In a display of community spirit, Northampton Saints' prop Ethan Waller took centre stage in his own adaptation of The Grinch sole Christmas, supported by the Northampton Saints playing squad.
The hilarious performance took place on December 5th at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens, raising a total of £8,431 for Northampton Saints Foundation.
The lively evening, attended by an enthusiastic crowd of almost 400 Saints fans, showcased the players' off-field talents and their dedication to making a positive impact.
The Rodber Bar transformed into a magical setting for the panto, with the Grinch and his dog Bernie, living in the Lift Tower, with Shoeville below. Alex Moon excelled in portraying Moony Lou, complete with pigtails, contributing to the fun atmosphere with plenty of banter and ad-libbing from the entire team.
Fresh from his debut as the Grinch, Ethan Waller said “Thank you to everyone who came and supported last night. To be able to raise that much for the Foundation in one night (by making fools of ourselves) is incredible and makes it all worth it. Your generosity will genuinely change lives, so on behalf of everyone involved thank you once again".
The event also featured a variety of stalls, from the Jolly Treats Boutique, offering a range of festive treats, a stash stall, Wood & Waller’s wooden gifts, Sue Waller’s Scribble and Scripts stall and a table from the Saints Supporters Club, which all contributed to the fundraising total for the evening.
A raffle was held, with prizes including a signed Saints shirt, signed Saints Ball, Festive Wreath donated by Foundation volunteer Jacky from Jb Floral Designs, crocheted Saints blanket donated by Elaine from the Saints Supporters Club and a chopping board donated by Wood & Waller.
There was also an auction for the Grinch’s unique Saints shirt which was fiercely fought and Kitman Kev’s Oodie.
Northampton Saints Foundation expressed their gratitude to everyone who played a role in making the event a success. Catherine Deans, the Foundation’s Managing Director said "What a wonderful Christmas celebration, with Ethan’s hilarious pantomime and portrayal of the Grinch supported by so many of the squad to create a brilliant, fun atmosphere, and a night to remember. Everyone in the Saints family coming together to raise over £8,400 that will make such a difference in the Foundation’s efforts to continue offering young people the chance to change their future. A huge thank you to Ethan, the playing squad, staff and everyone who so kindly supported the event"
Special thanks also goes to pianist Lincoln Noel who provided a musical backdrop to the evening and Video Inn Production for the staging and sound. Courtney Carpenter Visuals captured the antics on stage, while Saints Chaplin Jez Safford and the choir sang carols bringing the evening to a close.
The Saints' festive panto stands as an important example of the positive impact sports teams can have beyond the field, bringing joy, laughter, and much-needed support to the community.
With the money raised, the Foundation are able to provide additional support to the young people they help through their social and inclusion programmes, ensuring every person is given the opportunity for a positive future.