Cheesy Christmas Jumpers

Gary Beck

The Information Point for Centronuclear and Myotubular Myopathy

Cheesy Christmas Jumpers was founded in Yorkshire in 2009 by father and son Paul and Mark Everett. The company produce a range of cheesy, ugly and novelty jumpers with the aim of bringing fun to households over the festive season and earlier this year the jumpers were strict dress code for an event to raise funds for Harry who has myotubular myopathy. Below Harry's dad Gary writes about the event.

Gary Jill, Harry and Hayley.In September my cousin Paul contacted me about an idea his son Mark had been mulling over. Mark runs the company Cheesy Christmas Jumpers - he got the idea from the USA where people have Ugly Christmas Jumper parties. Over the past two or three years Mark has supplied jumpers to many TV celebrities including Phillip Schofield, Chris Evans and Keith Lemon and done charity work for ITV's Text Santa campaign and others. This year he decided he wanted to have an official launch party and at the same time, help local charities rather than the national ones he had done before.

To date our families charity fundraising has been done for the Myotubular Trust plus support for Martin House Childrens Hospice and The Information Point. However, this year Mark said he wanted to do something more directly for Harry so we suggested Harry's Appeal. This appeal was set up by Harry's aunt to raise funds for a downstairs wet room and toilet for Harry and to subsidise the many hospital visits we have to make. The Haven breast cancer charity was chosen as the other charity for the night.

The event comprised a two course meal at a newly opened restaurant plus a disco afterwards with everyone turning up in a cheesy jumper. These were available to rent to those who hadn't bought one previously. There were also a fair number of elves on show. The evening was fantastic and everything went to plan (well, it seemed so to us - I'm not sure if Mark and his Dad's hair turned grey on the night or was sprayed on to complete the Christmas look). The night included a red carpet welcome with fake paparazzi, a photobooth where you could have your picture taken with lots of props and wigs and some great music.

Cheesy Christmas Jumpers charity event.The highlight of the night was reindeer racing where six volunteers (loosely dressed as reindeer) had to race each other depending on a dice throw. Harry participated in race one as Blitzen. He started slowly then came up with a late run but was just pipped at the post by Prancer. People could 'bet' on who they thought would win, raising even more charity money. At the end there was a special race where the reindeer were auctioned off with the winning owner taking a large cut of his reindeer's winnings although most of it was left in the charity pot.

There was also a raffle for some great prizes including a painting done by Paul's brother Craig which my wife Jill had banked on winning but instead went to my brother in law (some serious negotiations need to be done before Christmas I think). To round off the evening there was a prize for the best Cheesy dress.

Thank you Mark and Paul (and their families) for all their efforts in organising this event and making it run as smoothly as it did. Cheers guys.

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