Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Charity Match makes Magic for Mason

Picture the scene:

It's the day of Middlesbrough at home and, despite the possibility the game will be called off, I've headed down to Ipswich.
As my friends and I sit in Robert Ransome's pub waiting for news of the pitch inspection, I tweet in jest: 'if this gets cancelled we should have a Twitter match instead'.
The comment prompts a popular response: one tweeter suggests 'arrange a game for charity'. And so, Mason's Fun Day was born…
It's amazing to think how far things have come since then and, to be honest, I'm still in shock that it's actually happening! I was warned from an early point that these events can be difficult to arrange (with insurance concerns for players and FA rules to stick to), but I wanted to give it a try anyway.
Our charity game is being held on Sunday 8th July at Ipswich Wanderers (IP4 3NR) from 12pm until 5pm and is being held to raise money for Mason's Magic a charity that's very close to the hearts of the ITFC Twitter family.
Mason is a 7 year old boy from Ipswich who has a brain tumour. This amazing little boy has decided that he wants to raise money to provide children who are ill, like him, with special treats:
'I want to make as many children as possible smile and stay as positive as me. So I've picked up my wand and cape and begun my magical quest to spread the word of positivity and to always have hope.'
From 'My Story' on
Mason took his quest to Twitter and was soon spotted by the community of Town fans that are on there. His message of positivity was perfectly timed due to the turbulent year The Blues have had: if Mason can be so positive after all he's been through, we have no excuse to loose hope for a football team.
He soon had a massive number of followers, including some celebrities, and he's amazingly now passed the 18.5K mark! The charity has gone from strength to strength and his account and website often report of the different events that fundraisers have arranged for him.
For me, Mason was the natural choice to be the benefactor of our charity football match. I am really pleased because every Town fan that is playing on Sunday has found us and Mason through Twitter, our game carries on Mason's message of spreading the word of positivity through this social media site.
I would also like to credit Twitter with allowing this day to come together, because it is thanks to my online pleas for help that I met Ross Wishart. Ross is no stranger to charity events and has in the past arranged a 24 hour football match. I was so grateful when he offered to help with mine and – make no mistake about it – without him this day would not be happening.
Ross managed to get former Town player Fabian Wilnis involved with the game. He was a popular character whilst playing at Portman Road, making 282 appearances and scoring 6; including THAT goal in our first home Premier League match against Manchester United in 2000. In December last year, he joined Colchester United's Centre of Excellence: becoming a coach was something he'd long been keen to do.
I have tried to make sure there is a focus on Ipswich when asking 'stars' to take part and, as such, I managed to persuade another former Blue to take part: defender Kevin Ellis who played for Town in the 90's. His involvement with the club went past his career on the pitch though: he went on to work with our academy. Kev's a local lad who still supports the Blues avidly and I'm really grateful to him for taking part!
I also asked a few local journalists to play and was chuffed at the prompt response from the EADT and Evening Star's Dave Gooderham. Dave has been part of a massive change in the local paper and his interaction on Twitter has meant the paper has been able to focus so much more on fan reaction this season. It's nice to have someone who wants the best for the club working in the local media and nice to have such a nice guy playing on Sunday!
Many of our other participants have been recruited by Ross through Fab Wilnis, though. You see Fabian has also been playing for the UK 3 Lions, a team of 'musicians, presenters and personalities' who arrange charity matches around the world to raise money.
They recently held a game in Russia to raise money for Mason's Magic (among others) and, on Sunday, Fabian will be joined by two of his team mates: singer Lewis Clay (who reached the bootcamp stages of X Factor last year) and Rob Lamarr ( presenter of Channel 5's Super Casino).
Adding to the musical talent in Fab's side are Jamie Pugh (semi-finalist of Britain's Got Talent in 2009 – he sang a gorgeous version of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables) and 16 year old Adam Moss (Suffolk born and bred, he was given a record deal after contacting the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire's Sue Marchant).
Rob is joined by fellow presenters Brynn Lucas and Ryan Eggar and the team is finished off with models Tom East and Matt Fiddes (a bodybuilder who was Michael Jackson's bodyguard).
The fun's not just on the pitch though: We wanted to make sure this is a day out everyone can enjoy. Before the main match, which kicks off at 3pm, there is a warm up match featuring the Felixstowe Dolphins. Excitingly that game will be coached by Blues favourite Kevin Beattie.
Meanwhile Ross has also managed to arrange 30 market stalls with games and entertainment, featuing a bouncy castle, a hog roast and a raffle with some amazing prizes – this includes a signed Kevin Painter photo, signed Paul Weller merchandise, photos from Ipswich Town's last game of the season, some DS and Wii games and much, much more! All these prizes have been kindly donated by fellow Tractor boys and girls (including Kevin Painter himself!).
There's still space for you to get involved too: the event is free to get in but we need some volunteers to collect donations. If you'd be willing to carry a Mason's Magic bucket around for a little bit please get in touch with me or Ross via Twitter: @tractorgirlamy8 and @rosswishart
You can see it's a real mixture of participants in terms of fans, players, music and TV but they've all got one goal in mind: raising money for this amazing cause.
I'm really looking forward to the day and proud to have played such a part in it.
Please do come along and see us on Sunday, it's going to be a lot of fun!
Stay tuned for pics and videos and wish us luck!!!


Jonathan Chambler said...

Thanks :-)

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Redspect said...

"If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!