Foundation boosted by celebration day activities.
Sunderland AFC’s ‘Foundation Day’, held on Saturday at the Stadium of Light, has already raised in excess of £15,000 for the club’s registered charity, the Foundation of Light.
Prior to kickoff in the Black Cats game against Arsenal the Sunderland players warmed up wearing t-shirts bearing the Foundation’s logo and Twitter handle. Both teams were welcomed onto the pitch by participants from the Foundation’s hugely successful community programmes, who waved Foundation of Light flags and carried a huge Foundation flag bearing the organisation’s ‘Involve, Educate, Inspire’ slogan.
The Black Cats stars also wore one-off match shirts, bearing the Foundation’s logo, which have been individually signed and are being auctioned via the online auction site eBay, under the seller ID ‘foundation_of_light’. The auction is due to end 17 February.
At half-time X Factor finalist Carolynne Poole was announced as the first Ambassador of the Foundation and she will work to help raise the profile of the charity over the coming months.
Foundation of Light Trustees Sir Bob Murray CBE, Kate Adie OBE, Baroness Estelle Morris of Yardley and Sir Peter Vardy were pictured pitchside with a symbolic cheque for £15 million, representing the total sum that the organisation has raised and invested into the local community since its formation in 2001.
Participants from the Foundation’s Family Learning, Heart of the Game and Little Dribblers programmes took to the pitch at half-time, showcasing some of the charity’s work first hand.
Finally, participants from some of the Foundation’s recent fundraising activities lapped the pitch raising awareness for the breadth of activities fans can get involved in to support the charity. Upcoming events include a Dublin to Sunderland Cycle challenge, zip wire from the top of the Stadium of Light across the River Wear, runs at the Lambton Estate in County Durham and the Marathon of the North.
Speaking about the day, Foundation of Light CEO Lesley Spuhler said: “Foundation Day is a great opportunity for us to show the fans and the broader community what we do and how they can get involved. It was a fantastic celebration of our success and we are incredibly grateful to all who helped make it possible including the players and staff of Sunderland AFC, fundraisers from Barclays, our course participants, who took part in our half time and pre match activities and all of the Sunderland fans who got behind us on the day.”
A £1,000 prize draw competition was also launched to commemorate the day and to encourage people to sign up to the Foundation’s email bulletin.
For further information about the Foundation of Light and the £1,000 competition follow @SAFCFoL on Twitter.