On 30 July 1997, Sunderland AFC graced the Stadium of Light pitch for the first time, welcoming Dutch giants Ajax to Wearside.
Fast forward 25 years later, the red and white army have witnessed some iconic moments at the home of the Black Cats – from Super Kev’s sensational strike in the 4-0 crushing of Chelsea to Jermain Defoe’s wonder volley against Newcastle United.
For many of us, the love we hold for the club can be traced back to our earliest memories, time spent on the terraces, cheering on our heroes. Sharing those highs and lows with friends and loved ones in the confines of what have become modern day cathedrals - these irreplaceable memories last a lifetime.
Courtesy of Stadium For Ants, Sunderland fans are set to be in with a chance of taking home the Stadium of Light to be reminded of those fond memories - okay, you might not be able to house the actual 49,000 capacity stadium in the comfort of your home, however, you could have the next best thing.
Stadium For Ants have created a Stadium of Light themed model stadium, capturing those memories with handcrafted pieces of art. A historic stadium steeped in history and tradition, the model also features the Sunderland Aquatic Centre and the home of Sunderland AFC’S official charity, the Beacon of Light.
In the past five years, Stadium For Ants have created one-of-a-kind maquettes for charities and club foundations around the world, raising more than £50,000.
The model will proudly display signatures from Sunderland chairman Kyril Louis-Dreyfus as well as Sir Bob Murray CBE, chairman of the Foundation of Light. We spoke with Sir Bob ahead of Monday’s campaign launch. “We are delighted with the Stadium of Light themed model stadium and I’d like to express my gratitude to Stadium For Ants for all their hard work in creating this masterpiece.
“I would encourage Sunderland supporters to get involved as not only could they be in with a chance of winning one of only two models, but they will also be supporting the official charity of Sunderland AFC and their local community at a time where we need to come together now more than ever.”
David Resnik, Founder & Lead Creative at Stadium For Ants added: “I am extremely excited to be working alongside the Foundation of Light. They do incredible work within the community and I was elated when asked to create this model.
“Sunderland fans have witnessed some incredible moments at the Stadium of Light over the years but the amount of lives the Foundation have impacted is extraordinary. It gives me great satisfaction knowing the Beacon of Light also features in the model, where all this life-changing work takes place.”
To be in with a chance of winning the extremely rare, themed model stadium, fans can enter our prize draw for £10 with the winner being revealed at half-time during the Boxing Day clash with Blackburn Rovers.
This stunning design would make the perfect Christmas present for any Sunderland fan or if you’re a local business, why not enter our prize draw be in with a chance of winning the ultimate prize. If your organisation is involved in a secret Santa and you’ve been lucky enough to buy for a Black Cats supporter, then why not try your luck and secure the best Christmas present ever.
More importantly, your generosity will also allow Foundation of Light to continue to help our communities to live happier and healthier lives.
Be sure to let us know once you have entered our prize draw by using #FoLStadiumForAnts and by tagging us into your post @SAFCFoL.
The Foundation also recently launched its ‘Small Change, Big Difference’ campaign, a campaign which aims to raise money to support communities across Sunderland, South Tyneside and Country Durham who are increasingly feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy costs.
We are encouraging Sunderland AFC fans and members of the public to donate a small amount each month – if they can - to make a big difference to the lives of local people. Did you know a monthly donation of £2.50 will enable the Foundation to provide a safe, warm space with a hot drink and something to eat for those struggling to heat their homes?
All profits that are made from the prize draw will support our ‘Small Change, Big Difference’ campaign, a campaign which is set to raise thousands for the charity at a time when charitable giving is critical to supporting frontline projects to continue, with monthly donations supporting several activities including:
- £4 a month will provide a food pack to teach a family how to cook a healthy meal on a budget.
- £5 a month supports an older adult to attend a full week of activities to keep them warm, socially and physically active.
- £10 a month provides a child in receipt of free school meals with food and activities during the school holidays.
Recent studies have shown that the North East has the highest rate of child poverty anywhere in the UK, with almost two-fifths of children in the region living in poverty and 60% of children living in the 25% of the most disadvantaged wards in the country.
In Sunderland in particular, where the Foundation of Light is based, nearly 40% of the city’s population live in relative poverty – one of the highest rates in Europe.
You can read more about our ‘Small Change, Big Difference’ campaign here to find out how you can impact your local community.