CINEMA-goers last weekend were treated to an extra dose of entertainment before the trailers had even started rolling.
On January 18, staff at Cineworld, Chichester Gate, donned capes, onesies and wigs and dressed up to raise money and Help Tom Toddle.
Dan ‘Big Mac’ Simac, 22, organised a marathon cycle event on Saturday, which saw a team in the foyer embarking on a ten-hour cycle to raise as much as they could for Thomas Jenkinson’s fundraising campaign.
Dan, his friends and colleagues put on their best fancy dress – with everything from superwoman to Disney characters making an appearance – and got on their bikes to help Tom.
Among the group were Hannah Moore, 22, Callum West, 21, John Odde, 40, Michelle Pack, 23, Bethany Stephenson, 23, and Matt Jenkinson, 22 - Tom’s big brother.
“We’re all a group of friends – everyone works in the cinema except me – and we really just want to help my little brother walk,” said Matt.
“That’s all he’s ever wanted to do, and be able to play football, so we’re doing all we can.
“Also lined up this year, we have a football tournament and a mediumship night.”
Dan Simac, who went to school with Matt, said he was inspired to help five-year-old Tom after learning about his dream of ‘new legs’.
Speaking after their epic cycle challenge, Dan said: “It was a huge success.
“When I organised it, I didn’t have any targets, I was just trying to raise as much money as possible and make people aware of the campaign.
“We sold hundreds of raffle tickets as well, which is great.”
Thomas Jenkinson’s family are desperately trying to raise the £40,000 needed to pay for selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery in America.
They hope the surgery will allow Thomas, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, to move around more independently.
Raffle prizes were donated on the day from local businesses including Nandos, Toni and Guy and the Burger Kitchen.
Among the top prizes were gift vouchers for a meal, an iPod Nano and a Disney hamper.
To donate to the Tom’s Toddle Fund visit www.justgiving.com/teams/helptomtoddle and join the team.
Alternatively, you can text TOMS98 to 70070, donating anything from £1 to £1,000, or post a cheque, made payable Thomas Jenkinson, to Sheena Campbell, Observer Office, Unicorn House, Eastgate Square, Chichester, PO1n 1JN. To get in touch with the family with your fundraising ideas, email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet @helptomtoddle.