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Operation Santa Claus

Christmas market kicks off in Hong Kong, raising funds for Operation Santa Claus charity drive

  • City leader Carrie Lam officiates at opening ceremony, noting event’s contribution to youth empowerment
PUBLISHED : Monday, 03 December, 2018, 10:03am
UPDATED : Monday, 03 December, 2018, 10:48am

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as one of the city’s biggest festive fairs returns to usher in the winter holiday season.

Revellers packed the three-day White Christmas Street Fair on Tong Chong Street, Quarry Bay, which opened last Thursday and featured about 40 Christmas-themed booths.

In addition to offering Hongkongers a host of heart-warming activities and entertainment, the annual year-end community outreach event raised funds for Operation Santa Claus, the charity campaign jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK.

The Tong Chong Street portion of the fair at Taikoo Place followed the first part, held in Starstreet Precinct, Wan Chai, from November 23 until November 25.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, who officiated at the opening of the latter event last week, thanked the developer Swire Properties for staging the street fair for the sixth year in a row.

She noted that elements of youth empowerment were included in the event.

“I’m sure you will join me in attaching importance to the nurturing of young people in Hong Kong,” Lam told the audience.

She was accompanied by Merlin Swire, chairman of Swire Properties. Guy Bradley, chief executive of Swire Properties, and Hugh Chiverton, head of RTHK’s English programme service and the official representative of Operation Santa Claus, were also at the launch.

“The street fair is a platform for the city’s youth to showcase their talents and gain useful experience,” Swire said.

Swire Properties has partnered with the Po Leung Kuk Young Entrepreneurship Foundation and invited four young entrepreneurs to set up booths to get real-life business experience. The youngsters were mentored by Swire Properties’ senior management team.

One of them, Kurrin Mak Leung-kam, said she enjoyed the experience of running a stall.

Helping families in need, with funds from Operation Santa Claus

The young florist, who usually takes custom orders of preserved flowers and botanical gifts online, said the event had given her an opportunity to meet her potential customers face-to-face.

“I want to join the street fair again,” Mak said, adding that she had also learned business tips from her mentor at Swire Properties.