▲ Expats enjoy ultimate frisbee and help raise money for the Furey Fund, Sept. 11. Photo by Chris Moule
On Sept. 11 and 12, the famous black sands of Samyang Beach were taken over by a group of disc-hurling fund-raisers, at the Jeju Furey Ultimate Frisbee Beach Hat Tournament.
The beach was lined with colored cones marking end-zones and fair-play boundaries to host the event, which raised money for the “Jeju Furey Fund”— an account set up by Dan Nabben and from which money is taken for charitable causes.
Of the 35 contestants, five teams of seven players competed in standard Ultimate Frisbee, a modified version of this game played in a smaller area but with a twist in the rules, as well as another match which involved the throwing at targets set up by the opposing team. Funds were raised from the 20,000 won entrance fee (or 15,000 won for advanced reservation to play), which not only guaranteed frisbee players a spot on a team, but also some pizza and a bandana, as well as the opportunity to compete for individual prizes.
The event was declared a success and raised 286,000 won after expenses were deducted.
“I had a really good time,” says Nabben, the event’s main organizer, but also a player that day. “I was a little worried about the two new activities [the variants of standard Ultimate Frisbee], but I think it went really well. I think everybody had a really good time.”
On Saturday, each team played four games, said Nabben, “so everybody played everybody else.” There was a two-game knock out round on Sunday, meaning that each team played continuously until they lost two games. The team with the most points (scored according to the number of wins) won the tournament winning a 10,000 won gift certificate from Zapata's, ice cream and an additional bandanna, while the second place team got ice-cream and a bandanna.
The Frisbee tournament is not the first, nor will it be the last event held to generate money for the Jeju Furey Fund. The fund was created by Nabben in response to his friend, Nathan Furey’s, untimely death in 2009 from an illness that left a wife and two young boys behind.
There have now been over 20 events held beginning from March 13, 2009 until now, ranging from auctions, to sports tournaments, to raffles, to dance parties to live performances, and more. Holding charity-raised funds to be sent to Hyo Jung, Nathan’s widow, was the original function of the Furey Fund, but the fund’s purpose is evolving.
A total of 20 million won will be sent to Hyo Jung, and the final installment of this sum will come to her following the next Furey Fund event, called “Jeju Furey 4 – Beach Volleyball Tournament,” scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10 at Iho beach.
Payment to the Furey family has taken the form of installments because expenses related to putting on charity events — costs such as renting space, buying T-shirts, etc.— have been taken from the fund in order to build the fund further. “The idea is to create a flow, with the money being generated going to both Hyo Jung and the creation of new events,” Nabben explains.
Hyo Jung is currently in Vancouver, Canada, with her two children, who are both doing well and learning English quickly, Nabben said.
Following the last installment to Nathan’s Family, money from the Furey Fund will be sent to a Jeju family living in Iho. The family consists of two children, ages 8 and 11, who live with their 78-year-old grand-mother because their parents have died. Financial support is badly needed in this case, Nabben assures. “Her [the grandmother’s] heating for the winter is an electric blanket,” he explains.
“I went to the priest at Noh-Hyung Catholic Church and said, “OK, we’re shifting gears, we’re looking for a family in dire straights — I’d prefer a family with children with no parents, I’d prefer a similar situation to Nathan’s,” Nabben said. “The priest knew right away what to do, and where to go. Two weeks later we had the forms filled out.”
Nabben, explaining further, said, “We wanted to give back to Iho, give back to the Korean community because we had done our events there. I wanted to show Iho that it’s not just for us.”
The fund will remain known as “The Jeju Furey Fund,” both in memory of Nathan, and how the fund started and also because among certain people, the “Jeju Furey Fund” is well known, which makes the politics of setting up charity events easier.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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