Arsenal's furry friends, who featured in the short film ‘Fundraising Day' starring Cesc Fabregas, Andrey Arshavin, Theo Walcott and Bacary Sagna, delivered an early Christmas present to Arsenal's Charity of the Season, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and announced a fundraising total of £210,401 from the Gunners' match against Chelsea on Sunday 29th November.
The money forms part of the season-long ‘Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.' campaign whose target is £500,000, which will fund an Arsenal Lung Function Unit within Great Ormond Street Hospital. The money was raised through various matchday activities including players, directors and many Club staff donating a day's wages to the cause. The matchday also saw generous donations from to a bucket collection, raffles, sales of special teddy bears and text donations plus a donation of 50 pence from every match programme sold contributed to the fundraising total.
On announcing the money raised, Cesc Fabregas said: "Christmas is a time for giving and we're honoured to be able to announce this fantastic sum of money raised for our Charity of the Season. On behalf of all those who made a contribution on and around the Chelsea matchday, we say a big thank you and Merry Christmas!"
To celebrate the Club's special matchday, four Arsenal players participated in a promotional film which showed them fundraising on the streets of London with hospital patients. This prompted supporters from around the world to follow their lead and donate to Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity.
The season-long ‘Be a Gooner. Be a Giver.' initiative is almost half way to reaching its £500,000 target which will fund an Arsenal Lung Function Unit within Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Dr Jane Collins, Chief Executive of Great Ormond Street Hospital said: "We're so grateful to the players, directors and fans for raising such a fantastic amount of money at our dedicated match day. This will help us build our new Lung Function Unit and will make such a difference to our patients and their families."
Arsenal's support will help the Hospital replace the current Lung Function Unit which helps children who have difficulty breathing or sleeping. These problems can mean that children may not grow properly and the Lung Function Unit is vitally important in their treatment. The Arsenal Lung Function Unit will be designed to help newborn babies right through to teenagers and will provide a modern and spacious environment in which to help children and their families.
The current fundraising total for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity through the Arsenal partnership is £242,859 and a dedicated website has been set up so supporters can continue to donate to the Charity throughout the course of the partnership. To make a donation or to view the players' film visit: www.beagoonerbeagiver.org.
For more information on the partnership go to www.beagoonerbeagiver.org or for more information on Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity go to www.gosh.org.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 4 Dec 2009