MERCURY SERIES: Making A Difference
Angels at Work was a simple charity event born out of a desire to help a friend on sick leave in 2010.
But it became so popular among business people in Wollongong the woman behind it, Beti Krsteski, has decided to keep it going.
The first Angels at Work was organised in just over a month after Mrs Krsteski, who is managing director of Angel Recruitment and Consultancy, discovered Leukaemia Foundation regional co-ordinator Nina Field had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Aware of the important work the foundation did helping local people living with leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma and related blood disorders, Mrs Krsteski decided to try to come up with a simple idea that could financially support that and take some of the pressure off Mrs Field.
The idea of business leaders collecting gold coins in workplaces came from a conversation at a networking event hosted by the SOTO Group.
Melissa Abu-Gazaleh, of the Top Blokes Foundation, was present and helped Mrs Krsteski form a committee to co-ordinate an activity where business leaders could give an hour or two of their time to walk around workplaces with Leukaemia Foundation buckets.
Managers and chief executives immediately supported the idea.
Mrs Field said it was so simple and seamless it instantly grew wings of its own.
She said she would always be grateful for the considerable investment in time, resources and staff Mrs Krsteski gave to the co-ordination of the event behind the scenes.
Mrs Krsteski covered the cost of all the wings and promotional material and made sure Mrs Field did not have to worry about anything but getting well.
And when workplaces across the city so willingly agreed to open their doors to business leaders wearing angel wings that first year, it just blew her away.
Mrs Field said everyone had so much fun and such a positive reaction from the people they had met they all wanted to do it again.
She said Mrs Krsteski's personal and business values were all about helping people and bringing them together.
"Angels at Work is just an extension of that," Mrs Field said.
"We love the angel theme. How could you call it anything else?"
Mrs Field said when Mrs Krsteski contacted her and said "Let's do this", it was as if someone had sent her an angel to take care of everything while she was on sick leave.
"It had such a natural flow," she said.
"It just felt new and inspiring. It usually takes a long time to establish such an event."
Mrs Field described everyone involved as genuine and committed to doing something good.
And that was why it took flight for another two years and why the committee now wanted to see it grow and the angels spread their wings across the region.
They want to give everyone plenty of notice that the date for the next collection has been set for April 5, 2013.
Mrs Krsteski said what she loved most about the event was the way it brought the business angels in the community out into the light for everyone to see.
Everyone involved just seemed to have the right attitude and spirit and did it for all the right reasons, she said.
She even told the committee they should change the name of the event if anyone thought it was about promoting her business.
"This fund-raiser grounds me as a corporate citizen," Mrs Krsteski said.
"It helps keep me in check ... true to my values. This is about making a real difference."
Mrs Krsteski said she wanted everyone involved to be able to make the annual event their