On Tuesday, 13th October 2009, The Muscular Help Foundation (MHF) that delivers Muscle Dreams™ for sufferers of the debilitating muscle wasting disease muscular dystrophy, held its 3rd Annual London Flagship Fundraiser at the prestigious Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall. In addition to high quality entertainment provided by the beautiful close harmony arrangements of the ‘Bella Donnas’ and the romantic serenading by ‘The Romantic Tenor’ as well as the charity’s now infamous auction, the highlight of the evening involved the realisation of a Muscle Dream™ with a personal message from Lord Alan Sugar and a very special chauffeur driven experience in a jet-black Ferrari for a 12 year old boy by the name of Jordan Williams who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).
The evening’s auction raised just over £12,000 for Muscle Dreams™ set up by the charity to provide amazing and unforgettable experiences in the UK for children like Jordan suffering from muscular dystrophy.
Speaking on the night, the charity’s Founder, inspirational speaker and the only disabled person in the world to have successfully led expeditions to both the North and South Poles, Michael McGrath said, “I’m absolutely thrilled with the outcome of tonight’s fundraiser. Against all the odds and despite the tough current economic landscape which has unquestionably influenced people’s giving disposition over the past 12 months, the fantastic generosity of our guests on the night including our telephone bidders and a standalone donation of £1700 from another charity, we achieved our goal – thank you so much to everyone.”
A note from Jordan’s mum Lyn Williams to the charity summed it up – “My son Jordan has not stopped talking about last week. He had the time of his life! He was taken by complete surprise when he heard Lord Sugar’s message. His face was a picture! As for the Muscle Dreams™ goody bag, well let’s just say that Christmas has come early for the Williams family! Thank you so much for everything!”
Hayley Felton (TV Presenter) representing Leap Anywhere TV (the first entirely volunteer driven online charity TV platform ) along with Charles Huff (Cameraman & Production Director) present this short film titled Muscle DreamsTM
Hayley Felton (Television Presenter) representing Leap Anywhere TV (the first entirely volunteer driven online charity TV platform) along with Charles Huff (Cameraman & Production Director) produced a short film available online at Vimeo and YouTube of the evening’s proceeding’s titled Muscle Dreams™.
The highpoint of the evening was undoubtedly the fulfilment of Jordan’s Muscle Dream™ involving a Ferrari and a message from Lord Alan Sugar. “Jordan who has the most severe form of muscular dystrophy known as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy or DMD for short was joined by his younger sister Ffallon and his older brother Stephen from their home in Hertfordshire in a jet-black Ferrari 612 Scaglietti F1, the flagship of the Ferrari range that had earlier pulled up outside their home,” said Michael McGrath.
Ferrari“Most boys love fast cars. Jordan loves Ferraris. His extensive collection, enthusiasm and passion were clearly evident. When the 6.0 litre V12 sports car pulled up into the family’s driveway combined with the sound of the 540bhp engine, Jordan’s expression said it all. It was a priceless moment! The element of surprise was absolutely crucial. Everyone played their part brilliantly. Mum (Lyn) and Dad (Steve) had to be tight-lipped for several weeks, especially throughout the planning process that involved several covert telephone conversations. Secrecy was utterly paramount.”
In addition, Jordan is a great fan of the television programme ‘The Apprentice’ and especially Lord Alan Sugar whom he admires greatly. Michael learnt several months earlier that Jordan is forever saying to his mum ‘Mum, you’re fired!’ – with this in mind, the charity along with Jordan’s parents started planning.
A special audio-message by Lord Sugar was delivered on the night at the RAC, along with a personally signed and framed photograph (pictured) which was presented to Jordan on the evening by Michael McGrath. Lord Sugar’s message was as follows:
“Hi Jordan – I’m so sorry I couldn’t be there with you this evening – I’m afraid I’ve got a completely full week firing apprentices – people think it’s easy you know but actually Jordan it’s really hard work. So I hope this message and the signed photograph Michael has for you will be OK. Michael tells me you’re a big fan of The Apprentice Jordan and can often be heard telling your mum “Mum – You’re fired.
Well, let me offer you one tip Jordan…..it’s probably best to make sure your Mum’s made your tea, cleaned your room, washed your favourite T-shirt and put the kettle on before saying it … just in case! I think you’re all at the RAC club this evening raising money for The Muscular Help Foundation to help deliver fantastic Muscle Dreams™ for kids all over the country. Well, please dig deep and remember … if in doubt … BID – after all it’s only money and it’s all going to a great cause!
And Jordan, if you notice anyone not bidding enough … you know what to say … at the top of your voice … that’s right … YOU’RE FIRED!! Good luck to everyone there this evening and especially to you Jordan. Now, where was I … oh yes … right, BRING IN THE NEXT APPRENTICE”!
The guest of honour on the evening was Tom McNab, one of the world’s leaders in sport having experienced success as an Olympic coach, prizewinning novelist with ‘Flanagan’s Run’ and Technical Director of the Oscar-winning film, “Chariots of Fire”.
After the event, Michael McGrath said, “When I first met Tom, he introduced himself to me as the nerd with muscles. I replied – I’m the nerd without muscles! The rest as they say is history! Tom spoke from the heart, making the powerful link between muscles, sport and achievement,” said McGrath.
“I want more people to hear about what muscular dystrophy does, how it destroys lives and how those living with it can and do achieve fulfilment. I want to empower, inspire and motivate others to engage with this cause – remember, it takes 10 muscles to smile, 12 to frown but only 1 to make a difference, something that MHF tries very hard to do through its Muscle Dreams™ programme,” added McGrath.
“None of us must ever forget the many parents, guardians, uncles, aunties, husbands, wives and friends who live their lives in order to help their sons, their daughters, their partners and who in each and every waking day, give of themselves in loving unconditionally, caring for, supporting and helping those in the family whose lives are being destroyed by this disease,” said Michael McGrath, himself a sufferer of muscular dystrophy.
“Whether that be turning someone four of five times in a night, feeding a child unable to feed themselves, helping someone into a hoist so they can enjoy the warmth of a bath or simply helping a person to relax and breathe more easily at night time so they can sleep – that’s why we must never ever give up the fight against muscular dystrophy, that’s why our vital work needs more support so we can deliver many more Muscle Dreams™ in the future, that’s why it’s important.”