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Old 12-10-2010, 05:59 PM   #1
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Default Steelers star Ward welcomes Korean children to America

Steelers star Ward welcomes Korean children to America
By: Mike Bires
Beaver County Times

Thursday December 9, 2010 09:31 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward speaks at a press conference Thursday after welcoming eight biracial children from Korea at the Pittsburgh International Airport.

PITTSBURGH — Thanks to Hines Ward, eight biracial Korean children from have arrived in America where they’ll soon visit two of our country’s most famous landmarks.

They’ll be at Heinz Field on Sunday to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the most popular professional sports franchises in the United States.

On Monday, they’ll check out the Statue of Liberty, as well as other must-see sites in New York City.

“To have that kind of an impact on these kids, it’s a special feeling for me,” said Ward, a wide receiver who’s the Steelers’ all-time leading receiver.

“As a child from Korea, imagine going on a field trip to another country. I just feel blessed that I’m in a position to help them do this.”

In conjunction with the Hines Ward Helping Hands Korea Foundation, Ward has brought biracial Korean children to the United States for five years now.

After practice Thursday at team headquarters on the South Side on Pittsburgh, Ward drove to Pittsburgh International Airport, where he greeted the children making the trip this year. Ranging in age from 7 to 16 years old, they were selected through an essay contest in which Ward asked them to write about pursuing their dreams.

Ward, who has a Korean mother (Kim Young Hee) and an African-American father (Hines Ward Sr.), was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1976. His parents, who separated when Ward was a youngster, brought him to the United States when he was 1 year old.
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After Ward earned Most Valuable Player honors five years ago in Super Bowl XL, he became a symbol of success for all Koreans, especially the biracial population or “mixed bloods” as they are referred to by Koreans.

In spring 2006, when he received a hero’s welcome during a visit to Korea, Ward met with 100 biracial children and immediately became attached to them. Upon his return to the United States, Ward started his foundation and donated $1 million to it.

“What I do for these kids really hits home because I’ve been in their position before,” Ward said. “It’s something I can relate to.”

Today, the children will spend the day with Pittsburgh-area families who have already adopted biracial Korean children. On Saturday morning, they’ll attend Steelers practice. Later in the afternoon, Ward will take them to Dave & Buster’s at the Waterfront in Homestead. Then he’ll treat them to dinner and pass out gifts donated to his foundation.

On Sunday, the youngsters will watch the Steelers (9-3) play the Cincinnati Bengals (2-10).

Then they’ll be off for two days in New York City.

“I always try to stay active when it comes to community affairs. But this weekend is special,” Ward said “We have a big game against Cincinnati, and at the same time, I’ve made it possible for these eight kids from the other side of the world to see a little bit of what our country has to offer.”
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Old 12-10-2010, 09:38 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers star Ward welcomes Korean children to America

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