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Morningstar Taekwon-Do Raises $15,000 for Charity
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On September 24th, 2005, Mr. Mike Morningstar (ITF VI Dan) and chief instructor of Morningstar Taekwon-Do once again put the human body to the test of endurance and perseverance, holding his sixth break-a-thon since the schools inception in 1988. What started as a relatively small Break-a-thon 500 raising a modest amount of $4,800 for the Halton Lung Association has now grown into a huge Break-a-thon 2000 generating CAN$15,294 for this years charity, the Kidney Foundation of Canada.

The Break-a-thon 2000, or B2K, is an event where Mr. Morningstar single-handedly breaks 2,000 boards using his hands and feet. Beginning at 11:00 am, Mr. Morningstar required only 3 hours to break all 2,000 boards. Although Mr. Morningstar uses almost every kick imaginable to break all of the boards, including flying twisting kicks and flying side kicks over obstacles, the event is highlighted by the numerous 2 minute challenges where Mr. Morningstar attempts to break 200 boards in 2 minutes, while the crowd attempts to raise donations of $1/board during that time. All of the challenges were a success, especially the final 2 minute challenge in which over $900 was raised during the 2 minute time limit.

Even more amazing than the actual breaking is that over $10,000 of the total funds raised for the event are generated entirely through the efforts of the students of the school. While donations from the students are accepted, they are instead encouraged to try and gather donations from outside their own family. Some younger students go door-to-door with the event poster while others bring a pledge sheet to school with them. Adult students bring pledge sheets to work, or hold special events such as a pot-luck lunches. Draws for prizes are awarded for those who drop off a pledge sheet, including a grand prize of a trip for two to Antigua for the student who raises the most amount of money. The grand prize was generously donated by Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Other prizes offered include a free one-year membership to Morningstar Taekwon-Do, a Masters Class DVD (officially endorsed by the ITF), a Morningstar Taekwon-Do gym bag, and a full set of sparring equipment.

On hand to witness the event was the Mayor of Oakville, the Honourable Anne Mulvale, and Mr. Gugglietti, President of Rosehaven Homes, the company that donated all 2,000 boards for the event, both of whom congratulated Mr. Morningstar and the students of Morningstar Taekwon-Do for their amazing generosity. A representative of the Kidney Foundation of Canada was also on hand to witness the event.

This years event was certainly the most successful, surpassing the original goal of raising $10,000 for the Kidney Foundation.

Written by: Doreen Tan - 18th October 2005

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