Thursday 28 February 2013
Sunderland’s Barclays Premier League match with Arsenal tomorrow will be marked “Foundation Day” in honour of the club’s registered charity, the Foundation of Light.
Martin O’Neill’s team will wear special kits bearing the Foundation’s logo, which will be signed and auctioned off after the game in aid of the charity, as well as warming up in specially designed T-shirts with the Foundation’s logo and Twitter username (@SAFCFoL). The teams will also be welcomed on to the pitch by participants from the Foundation’s community programmes, waving Foundation of Light flags.
"The players are delighted to be able to help to recognise what the Foundation does"
At half-time Carolynne Poole, an X-Factor finalist who was recently announced as the first ambassador for the Foundation, will draw a lottery and the foundation’s trustees will present a symbolic cheque for £15m, representing how much the organisation has raised and invested into the local community since its formation in 2001.
Established by Sir Bob Murray CBE, the former Sunderland chairman, the Foundation of Light is one of the biggest and most developed football foundations in the world. It is structurally and financially independent from Sunderland AFC and relies on fundraising for 95% of project costs every year. It uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire more than 42,000 young people and their families across the North East each year through a broad range of innovative and award-winning programmes that can help change their lives.
“We’re incredibly grateful for the support that we’ve received from Sunderland AFC, including the directors and players, in holding our second Foundation Day,” Lesley Spuhler, the Foundation of Light chief executive, said. “Sunderland AFC were the first club to support their Foundation with a similar day last season at our Chelsea game, and that the club have now made it an annual event says a lot about their commitment to both the Foundation and the community.
“We hope that fans will enjoy the activities on the day and become motivated to learn more about us, and eventually become a part of our continuing success.”
Jack Colback, the Sunderland midfielder, also gave his backing to the help given to the charity. “The Foundation’s work in the region is fantastic and the players are delighted to be able to help to recognise what they do it through the Foundation Day,” he said. “When you see the projects in action it really does bring home how much of an influence football can have is and how important Sunderland AFC is to people in this region.”
For more on the Foundation of Light click here