It is with incredible sadness that I let you know of the passing of a co-founder of the Fundraising Directory – my business partner and close friend, Helen Creswick.
Helen was diagnosed two months ago with pancreatic cancer, and lost her battle on Monday evening.
Helen Creswick was an extraordinary person. She was filled with a generosity of spirit that seemed to light her soul. Her willingness to share her time, knowledge and wisdom without any regard for her own interests was a gift to anyone that knew her.
Helen began the Fetes and Festivals website 10 years ago, when the internet was still in its infancy. After tracking the statistics on her site, she saw that the fundraising page received the most traffic on the site. She then started the ‘Fundraising Ideas’ website, which is now the number 1 website for the search term ‘fundraising’ in Google. Her dedicated work in these fields made her a true pioneer – she provided resources for the community sector long before others gave it much thought. Her work has helped countless people who have organised fetes or fundraising over the last 10 years.
Helen’s history as a serial offender of starting small businesses (bubble wands, website design, website directories, balloon decorating, water crystals… the list goes on), led to the ‘meeting of minds’ between Helen and myself, and we started planning three years ago to begin the Fundraising Directory. This led to what has been a wonderful partnership, a working relationship that grew into friendship and a deep love and respect.
The Fundraising Directory has been a success from the outset, and recently won an Australian Business Award for Product Innovation. This Award was very timely as the announcement came after Helen had become unwell, and it was fantastic because there was not much good news around at the time! The award was a wonderful affirmation of her career, and she was thrilled to bits.
Television appearances, magazine articles, even a front cover feature, and media interviews meant that Helen was also a celebrity in her own right! Finally, the world knew what the rest of us always had – Helen was a star!
Helen was a joy to work with. She was a pure gift to me and the rest of the team. Her humour and good grace made our workplace a pleasure to come to each day.
Helen will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her. Her partner, Bob, her children Joseph and Allie, and her family and many many friends. It was a privilege to support her and help care for her when she was unwell.
I have learned so much from Helen, both professionally and personally, and while I am heartbroken to lose a soulmate, she made me promise to continue to grow this business into something special. The business goes on with a heavy heart, but will continue to succeed as a result of what Helen began.
To our readers – thank you for allowing me this little self-indulgence at this time. Helen’s work deserves to be recognised.
I love you and will miss you Helen.
9 October 2008