When IT services firm Comdisco sponsored this year's Make-A-Wish Foundation charity ball, they went to great efforts to ensure their sponsorship didn't steal the spotlight - helping kids with cancer have a wish come true.
Tabloid journalists, who have a reputation for getting around, were able to capture a shot of Comdisco managing director Dominic Corrigan and his wife Kate kicking back at the Manly Pacific Parkroyal, where they funded an event that raised over $30,000 for terminally ill children.
Joanne Baxter, fundraising manager for the Make-A-Wish foundation's northern suburbs branch, said Comdisco provided the financial support to hire the venue and provide the entertainment (Mental As Anything and MC Ian Turpie).
"Without this financial support to cover the costs, we wouldn't have been able to raise the money," she said. "This one night alone raised $30,000 to make wishes come true for the kids. We were really blown away by their help."
Baxter and the 400 attendees were impressed by Comdisco's subtle and generous approach to the sponsorship.
"Dominic told us flat out he wasn't interested in this being a marketing exercise, he didn't want any signage or branding - we had to convince him to put the Comdisco name on the tickets," said Baxter. "In my 10 or 15 years experience with fundraising, I've never seen anything like this. It has restored my faith in the corporate sector, that money can be made available for the right reasons and without a return focus on branding or marketing. It really blew us away."
Well, if Comdisco didn't want marketing and branding, they are going to get it anyway, courtesy of Tabloid. Baxter tells us it was a magical night of fine dining, dancing and entertainment. Ian Turpie conducted a celebrity auction and patrons walked away with items from Sir Donald Bradman, the Waugh Brothers, Tiger Woods and even an Olympic torch. Not only did the night raise $30,000 for the foundation, it has also lead to many phone calls from people wanting to offer support via charity golf days, volunteering and generally thanking the foundation for a good night.