The Arsenal Foundation’s flagship annual fundraiser, A Night To Inspire, hosted by comedian and Arsenal fan Matt Lucas, raised an incredible record total of £464,841 at Emirates Stadium tonight (Thursday, May 18).
Thanks to the generosity of the Arsenal first team, manager Arsène Wenger and attending guests, The Arsenal Foundation will continue its work to reach even more people in the UK and overseas through its support of a variety of sport, education and arts programmes.
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Generous bids were made on a variety of lots on the night to reach the impressive fundraising total. A private dinner with the Arsenal manager went for £24,000, a round of footgolf with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fetched £2,800, while the opportunity to be in the Arsenal first-team squad picture next season was snapped up for £5,500.
On a special night at the Emirates, guests enjoyed a dinner designed by Raymond Blanc and a performance from The Other Guys - A Tribute To Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. The players also entertained guests challenging them to games of table football, photobombing unsuspecting guests in a special photobooth and lending a hand in our very own boot sale - selling signed football boots with all proceeds going to The Arsenal Foundation.
Building on the work of the Arsenal Legends game in September 2016, which saw the construction of pitches in partnership with Save the Children in Jordan and Somalia and Ray Parlour’s recent trip to open three pitches in Indonesia, this year’s event saw the inclusion of a special auction lot for Save the Children. This was to ensure the pitches are sustainable and provide the critical support and life skills training needed to empower the young children who use them.
Funds were also raised to help The Arsenal Foundation continue its support for a wide range of local initiatives – from helping to refurbish football pitches in north London to backing sports, arts and community projects close to Emirates Stadium. This year saw the announcement of continued support for Arsenal Legend, Bob Wilson’s Willow Foundation, which provides special days for seriously ill young adults and the opening of a music therapy room at Nordoff Robbins’ newly refurbished centre in Kentish Town - the country’s only purpose built music therapy centre.
What brings the diverse work of The Arsenal Foundation’s local and global giving is the belief that with the right support, young people can thrive.
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