Han Hee-jun to perform in SoCal to benefit scholarships for disabled

October 10, 2014
Singer Han Hee-jun discusses Milal Night 2014 at The Korea Times Los Angeles Thursday. (Kim Young-jae/The Korea Times)

Singer Han Hee-jun discusses Milal Night 2014 at The Korea Times Los Angeles Thursday. (Kim Young-jae/The Korea Times)

“American Idol” and “K-pop Star” alum Han Hee-jun will perform in Milal Night at three Southern California churches from Oct. 17 to 19.

The nights will benefit scholarships by Milal Mission, which aims to help those with physical and developmental disabilities.

The 25-year-old singer said he volunteered with the program as a student years ago and feels it is an honor to stand on stage as a main guest.

“I hope many friends and others who have given help can be comforted from me donating the abilities I have,” Han said Thursday.

Han started volunteering with the Milal Mission in 2010 in New York, where he said he found his turning point in life.

“I self-reflected after seeing the happy smiles of those who were not well,” he said. “I felt as though I was getting sunshine while singing and enjoying time with people with disabilities.”

Han said he hopes to go back to his roots through the upcoming performances.

Through the song “Open Your Eyes,” he wants to send a message to immigrant families to “see hope.”

Han will be joined by 13-year-old singer Christopher Duffley, a blind and autistic singer.

In 2012, Han was one of the top nine contestants on the eleventh season of “American Idol.” He later starred on a similar Korean audition program, “K-pop Star,” before debuting as a singer there.

Started in 2001, the Milal Mission in Southern California, also known as the America Wheat Mission, has given about $1.6 million in scholarships to disabled students. This year, 102 students received a combined $161,400 in funds.

“With a goal of $170,000, we’ve been working to deliver scholarships to many students,” said Lee Jong-hee, a pastor at Milal Mission in Southern California. “I hope this becomes an opportunity for many students with disabilities to receive help.”

Milal Night 2014 schedule:
-Oct. 17: 7:30 p.m., All Nations Church, 10000 Foothill Blvd., Lake View Terrace, CA 91342
-Oct. 18: 7 p.m., Glory Church of Jesus Christ, 1801 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90015
-Oct. 19: 7 p.m., Bethel Korean Church, 18700 Harvard Ave., Irvine, CA 92612

Entrance fee is $10 per person.

For more information, call 657-400-9570.