HONG KONG, May 2 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong's leading charity donor, the Hong Kong Jockey Club, said Sunday it had donated another 16.3 million HK dollars (2.1 million U.S. dollars) for earthquake-hit area in northwestern China's Qinghai province to help disaster relief work.
Together with the emergency donation of 2 million HK dollars made earlier, the Jockey Club contributed over 18.3 million HK dollars to support relief work for victims of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake, which hit the Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Yushu in Qinghai on April 14.
In a press release, the Jockey club said it achieved a net operating surplus of 15.36 million HK dollars on April 21 at the Happy Valley race meeting. All money had been passed to the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs for earthquake relief work.
Chairman of the Jockey club, John C C Chan, said horse racing in Hong Kong not only is a form of entertainment, but is also a charitable undertaking which serves the people of Hong Kong and has a far-reaching significance to the community.
"We felt that by going ahead with our race meeting on April 21 and donating the net operating surplus to help Qinghai earthquake victims, we would be able to give strong support to the relief efforts at the same time as maintaining a stable contribution to the public purse," he said.
In addition, the Jockey Club launched a public fund-raising drive between April 21 and 25. This likewise attracted a huge response, raising a total of 943,284 HK dollars, according to the statement.
Chan said he hoped the earthquake victims could overcome their hard times soon and be able to rebuild their homeland with blessings and support from all over the country.
Following the Yushu earthquake, the HK Jockey Club made an immediate donation of 2 million HK dollars to support relief work in the stricken area, passing the donation to the Red Cross Society of China via the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Hong Kong.
The Yushu earthquake killed at least 2,200 people and left more than 100,000 homeless.
Founded in 1884, the HK Jockey Club has become one of Hong Kong 's best known organizations, providing sporting entertainment as well as being the city's major non-government community benefactor. Now it donates more than 1 billion HK dollars a year to charitable and community projects. (one U.S. dollar equals to 7.755 HK dollars)