Operation Santa Claus

City's Santas raise total of HK$11 million for Operation Santa Claus

Through a 25-year-old donation drive, locals demonstrate their unity and generosity for the needy in the best ways they know how

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 02 January, 2013, 4:26am

Hong Kong people have come through once more for Operation Santa Claus (OSC), raising almost HK$11 million for the disadvantaged in the city and beyond.

The 25-year-old annual holiday campaign, jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, ends its public appeal today.

This year, corporations, schools, clubs and individuals contributed to supporting specially selected projects of 18 charitable organisations.

Over the past six weeks, donors came up with creative initiatives that raised funds for the campaign and spread the Christmas cheer throughout the city.

In the middle of last month, more than 100 Cathay Pacific cabin crew members staged a flash mob dance in Cathay City at Chek Lap Kok airport.

Dressed in smart uniforms with their iconic suitcases, the crew danced in unison to Christmas pop music and appealed for donations. The video recorded more than 70,000 views on YouTube.

The police tactical unit supported the campaign for the 21st year with an annual games day at its headquarters in Fanling.

Santa Hashers, a group of hill-running, beer-drinking enthusiasts, held their charity fun run this year along a six-kilometre route on Hong Kong Island.

Earlier last month, a group of celebrities and corporate teams took part in OSC's games day "Santa on the Beach" at Repulse Bay. The teams took part in team-building games such as rafting and water-balloon battles, and donated a total of HK$240,000.

To celebrate OSC's 25th anniversary, RTHK Radio 3 organised Santa's Silver Auction, selling more than 30 big-ticket items including a private pasta-making session and on-air experiences at the radio station. All funds went to OSC.

This year's 28 major donors, each pledging at least HK$150,000, include Segantii Capital Management, FANCL, Turner Broadcasting System and ETAK International.

Kurt Ersoy, chief executive of Segantii Capital Management, a Hong Kong-based hedge fund manager, said: "OSC, via the SCMP reporting, does a great job bringing attention to the needs of the end beneficiaries - there is also great visibility in where the funds raised are used and how they make a difference."

OSC has raised more than HK$170 million over the past 24 years, benefiting more than 150 local charities.

This year's campaign will close with a special ceremony later this month.