It was a night of mini-burgers, pizza, chips, beer, jokes and laughter. But it was also a night of head-scratching because of some difficult questions.
At Lan Kwai Fong pub Kila, financers, business consultants and surveyors abandoned their suits to get quizzed on a topic entirely unrelated to their professions.
Football fans had an edge, however, on such questions as: which two countries will host next year's African Cup of Nations? (Gabon and Equatorial Guinea) And, identify this football ground from this aerial photo.
Seven teams - CBRE, Hong Kong Football Club, The Kowloon Cricket Club, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Colliers International, The Hong Kong Strollers and The Ruby Murray's - took part in the quiz last week as part of Operation Santa Claus. It was a prelude to the five-a-side football tournament that is a major fund-raiser for the annual charity appeal.
The winning team will be one point ahead in the tournament, to be held tomorrow. Twenty teams, each with five players, will compete.
Jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, Operation Santa Claus has supported more than 100 charities since it was established in 1988. This year, it will raise money for 16 Hong Kong charities that help the needy in the city and on the mainland.
'Those charities they are supporting are not mainstream, which makes Operation Santa Claus great,' said Jonathan McKinley, a quiz first-timer. 'Also, everyone knows the economy is not doing well, so it becomes even more important to help out.'
'It is about the fun of taking part. We're here to enjoy, and everything else is a bonus,' he said.
Sean Liu, a surveyor at Colliers, said he came for the fun, charity - and the prize. 'I would like to be one point ahead, but my plan doesn't seem to be working out. The questions are too difficult,' he said.
Liu will also play in the football tournament, which 'is a good way of meeting people from different backgrounds'.
Kevin Yau from CBRE is another tournament player. 'Here, I am only a supporter. But I will be playing in the tournament,' he said.
'I played in the tournament three years ago. The game is fun. I play with my friends and basically everyone plays and wins together.'
The winning quiz team that night was Bank of America Merrill Lynch, with Dan Burke, Steve Lomax and Nick Smith.
Burke, a fan of English football club Tottenham, has participated in the quiz for three years. 'Operation Santa Claus is a great cause, and I love football,' he said.
At an auction, Scott Semple from the Hong Kong Football Club won an hour of air time on Morning Brew with RTHK's Phil Whelan. Martin Woods from CBRE purchased one group point for his team.
How you can give
Donate online by credit card at osc.scmp.com
Donations can be made at ATMs or at any branch of HSBC: account number 502-676299-001 for SCMP CHARITIES LTD-OPERATION SANTA CLAUS
You can make a donation by cheque, payable to 'SCMP CHARITIES LTD-OPERATION SANTA CLAUS' and mail to: Operation Santa Claus, Morning Post Centre, 22 Dai Fat Street, Tai Po Industrial Estate, New Territories, Hong Kong
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 address above.
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