees left the gala well entertained and satisfied.

“As a Korean American residing and working in New York City, it was important for me to find my own community that will mentor and support me,” said 25-year-old Leena Kim, who currently works at Town & Country Magazine. “This gala was a chance for me to network and bond with other working professionals in many different fields. You can’t do it alone, especially in New York.”

The event was held at Gotham Hall, a historic landmark constructed in 1922-24 originally as The Greenwich Savings Bank. The place is now as an elegant venue for events and concerts where celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Jay-Z and Elton John have performed.

MOI’M plans to expand their networking events throughout the year, and provide more unique ways to build a stronger Korean community across the U.S. and also globally.

By Jee Young Kim ([email protected])

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