Operation Santa Claus

Scavenger hunters brave elements for Operation Santa Claus

Rain and fog can't keep teams from scouring city for fun and a good cause

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 December, 2013, 4:51am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 December, 2013, 4:51am

Rain, cold and fog may have marred the first Operation Santa Claus scavenger hunt, but it did not dim the spirits of the more than 40 contestants who turned up to join in for a good cause.

Co-organised by RTHK and the South China Morning Post, last Sunday's event drew 10 teams, each of which paid HK$5,000 to enter.

Starting from The Peak, the teams embarked on a three-hour adventure in the rain, scouring the city for the various objects and landmarks they had to identify - and photograph - with the help of a list of tricky questions and riddles.

The theme of the hunt was Hong Kong heritage. The contestants scavenged The Peak, the Peak Tram, Central and the Tsim Sha Tsui harbourfront for objects ranging from old trees to historic streets and artefacts concerning historic figures.

"We didn't even get through half of the questions, but it was good fun and it was cool, because it was all for charity," said Nicolaus Strozeski, 12, of Teen Time, the only children's team in the contest.

Tom Latter, captain of the Sunday Smile team, said his group managed to complete 90 per cent of the scavenger hunt, but he admitted to being stumped over one question about a former cricket pitch-turned-green area named after an Armenian businessman.

Co-organiser Bryan Curtis, head of RTHK's English programme service, said the event would raise about HK$80,000 for Operation Santa Claus' 18 designated charities.

"It's a fun event which brings everyone together for a good cause. But of course, we still wanted to make the challenge tough," Curtis said.

RTHK's Hong Kong Today team won the event, followed by Team Backchat in second place. The Morning Brew and Sunday Smile teams tied for third.

The Bethune House Migrant Women's Refuge was one of the Operation Santa Claus beneficiaries at the event.

"It was very exciting and touching to see all the teams coming together to raise funds for charity," said executive director Edwina Antonio. "The funds we will receive will pay for rent, utilities, training and medical supplies for the shelter."

Bethune House is a shelter where mistreated or abused domestic helpers can recover and rebuild their lives.

Operation Santa Claus is an annual charity drive jointly organised by the Post and RTHK to help a range of worthy organisations in Hong Kong.


How you can give

  • Donate at an ATM or at any HSBC branch (account no: 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