THE annual charity fund-raiser, Operation Santa Claus, kicks off this afternoon with a special ceremony presided over by the new Chief Secretary, Anson Chan Fang On-sang.
This year's campaign on RTHK Radio 3 and in the South China Morning Post aims to raise $5 million for the Hong Kong Marrow Match Foundation and the Hong Kong Paediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Fund.
Mrs Chan will launch the appeal at Park Court, Level One of Pacific Place, at 4.15 pm, and present awards to children aged from three to 16 who took part in a contest to design a poster.
The winners were selected by Post Chief Artist Paul Best, and by Radio 3 presenters Cindy Wieringa and Hugh Chiverton.
They sifted through 300 entries, each of which contributed $10 to the appeal.
Winners were picked for groups aged three to six, seven to 10, and 11 to 16. They were, respectively, Sarah Farrington, six, of Glenealy School; Alvin Cheung, seven, of Beacon Hill School; and Candy Wong, 13, of St Rose of Lima's School.
Computer prizes for the winners and consolation prizes for all entrants were donated by KPS Ltd and Team Concepts Ltd.
A special light show will be switched on at 6 pm in the Park Lane Shoppers Boulevard.
Cash raised will help the Marrow Match Foundation run the world's largest registry of Chinese donors.
It also will go towards expanding post-operative care at the Bone Marrow Unit at Queen Mary Hospital and providing new technology and services for the paediatric bone marrow transplant unit at Prince of Wales Hospital.
Some money has already been pledged, including 10 per cent of all sales tomorrow in Episode, Jessica and Excursion fashion stores.
Cheques should be made payable to Operation Santa Claus 1993, and sent to RTHK Radio 3, PO Box 70200, Kowloon.