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Ferndale Holiday Party to Raise Funds for Newtown Families

Annual 'Mustache Turtleneck & Sweater Holiday Extravaganza' to be held Dec. 23 at the Magic Bag.

The community is invited to join in some holiday fun on Sunday night and help support an important cause.

The 'Mustache, Turtleneck and Sweater Holiday Extravaganza' is an annual event put on by a group of friends on the night before Christmas Eve, said organizer M.G. Shapiro, of Ferndale.

Tonight's event kicks off at 8 p.m. at the Magic Bag in Ferndale.

Each year the group picks a charity and donates the proceeds from the event. This year, all of the proceeds will be donated to the United Way of Western Connecticut, which has established a fund to support the families and community of Newtown/Sandy Hook Elementary School.

"I take enormous pride in this event as each year it is a true celebration of life," Shapiro said of the event. "People from all walks of life put on their finest sweater and mustache and have a extravaganza."

Shapiro wrote on the event's Facebook page that this year is particularly special.

"On Sunday we will laugh, we will listen to great music, we will admire mustaches. But most importantly we will live. We will live for those who cannot," he wrote. "Please join us in celebrating life, the holiday's and of course mustaches and sweaters."

A tradition among friends

The tradition started in the '90s among a group of friends who were attending college at Western Michigan University and wanted to throw a holiday party.

"So they grew mustaches, found amazing turtlenecks and sweaters, and threw a bash," Shapiro said. "The result was an amazing party."

Not wanting to let the fun end after graduation, the party continued with a focus on celebrating the holidays, friendship and charity.

"It grew so much that five years ago we moved to the Magic Bag in Ferndale and haven't looked back since," he said.

The event usually raises between $2,000-4,000 for charity.

"We typically donate to a local charity but felt the magnitude of the tragedy at Sandy Hook warranted our efforts," Shapiro said.

Admission to tonight's event is $10. Live music will be featured and make sure you wear an ugly holiday sweater. Newcomers are welcome.

"There is no party in town like this one and every year we welcome more and more 'new comers' to the event," he said.

For more information, see the Facebook event page here.

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