Corporate teambuilding takes a twist for charity
Saturday, 16th August 2008
The Finance and Administration Department at Microsoft’s North Ryde headquarters took a whole new approach to teambuilding when they decided to organise a gala fundraising ball in aid of Cure Our Kids that was held last Friday night at the Sydney Hilton.
With former Wallaby Nick Farr-Jones and media identity Sally Loane performing the MC duties, the event was deemed a major success, raising more than $67,000 through tickets sales, auctions and personal donations.
All the funds raised will be donated directly to Cure Our Kids, who are dedicated to supporting the Oncology Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, focusing on the patients and their families, helping them deal with the devastation of childhood cancer.
For a group of seriously nerdy IT finance types, the idea of organising a gala fundraising dinner for 350 guests was nothing short of nerve wracking, but according to Finance Director Brian Armstrong, the whole idea was to take his team out of their comfort zone.
“We wanted to take a whole new approach, we needed a new challenge for our teambuilding exercises to excite our staff and we also wanted to actually raise money instead of spending it, so the idea of a fundraising event surfaced and we decided to run with it, we’re totally thrilled with its success” said Mr Armstrong.
When originally asked to nominate a charity a clear favourite emerged when it was revealed that one of their own staff had been deeply touched by childhood cancer.
In April 2007 Samir Harlalka, was confronted with the news that his 15 month old son Sahan had been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.
Little Sahan underwent 12 months of intensive chemotherapy treatment and is now two and a half years old, his treatment is reduced to oral maintenance chemotherapy and hospital visits have been cut down to only two times a month.