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SEOUL — A quartet of U.S. Forces Korea personnel, along with the 8th Army Band, were honored Tuesday night at the 13th annual Korean American Friendship Society dinner in Seoul.

The honorees were cited for “exceptional contributions to enhancement of good will and understanding between Koreans and Americans,” the society said.

The individuals awarded were Cecil C. Bell, the Camp Page installation manager; Staff Sgt. Min S. Ellis of U.S. Marine Corps Forces Korea; 1st Lt. Jaehun Lee of the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base, and Gunnery Sgt. Charles P. Millner, special United States liaison advisor, Korea.

Bell was honored for his “uncanny ability to foster positive community relations” by establishing programs for servicemembers to help local civilians. Of particular note, the friendship society said, were his disaster relief efforts following Typhoons Rusa and Maemi. Bell also has helped start cultural and English language classes for local children and works with Korean veterans organizations, officials said.

Ellis was recognized for spearheading the annual South Korea-wide Marine Corps Toys for Tots Campaign. She worked hundreds of off-duty hours to support and plan the campaign, which ended with a record number of donations.

The drive “carried a message of good will to Koreans and Americans, highlighting the genuine concern that the U.S. Marine Corps has for those in need,” officials said.

Lee was awarded for his work in two English language programs “designed to educate and bridge cultural differences between Korea’s youth and USFK personnel,” his citation read. Lee spent “hundreds of hours in the development, implementation and manning of ongoing English classes and cultural exchanges for Korean middle school and university students."

Millner was recognized for more than 120 volunteer hours spent in support of community projects. He taught, mentored and assisted almost one hundred socially disadvantaged Korean youth from the Sang-Rok Orphanage in Seoul, his citation read.

“Additionally he organized and participated in various events for disadvantaged children such as a holiday ‘Angel Tree’ gift program, American-style potluck dinner and one-on-one English language classes for many disadvantaged children.”

In addition to receiving the award, the 8th Army Band entertained the crowd with a performance; the Anyang Civic Professional Choir also performed at the dinner.

The proceedings kicked off with remarks by the KAFS president, Dr. Park Keun, U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard and toasts offered by USFK commander Gen. Leon J. LaPorte and his new deputy, Gen. Kim Jang-soo.

The Korea American Friendship Society was formed in 1991, with 61 members. Now, the society has about 250 members and meets monthly, in addition to hosting events such as concerts on Yongsan Garrison, seminars on Korean-American relations and an annual Christmas party.

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