On Sunday December 16th, at Arsenal's Premier League match against Chelsea, for the first time ever, Arsenal players, directors and staff will unite to participate in 'Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.' and the Club is calling upon all supporters to get involved in the charitable initiative to raise much needed funds for its charity of the season, TreeHouse - the national charity for autism education.
The Arsenal squad has already committed to donating a day's pay to 'Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.' as have the Club's directors and many of its staff. However, the purpose of 'Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.' is for everyone associated with the Club to make a contribution, no matter how small, to help reach the £250,000 target to fund dedicated sports facilities at the TreeHouse school in north London.
Virginia Bovell parent and founder of TreeHouse said: "We are thrilled that Arsenal has dedicated a matchday to TreeHouse and especially delighted that they have set up 'Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.' People at the Club are so genuine about helping, their support is not just tokenism.
"It would be wonderful if all those affiliated to Arsenal, affiliate themselves to TreeHouse for this initiative as it would significantly help us towards reaching the £250,000 target which is what we need to build a new sports facility that will not only to be used by the school but also children in the local area."
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger declared: "The work of TreeHouse is absolutely amazing. I have seen first-hand the dedication these people show in helping kids with autism improve their lives and the lives of their families. Education is important to all of us and the progress that the pupils of TreeHouse school have made is nothing short of remarkable. That is why we are taking part in 'Be a Gooner. Be a Giver'. The Arsenal family is a large one and if everyone just pledges something, I am confident that we will reach our £250,000 target needed to provide them with a permanent sports facility."
Arsenal Captain William Gallas is also backing the initiative: "Cesc and I went along to TreeHouse recently and it was a humbling, yet fun-filled experience. The interaction with the kids was fantastic and the dedication of the teachers was second to none. We also really enjoyed taking part in the feet painting activity!"
"We are united on the pitch and we are united off it. We are all getting involved in the 'Be a Gooner, Be a Giver.' campaign because we don't want to just talk about helping TreeHouse, we want to make a real difference. I hope that the fans can also make a small donation so it will be a real team effort."
'Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.' forms part of a dedicated matchday for TreeHouse which will take place on Sunday, December 16th against Chelsea. It will primarily focus on raising awareness and funds for the charity. Activities include 50p from every programme sold going to the charity and advertising around Emirates Stadium.
To donate to 'Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.' go to www.justgiving.com/beagoonerbeagiver.
For more information on TreeHouse go to www.treehouse.org.uk.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 14 Dec 2007