Arsenal Football Club is dedicating its Premier League match against Everton on Sunday to The Arsenal Foundation, the Club’s charitable arm aimed at transforming young people’s lives.
As part of the day, Arsène Wenger and the first-team squad will generously donate a day’s wages to The Arsenal Foundation, to help support even more projects in the UK and overseas that enable young people to fulfill their potential.
Since it was launched, more than £1 million has been committed by The Arsenal Foundation to charity partners and projects, reaching more than 100,000 young people. The projects range from large-scale global education initiatives to smaller-scale projects closer to home that are having a positive impact on the local community. They include those of the Club’s charity partners, Save the Children and Willow Foundation.
Supporters will be able to get involved on Sunday in a range of fundraising activities, such as donating to bucket collections around the podium area or purchasing an Arsenal bar scarf from an official Club retail outlet, of which £2 from the sale will be donated to the Foundation.
The Arsenal Foundation is a cause close to my heart, because I've been here for a long time and I know how much that means to the Club. Myself and the rest of the first-team squad are donating a day’s wages today and I would encourage supporters to give what they can tooArsène Wenger
Fifty pence from every matchday programme sold will also be donated to the fundraising cause, which for the first time ever will feature four different front covers featuring Arsenal stars Santi Cazorla, Per Mertesacker, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Tomas Rosicky.
As well as appearing on the front cover of the programme, eagle-eyed supporters may also come across the quartet of cover stars at other locations around the podium! A number of life-size player cut-outs will be stationed around the outside of the stadium.
Anyone that comes across the alter egos of The Ox or Tomas are encouraged to tweet a picture of themselves to the official @Arsenal Twitter account, using the hashtag #ArsenalFoundation, for the chance to win a limited-edition Ben Tallon player illustration, signed by the England international or Czech midfielder.
Other fundraising activities include a prize raffle across Club Level, where a green screen photography booth will also be situated, as well as masseurs who will try to ease any pre-match stress in return for a small donation.
Young members of the Hackney Creative Jazz Ensemble, meanwhile, who performed at the Hackney Music Festival - a project part-funded by The Arsenal Foundation’s Gunners Fund - will perform above The Armoury pre-match to add to the occasion.
Willow Foundation’s patron, Bob Wilson, will be pitchside at half-time alongside other Foundation ambassadors Liam Brady and Martin Keown to talk more about how they’ve been involved with the Club’s charitable and community endeavours.
Speaking about the matchday, Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger said: “The Arsenal Foundation is a cause close to my heart, because I've been here for a long time and I know how much that means to the Club. Myself and the rest of the first-team squad are donating a day’s wages today and I would encourage supporters to give what they can too.”
For more information visit www.arsenal.com/thearsenalfoundation.
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/thearsenalfoundation or text AFCF12 along with the amount that you would like to donate (eg £3) to 70070.