Operation Santa Claus

Bank of America Merrill Lynch hold charity golf day for Operation Santa

Rain doesn't dampen enthusiasm as staff and clients of Bank of America Merrill Lynch smash their fundraising record on the golf course

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 December, 2013, 5:29am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 December, 2013, 5:29am

Rain and challenging conditions did little to dampen the spirits of golfers who turned out for the 16th Bank of America Merrill Lynch charity golf day yesterday to raise money for Operation Santa Claus.

The event at the Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club saw many balls go astray and putts go wide of the mark as 67 players - staff and clients of the bank and their friends and family - took to the course to raise funds to help those in need this Christmas.

The bank revealed it had amassed more than HK$600,000 even before a ball had been hit, smashing all previous fundraising efforts. Last year, HK$500,000 was raised from the event. Much of the money was raised through sponsorships of 17 holes around the course, registration fees, raffle tickets and the sale of "mulligan" tickets, which allow a player to take one free shot.

Ivo Distelbrink, the head of Asia-Pacific global transaction services at the bank, said: "It's our best year ever [for fundraising], and we're proud of it.

"We do a lot for the community, and giving back to the community at the right time to the right people is in our DNA," Distelbrink said.

Paul Scanlon, the Asia-Pacific head of global marketing and corporate affairs, said: "We focus on investing in women and children across the Asia-Pacific region because historically … they get left behind. Operation Santa helps us to focus on women and children's education, poverty, sanitation and housing. [For us] it's symbiotic, a good partner, and helps all the NGOs we're focused on."

He added: "It's a good day out … Every day it's about work, but today, it's about golf and all about helping others."

Huen Wong, deputy chairman of the golf club, summed up the light-hearted spirit of the competition when he joked: "Rules are there to be broken."

He said: "The 18 charitable organisations Operation Santa is supporting - we also share the same vision, that we need to give back to society." Afterwards, Wong joked that a "few bad holes" had prompted his golfing partner to say he had to "move heaven and earth" to keep his number of shots below 100, to which Wong replied: "Try heaven, because you moved all the earth already."


How you can give

  • Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
  • Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account number 502-676299-001 for SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus)
  • You can donate with a cheque payable to "SCMP Charities Ltd - Operation Santa Claus" and mail it to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories
  • Donations of HK$100 or more are tax-deductible. If you would like a tax receipt, please send the completed donation form and original bank receipt, with your name, address and phone number, to the above address. Please call 2680 8159 or e-mail osc@scmp.com with any inquiries, or visit us online at osc.scmp.com