Ambassador Agbonlahor helps launch 'Acorns Day' fundraising
Gabby Agbonlahor was the special guest at Villa Park as he helped launch our 'Acorns Day' appeal.
Villa have nominated the QPR match on March 16 as the official fundraising game.
The aim of our last 'Acorns Day' against Fulham was to raise £50,000 but we exceeded that total and brought home £54,000 - enough to run a hospice for seven days.
This year, as Acorns celebrates 25 years of providing care to local life-limited children and their families, the club have once again set a £50,000 goal.
The club are urging everyone to join the plethora of activities organised to help hit the target.
To launch the appeal, Agbonlahor joined nine-year-old Villa fan Bradley Addison pitchside for a photoshoot.
Bradley, who has duchenne muscular dystrophy, uses the services of Acorns at Selly Oak - and is a big Agbonlahor fan.
And as a special treat, our Acorns ambassador signed the shirt used in the photoshoot and handed it to Bradley as a memento, much to the youngster's delight and amazement.
Agbonlahor said: "It's important for me to be here to meet Bradley - and to spread the word and get the message out about Acorns Day.
"Our association with the charity touches people and that's a fantastic thing.
"It shows that there's more to life that football. There are people out there who benefit greatly from our help.
"If we can raise enough money to fund a hospice for a week this year, it would be a big achievement.
"It would be so exciting if we could do that. The players will be contributing and if the fans can too, that would be fantastic.
"Acorns and Villa are spoken of in the same breath now. Long may that continue.
"A lot of the players want to go down to the various hospices and see the kids. That's important to us. We want to do anything we can to help the children.
"When you visit, you see how brave the kids are. That's what comes across to me. We want to raise as much money as we can for them and their families.
"The link means a lot to this football club - whether it's the chairman, the players or the fans. I'm sure that will come across in the fundraising."
Activities on Acorns Day will include the chance to win a FIAT 500 courtesy of Guests FIAT in Wolverhampton.
Fans will pay £2 per attempt and will need to correctly select six digits to open a safe and win the car, subject to the terms and conditions of the competition.
There is also a chance to win a family trip to the Legoland Windsor resort, courtesy of FIAT, Villa's official vehicle supplier.
In the run up to the match, weekly eBay auctions, which will start on February 24, will give fans the chance to bid on five mascot places, as well as a media experience at the QPR match and zorbing for two.
Meanwhile club staff will be fundraising, with cake sales, sports challenges, and donations.
Supporters can get involved with JustTextGiving at half-time and anyone who cannot make the match can still join in by texting AVFC12 £3 to 70070.
The associate match sponsor for this fixture, Beaver Metals, has donated items to auction and will also make a donation for every goal scored during the game.
To find out more about Acorns Day, see www.acorns.org.uk/acornsday.
Watch our video interview with Gabby Agbonlahor about Acorns Day on AVTV now.