Acorns Children’s Hospice cares for life limited children and their families from across the heart of England.
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We are delighted to announce that our third annual Acorns Day, in partnership with Aston Villa FC raised a wonderful £200,756 - exceeding last season's total and once again providing the vital funding that will run one of our hospices for a month.
The Barclays Premier League game against Stoke marked the third occasion our official partners have dedicated a home match day with a series of events in aid of Acorns.
Our £100,000 target was exceeded by £378. This total was then matched for the third successive year by Villa Chairman Randy Lerner and the Villa Board to give the brilliant grand total. It means that with last year's total of £195,463.44 and the previous year's £108,835 a phenomenal £505,054.44 has been raised over three Acorns Days.
Villa's players donated, while their match-worn shirts from the game against Stoke were auctioned on eBay, along with rare items of memorabilia. The Club's official vehicle supplier, Fiat, donated a trip to Legoland Resort as a raffle prize for the third year running, and Guest Fiat/Alfa of Wolverhampton offered a Fiat 500 as a 'Win A Car' prize with all proceeds going to Acorns.
David Strudley, Acorns Chief Executive, was present at Aston Villa training ground Bodymoor Heath today - along with some of the families who use the services that we provide - to receive the cheque for £200,756 from Villa CEO Paul Faulkner and Villa manager Paul Lambert.
On behalf of the Villa Board, Paul Faulkner, said: "It's an immense source of pride that the Villa family, which includes our fans, our players, our staff at Bodymoor Heath and Villa Park and especially our Chairman, have all come together again behind this great cause to raise a staggering amount for Acorns.
"Acorns is close to our hearts because the work they do, the care they administer and the difference they make in the lives of so many people in our community is truly special. It is part of our heritage at the Club to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
"Exceeding our target for the third year in a row shows just how brilliantly our fans have supported this campaign, emphasising again the depth and enduring nature of our relationship with Acorns.
"Acorns Day has become our day to extend our thanks and respect for the incredible work that Acorns performs each and every day of the year and we know this funding will make a huge contribution in their ongoing efforts."
Villa manager, Paul Lambert, said: "This is a fantastic contribution to Acorns and thanks to everyone who donated and supported Acorns Day. As a Club, from top to bottom, we're really grateful and inspired by this level of support for a cause that is very dear to all of us.
"We know and appreciate that we're privileged to have this relationship with Acorns and this particular challenge was one which all of us embraced, everybody connected with the Club. That is really gratifying.
"Meeting the families, speaking to them and the staff at the hospices, it's incredible to think that so many people are behind them and tremendously supportive of all that they do in administering care to life-limited and life-threatened children.
"So much is put into perspective when we think about Acorns and it's heart-warming to know the extent to which it touches the hearts and minds of so many people within the Villa family."
Player ambassador and Villa star Gabby Agbonlahor said: "On behalf of all the players, thank you to everyone who donated. Over the years I've visited all of the Acorns hospices and when you see what the staff, the nurses and everyone there does for the kids and their families it really hits home how fortunate we all are, as footballers especially.
"The opportunity to do something in the community and make a difference is something all of the players at the Club take seriously and it's something we are all committed to. We're all more than happy to show our support for great causes like this.
"To have raised over half a million pounds over three Acorns Days shows how special the Villa fans are and how special Acorns is to all of us. Credit to everyone for supporting them, it's a great thing."
David Strudley said: "Much of the support we receive from Aston Villa just simply happens with very little fuss or noise on their part, so it's wonderful to be able to put the spotlight on their effort.
"Now in its third year, Acorns Day is firmly established in our calendar and represents a major boost to our ongoing fundraising efforts. The money raised will allow us to run a ten bed hospice for one whole month and make a real difference to local life-limited children and their families.
"It was truly inspiring for us to see Villa staff and fans alike really getting behind the cause and showing just how much the charity means to them. On behalf of everyone at Acorns, I'd like to say a huge thank you."
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