image

Operation Santa Claus

Charity golf day raises HK$640,000 for good causes across Hong Kong

Dozens of Bank of America Merrill Lynch staff and clients take part in competition at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 December, 2016, 12:20pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 December, 2016, 8:11pm

The eighth Bank of America Merrill Lynch Charity Golf Day was held in the lush surroundings of Clear Water Bay for Operation Santa Claus (OSC).

Chris Gammons, head of Asia Pacific global capital markets for the bank, addressed more than 70 golfers, comprising employees and clients, before the tee off.

“We’re honoured to be once again part of the Operation Santa Claus charity campaign,” he said.

“We’ve been supporting OSC for the past 19 years, and for the eighth year now we’ve partnered with Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club for this noble cause.”

Since 1988, OSC, the annual fundraiser jointly held by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, has raised more than HK$250 million to support various local non-government organisations that help some of the neediest members of society.

This year, the December 9 golf day raised HK$640,000 for OSC beneficiaries, the bank said.

Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club co-sponsored the event by providing the venue.

Gammons said Christmas was the perfect time of year to do something that was of ­benefit to so many others.

“In Hong Kong, as a society, we tend to forget it, but we’re also part of the community,” he said.

“More than 60 per cent of our employees are from Hong Kong, so we feel an obligation to give back.”

Furthermore, employees of the bank enjoyed such types of community-based events.

“We have 80 to 90 per cent ­participation for our many events throughout the year. It’s a nice ­occasion to get together and catch up with people you wouldn’t meet otherwise,” Gammons said.

He said his favourite part of OSC was meeting the beneficiaries. “I like going there, meeting the organisation and the people. It’s better than simply writing a cheque.”

Huen Wong, vice chairman of the golf club, also expressed his appreciation for the event and said it was one of many such ­occasions on the calendar.

“It is part of a 12-year-old ­policy to reach out to the community,” he said. “But this is certainly one of our most important charity events.”

OSC pulls people together from all paths of life, he added. “Friends ring me up and ask me to donate on their behalf.”

The golf day followed a ­successful OSC toy collection drive by bank employees.

The toys will be donated to ­various organisations, including Benji’s Centre, which supports children with speech problems, and the Rainbow Project that helps children with autism.