By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
The Korean American Federation launched a North Los Angeles chapter on Saturday evening at the Antioch Presbyterian Church on Montrose Avenue.
The church was filled to capacity with local dignitaries and American, Armenian and Korean well-wishers who witnessed the installation of the chapter’s president Chang Keun Lee and his board of directors.
The Korean American Federation aims to serve as a bridge between the Korean community and mainstream society while easing the adjustment of new Korean immigrants to America and providing leadership within
the Korean American community.
Using a translator, Lee in his address reiterated these goals stating that within the Crescenta Valley there was a need for the Korean community to be more active. He referenced the November 2010 election of Korean resident Dr. Young Suh to the CV Town Council. That election had its highest number of Korean residents casting ballots.
Lee also reminded the audience of the strong Korean population in the foothills, including the thousands of children attending local schools. He urged business leaders to work toward “the betterment of the community.” He ended by asking for continued support for the infant chapter of the federation.
City of Glendale mayor Ara Najarian stepped to the podium to offer congratulations on behalf of the city and presented Lee with a certificate. Najarian acknowledged the importance of the Korean population to become “part of the fabric of the community.”
La Cañada mayor Don Voss also offered congratulations.
“We are proud and happy of [our] diverse community,” Voss said. “We hope to support the federation in the future.”
Cheryl Davis, president of the CV Town Council, welcomed the federation chapter to the foothills.
“I would like to congratulate the members of the Korean-American Federation of North Los Angeles (KAFNLA) on the Inauguration of their first first president Chang Keun Lee,” Davis said in a prepared statement. “The Town Council looks forward to working with the KAFNLA on their mission to fulfill and ease the needs of new immigrants, provide leadership and promote social, cultural and economic collaboration among families and businesses in the Crescenta Valley.
“Dr. Young Suh’s recent election to the Council is hopefully the beginning of a strong and long-lasting collaboration between the Korean-American community and local community groups and organizations.”
Other local dignitaries who offered congratulations included Arick Gevorkian of the Crescenta Valley Armenian Community and Youth Center and Dave Silversparre, captain of the Crescenta Valley Sheriffs Station.
The president was lauded as a spiritual man, a hard worker who will bring prosperity to the Korean community in the foothills benefitting the entire area.
As a part of another immigrant group, Gevorikian touched on the common values each ethnicity brings to the community.
“Both Armenian and Koreans strive to give good education, [have] strong faith and family values,” he said. “I am privileged to be even a minute part of this celebration.”