LPGA Tour star Choi Na-yeon on Thursday became the latest member of an exclusive South Korean donors club, with her latest contribution to a local charity.
Choi, the No. 2-ranked female golfer in the world, joined the "Honor Society," whose membership is limited to donors of at least 100 million won ($93,200) to the Community Chest of Korea (CCK), a nonprofit fund-raising body. On Thursday, Choi donated 100 million won to the Gyeonggi Province chapter of the CCK.
"I've been feeding off love and support from Korean fans to play well on the LPGA Tour," Choi said. "I decided to join the Honor Society to return more love to the community than what I've received."
According to CCK officials, Choi is the 197th member of its Honor Society, and the third former or current athlete. Hong Myung-bo, a retired football legend, and baseball All-Star Kim Tae-kyun joined the club before Choi.
The 25-year-old golfer has been one of the most philanthropic South Korean athletes. She's been donating 10 million won each year since 2005 to a South Korean charity for needy children. Separately, in 2008 and 2009, she donated 20 million won and 40 million won to a local university hospital to help young patients. Choi also makes regular offseason visits to South Korean hospitals.
Last month, Choi contributed $30,000 to the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf, a grant program for junior golfers, to provide golf equipment to girls beginning to take interest in the game. It was Choi's second donation of $30,000 to LPGA-USGA Girls Golf since 2010.
Then last week, Choi offered 70 million won to Sungho Elementary School in Osan, Gyeonggi Province, her alma mater, and donated another 30 million won to purchase computers for a community center for multicultural families in Osan.
Choi ranked second on this year's LPGA Tour money list with $1.9 million, aided by her first career major title at the U.S. Women's Open. She has made more than $7.6 million in her five-year LPGA career, which includes seven victories. (Yonhap)