Operation Santa Claus

Masters champ Danny Willett chips in at UBS charity golf event for Operation Santa Claus

No golfer hit a hole-in-one to snag prize money of HK$10,000, but it was all for good fun as amount was donated to OSC

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2016, 12:13pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 December, 2016, 10:21pm

Masters champion Danny Willett was among those who showed up on Friday to support a golf-themed Christmas charity challenge in the city organised by UBS.

The 29-year-old golf star, who is only the second Englishman to win the Masters, was on hand to mark UBS’ Hole-in-One charity challenge – part of its sponsorship of this year’s UBS Hong Kong Open.

The charity event, held from Thursday to Sunday, was also part of the bank’s support for Operation Santa Claus (OSC), a joint charity campaign held by the South China Morning Post and RTHK, which raises money for 23 local beneficiaries.

Prize money totalling US$10,000 was up for grabs for the first golfer to achieve a hole-in-one on the 144-yard 12th hole at Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling, with UBS matching that amount in a donation to the campaign.

Willett and other professional golfers tried their hand on the course, but no one hit the shot. UBS donated the prize money to OSC.

Amy Lo, head of UBS wealth management and greater China and country head for UBS in Hong Kong, said the company was proud to sponsor the tournament and contribute to OSC.

She said that since last year UBS had been collaborating with some of the beneficiaries, advising them on how to promote their services.

“With all the money we’ve raised, we said we wanted to do something different, so last year with OSC, we started the non-governmental organisation mentorship programme,” she said.

“And this year we continued with it; I’m so happy that we have a number of our executive committee members as well as our division head participating in this.”

Lo said the bank was able to support even more of the city’s underprivileged by providing NGOs with training programmes.

“I’ve been getting very good feedback from the NGOs,” she said. “They really find our coaching useful, specifically in terms of how to market themselves. That is credit to all those who have contributed.

“If we can help all these NGOs, it will be much more effective given the limited resources we have in the community. We can help even more of the needy.”

On Friday, some UBS staff also donned fancy dress outfits at work as part of their fundraising activities for the campaign.

Founded in 1988, OSC has raised more than HK$250 million for more than 230 charitable projects. New beneficiaries this year include FHL Adventure Education Centre, Yes We Do Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, the Outward Bound Trust of Hong Kong and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.