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Gala Benefit In Hong Kong Raises HK$5.2 Million For Sichuan Rebuilding

Singapore-headquartered Company Also Donates US$400,000 To HFH China’s Efforts

HONG KONG, 16th October 2008: The generosity of the Hong Kong people was evident at a recent gala benefit dinner organized for HFH China. The event, with the theme of “Building Community with the Stars”, garnered HK$5.2 million (about US$668,050). The donations and commitments were made for Habitat to rebuild the homes and lives of families affected by the Sichuan earthquake. Singapore-headquartered electronics manufacturing services group Flextronics also presented a check for US$400,000.

 

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Charitable gesture: Richard Wong, vice-president, human resources, Flextronics Asia, presenting a check to Rick Hathaway, vice-president, Habitat for Humanity, Asia-Pacific.

 

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Evening’s program: (Clockwise from top left) Singer Michael Wong; a basketball autographed by China-born basket star Yao Ming and Diamond jewellery show by Damiani.

This was the third such event held. The inaugural event in 2005 had brought in net proceeds of at least HK$5.3 million while in 2007, nearly HK$5 million was raised.

During the evening, Habitat’s most prominent volunteer, former US President Jimmy Carter, commended the Hong Kong people’s generosity in a video message and lauded the role that HFH China is playing in post-earthquake reconstruction in Sichuan.

Chief executive of HFH China, Alfred Hing Man Tsang, said: “We are delighted and grateful for the generosity of so many people in Hong Kong. Though the Sichuan earthquake has moved off the front pages, there is much work to be done to move families out of temporary housing and into permanent new homes where they can rebuild their lives.”

Habitat hopes to start a pilot rebuilding project in a village about 35 km. northwest of Chengdu, the capital of earthquake-torn Sichuan. The project would involve rebuilding on the same sites of damaged or destroyed structures.

VIP guests for the gala evening included the Hong Kong government’s Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Prof. K.C. Chan, and U.S. Consul General in Hong Kong, Joseph Donovan Jr.

Entertainment came from actor and singer Michael Wong who performed with his 15-piece band and dancers. The evening included a show by top models, adorned in diamond jewelry by Damiani and a fall fashion collection from Shanghai Tang.

Habitat for Humanity began its operations in 2002 in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in southern China. Two years later, project offices were opened in the neighboring provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi. In January 2006, Habitat for Humanity merges its operations in Hong Kong and China into a single entity. While the China programs focus on construction and hosting of volunteer teams, the Hong Kong office concentrates on fundraising, recruiting volunteers for build trips in the Asia-Pacific region and home safety and improvement projects in the territory for the elderly living alone on their own.