Making their mark

Making their mark

Thanks to students' enthusiasm and hard work, schools raise HK$634,305 for OSC

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St. Mark's School win the "Most Creative school award" from Operation Santa Claus.
St. Mark's School win the "Most Creative school award" from Operation Santa Claus.
Photo: Felix Wong
Top school fund-raisers received awards at the closing ceremony of the 23rd Operation Santa Claus (OSC) held at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Wan Chai yesterday.

Thirty-three schools around the territory took part in the charity campaign, raising a total of HK$634,305 - HK$113,047 more than the previous year. OSC is jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and RTHK.

Secretary for Justice Wong Yan-lung and wife of the chief executive Selina Tsang Pou Siu-mei - the honorary patron of Operation Santa Claus 2010 - were among the special guests who attended the ceremony. Tsang revealed that the OSC had raised a final, grand total of HK$13,372,928 from corporations, private donors and schools.

Discovery Mind kindergarten won the top school fund-raiser award with HK$142,430, while the most creative award went to St Mark's School.

Victor Hung, a Form Six student and senior house captain at St Mark's, was delighted. "Our OSC organising committee members spent countless nights at meetings and doing preparatory work for OSC. This award recognises all the hard work they put in."

The school's effort was highlighted by two events - Famine Camp and Candygram Selling.

Bryan Hon, a Form Five student, was the mastermind behind the Famine Camp which attracted more than 80 students. "Each student had to raise a minimum of HK$80 to join the camp which was filled with exciting games and a treasure hunt, and last but not least, 18 hours of fasting."

Beforehand, Bryan gave a presentation about hunger and poverty around the world which touched the students deeply and inspired them to help the needy.

Victor says: "All 17 of us from the organising committee had no sleep at all the night before the famine camp and we also had to stay up late the next day to pack candygrams [small packets which contain messages of goodwill]. Sending candygrams to our schoolmates is a tradition in our school during Christmas to show that we care about them."

It was a cold night when they prepared candygrams, Victor recalls.

"We managed to finish packing most of the candygrams that night with the help of our friends who volunteered. They made me feel there is a strong bond between schoolmates," he says.

The candygrams were delivered the day before the winter break.

To St Mark's, OSC is more than helping people in need - it helps strengthen relationships among students.

"Our principal sees OSC as something more than a charity event. It is a chance for students to develop a sense of belonging to the school and learn to care about one another," Victor says.

The school's fund-raising events included charity ball games, a bazaar and a talent show.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of its students, the school managed to raise HK$45,469 for OSC.

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