Hong Kong, June 1: The organisers of the UBS Hong Kong Open have announced the tournament’s principal fundraising initiative, the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup, raised HK$3.36 million for four local Hong Kong charities in 2016.
The figure is the largest sum raised by an event on the European Tour’s 2017 Race to Dubai to date and surpasses the HK$2.3 million set by the inaugural event in 2015. The amount is only bettered by the 2016 Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, when former UBS Hong Kong Open winner, Rory McIlroy, donated the winnings from his victory to the Rory Foundation and Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation.
A total of 188 players participated in the 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup on the Hong Kong Golf Club’s unique composite championship course. Fundraising started with the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup Dinner on December 6 at the Hong Kong Golf Club’s Deep Water Bay clubhouse – raising over HK$500,000 – a figure that was then matched by Friends of Asia Hong Kong, the Official Charity Partner of the UBS Hong Kong Open. The Hong Kong Golf Club donated a further HK$90,000 at the finale of the HK18 Putting Challenge, which was also matched by Friends of Asia.
The 2016 UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup beneficiaries include: InspiringHK Sports Foundation; Playright Children’s Play Association; the Autism Partnership Foundation and the newest addition The Hub Hong Kong. The previous beneficiaries have put the funds raised over the past two years to good use.
The funding has enabled 25 secondary students from underprivileged backgrounds to enrol in the Inspiring HK Sports Foundation’s “Golf Inspires” program, a two-year program that has given these youth an unprecedented opportunity to experience golf for the first time.
The Autism Partnership Foundation (APF) used the funds to provide one-to-one Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) treatment for autistic children from low-income families. After the intensive one-month treatment, many of the children have shown tremendous improvement in developing their social and cognitive skills and self-expression. APF has also used the funds to run workshops to help parents understand their children more.
Playright Children’s Play Association used the funds generated to expand their hospital play program where specialists help ease the anxiety of hospitalized children to two new hospitals, putting smiles on the faces of over 700 hospitalised children.
“We are incredibly delighted at the support for the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup from across Hong Kong. Along with our event partners we will seek to improve on these record figures in 2017 to ensure that the UBS Hong Kong Open continues to build a lasting legacy in our community.” said Amy Lo, Head of UBS Wealth Management, Greater China and Country Head of UBS Hong Kong.
Dr Caleb Chan, Founder and Chairman of Friends of Asia Hong Kong said: “With the addition of the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup Dinner and other initiatives in 2016, we were very pleased to see a significant increase in funds raised over and above the inaugural event in 2015 which has enabled us to add a new beneficiary to our list in 2016.”
“The promising results from 2016 have prompted us to set ourselves even higher targets for 2017, with the goal of benefiting even more people who are less privileged than us in our community, especially in the areas of sports, health and wellness, illness prevention and education,” added Dr Chan.
Arnold Wong, Captain of the Hong Kong Golf Club, said: “Everyone at the Club is delighted that the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup has been so successful. It is truly wonderful that the tournament is able to give back to the community in such an effective manner and I want to thank everyone involved, especially Dr Caleb Chan and Friends of Asia, for their heartfelt generosity. I hope we can boost these fund-raising efforts even further this year.”
Fredrik Lindgren, Head of Corporate Responsibility at the European Tour, added: “After the success of the inaugural UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup in 2015, we are delighted that the event will continue to be an integral part of the tournament in the coming years.
“The coming together of the European Tour, European Tour players, Friends of Asia, UBS, and Hong Kong Golf Club for the UBS Hong Kong Open to raise more funds for Hong Kong charities and support the local community and grassroots golf is wonderful.”
Applications open on June 1 for potential beneficiaries to apply for funds raised from the 2017 edition of the UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup from November 23-26.
For more information on how to apply for funding from the 2017 UBS Hong Kong Open Charity Cup, please visit www.friendsofasiacharity.com or www.ubshkopen.com for applicant guidelines. Applications close on June 30.
The UBS Hong Kong Open is sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian Tour and Hong Kong Golf Association.
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