Winners all round as Operation Santa Claus 2016 comes to a close
Closing ceremony for the annual charity drive recognises top fundraising organisations
Charity workers, corporate representatives and media professionals on Tuesday gathered for the closing ceremony of Operation Santa Claus 2016, which raised more than HK$16 million for local charities.
The event was held at Crown Wine Cellars in Shouson Hill and broadcast live on RTHK by Radio 3 programme host Alyson Hau.
It was attended by Regina Leung Tong Ching-yee, wife of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and Director of Broadcasting Leung Ka-wing, who heads RTHK.
Some 80 fundraising events supporting 23 beneficiaries were held in 2016 for the annual drive, which was founded in 1988 by the South China Morning Post and RTHK with the aim of connecting the local community to charities.
SCMP corporate communications director Benson Chao said the total donation amount was lower than expected due to challenging market conditions.
“But we appreciate the joint efforts made by the community so much,” he said.
The SCMP’s CEO, Gary Liu, said OSC’s support for society’s neediest went beyond the purely financial. “Every winter, OSC spreads a heart-warming message to the disadvantaged, reminding them that they have not been forgotten, that each year, through Operation Santa Claus, Hong Kong will do its best to bring them love and care,” he said.
“The SCMP is proud to be helping in this way. Together with our partner RTHK, we will draw public attention to the importance of giving and supporting these communities through our media platforms. We look forward to your continuing support in the years to come.”
The general public donated HK$1,390,000 to OSC through the charity’s donation boxes, which were placed across Hong Kong in clubs, companies, restaurants, retail outlets, hotels and shopping malls.
Another HK$380,000 was raised by 18 schools, while 10 clubs and associations donated more than HK$200,000.
Discovery Mind schools, which have contributed to the campaign for 11 years, were named Top School Fundraiser for the eighth year in a row.
Pupils from Discovery Mind schools collected about HK$120,000 for participating in a 4km hike from the preschool in Peninsula Village to Siena Park on November 19 last year.
Morgan Stanley was named the Top Corporate Fundraiser, raising about HK$3.2 million. The firm held its Directors’ Choir competition for the 14th year in a row.
“At Morgan Stanley, giving back is one of our core values,” said KC Wong, head of Asia Pacific community affairs.
UBS and Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospitals were the second and third biggest donors, raising HK$1.67 million and HK$800,000 respectively.
KPMG was announced as the campaign’s Most Creative Fundraiser this year. It held a citywide treasure hunt called Run for a Claus, which saw participating teams visiting OSC beneficiaries.
Pat-Nie Woo, Partner of Corporate Social Responsibility, said the company hoped to persuade even more people to join the event next year, particularly from the general public.