By Hyung Seok LEE
CV Weekly Intern
Perhaps unknown to many citizens of the La Crescenta community, there is a man who lives just up Ramsdell Avenue who has been serving the Korean community since 1992. Jong Min Kang has recently been named the president of the Los Angeles Seoul Lions Club headquartered in Korea Town. In an inauguration ceremony at the Wilshire Plaza Hotel located in downtown Los Angeles, members of the Lions Club all throughout the area came together to honor Kang in his advancement.
Among the Korean community, Kang is known for his dedication and service to the well-being of the Korean community. His reputation among the Korean people advanced him to the position of president, having skipped the ranks of first-, second- and third-vice president.
Kang has not always been so concerned with the well-being of the Korean community. In 1986, Kang and his wife moved from Korea to the US in order to seek a better life. At that time he wasn’t particularly interested in community service, but with the outbreak of the L.A. riot in 1991 Kang established the Korean Young Adult Team. Joined by hundreds of younger Koreans the Team was in place to protect Korean businesses from being attacked and looted. This ignited his volunteerism; from 2006-07, Kang served as the Korean American Senior Vice President, followed in 2008-09 as president of Korean Veterans of Army Association.
“The reason why I do what I do is for two reasons: First, I feel that it is my duty to serve, and second, I enjoy serving others,” Kang said.
As the L.A. Seoul Lions Club president, he plans on advocating the current Lions Club program in gathering used glasses to send to developing countries. He also hopes to increase the number of high school scholarships the L.A. Seoul Lions Club provides. Kang is in the process of opening a Leo Club, a youth service organization, in the Crescenta Valley. Known as LOOK Leo Club, the goals are to increase outreach in the homeless community and raise the morale of the younger generation, encouraging young people to participate in Korean sponsored events.
“We live in such a privileged nation where we have the basic freedoms many people do not have. Because of this, we want to make even the smallest contribution by providing glasses for those who cannot see because of bad eyesight,” Kang said. “Also, I want to push the younger generation in truly understanding what service means, and through LOOK Leo I hope to establish this.”
Kang has three children and lives in La Crescenta with his family.
“I’m very proud of my dad and his hard work,” Kang’s son Kenny said. “He works to serve others and that is something we as a family should definitely be proud of.”