On Tuesday, Loudoun County officials hosted Taiwanese officials and the United States Martial Arts Academy’s Grandmaster Eung Gil Choi, to receive gifts of 12,000 medical face masks to aid in the COVID-19 response.
The brief presentation ceremony was conducted in a socially distant manner at the Government Center in Leesburg, and the boxes of masks were delivered to the county’s Emergency Operations Center for distribution.
“As Loudoun County takes a responsible approach to re-opening the economy, the health and protection of our first responders, frontline workers and citizens remains of the utmost importance,” said Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair at Large Phyllis Randall, who hosted the reception. “These incredibly generous donations illustrate the importance of Loudoun’s relationships, both within our community and around the world.”
The Taipei Economic and Cultural Association gifted 10,000 masks on behalf of Loudoun’s sister city, New Taipei, Taiwan. It was the first official delegation to Loudoun from Taiwan since 2017, but underscored the importance of these international agreements.
“Taiwan cherishes its friendship with Loudoun County, and the Sisterhood relations between Loudoun County and New Taipei City. We hope the surgical masks can help the frontline health care workers in Loudoun,” explained Paul Paohan Wang, senior executive officer of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office. “Taiwan is providing humanitarian assistance against COVID-19, through a program called ‘Taiwan Can Help and Taiwan Is Helping.’”
Through the program, Taiwan has donated more than 50 million facemasks and personal protective equipment around the world, including more than 10 million to U.S. federal and local governments since early April.
Loudoun County also received a generous donation of 2,000 medical face masks from USTMA’s Master Choi, a Taekwondo ninth-degree black belt and a Loudoun business owner for more than 30 years.
“Loudoun County is my home. I know it’s a small donation, but I want to do my best for those who work hard to keep Loudoun County beautiful and safe, especially at a time like this,” Choi explained. “I really love and appreciate Loudoun County with all my heart.”
Choi has studied Taekwondo for more than 50 years and was the South Korean Special Forces Champion from 1975-1977. USTMA was the first school to teach martial arts in Loudoun, and Choi has been proactive in attracting other Korean businesses to invest in the county.
“We are very appreciative of Master Choi’s dedication to the Loudoun community, and look forward to growing our relationship with New Taipei City in the years to come,” Loudoun Economic Development Executive Director Buddy Rizer said. “While the first half of 2020 will likely be remembered for its crises, gestures like these will help fuel our strong recovery into a bright, #LoudounPossible future.”