Villa announce details of fundraising event 'Acorns Day'
The Barclays Premier League game against Stoke City on Sunday, March 23 will be the third time the Club has dedicated a home match to fundraising for Acorns.
Local lads Gabby, the Villa player ambassador for the charity, and Marc, who donated £20,000 to the charity after scoring the 20,000th goal in Premier League history, teamed up with the Greaves family to announce details of the event.
Gabby said: "We have beaten the fundraising target each year and I really hope we can do the same again in 2014. We're encouraging fans to get behind the day in whatever way they can and will be asking the Club and the rest of the team to show their support too."
Matt and Natalie Greaves are parents to Megan, Bethany and Jessica.
Jessica has cerebral palsy and quadriplegic spasticity which means she has to permanently use a wheelchair and is dependent on others for many of her daily needs.
The family has been using the services of Acorns Children's Hospice for the last four years, including respite and group support.
They visited Villa Park ahead of today's launch to announce the ambitious fundraising target of £100,000.
Matt explained: "Acorns give us the opportunity as a family to a have a break from the strains and stresses of everyday life, as well as providing Jessica with the essential stimulation she needs to develop and grow as a person in her own right.
"It's vital that Acorns gets the funding it needs to keep running and supporting families like ours. We're excited to be fronting this year's Acorns Day and hope it'll be the biggest success to date."
Marc added: "Acorns is a local charity that we've had a long association with and we're always happy to do anything we can to help them. If we can raise even more money this season than we did last year it would be absolutely brilliant.
"The fans have always supported these days really well so we would urge them to do the same again."
Fundraising will begin ahead of the game with Villa staff holding bake sales, sporting challenges and making personal donations.
There will also be eBay auctions for some once-in-a-lifetime opportunities including mascot places for the Stoke clash and the chance to spend the game in the press box with the AVTV media team.
On matchday there will be a family fun day in the Villa Village Academy plus a raffle to win a trip to the Legoland resort in Windsor courtesy of FIAT, the Club's official vehicle supplier.
On the day, fans will be encouraged to use their phones to donate whatever amount they can whether or not they are at Villa Park.
For example, to donate £5 please text AVFC125 to 70070; to donate £10 please text AVFC1210 to 70070.
In addition there will be a special, limited-edition 'Acorns Day' match programme on sale and the associate match sponsor for the game, Beaver Metals, will make a donation for every goal scored.
Elinor Eustace, corporate and partnerships fundraising manager at Acorns, said: "This year marks the second year of our ambitious growth strategy to reach 50% more local children and families by 2018 and the start of our associated 'Branching Out' campaign.
"We want to be able to provide specialist care and support to every local child and family in need and hitting the £100,000 target will make a huge difference in helping us to achieve our goal.
"I hope 2014 will be the best Acorns Day yet, so on behalf of everyone at Acorns thank you to the Villa fans for their continued support."
To find out more about Acorns Day, visit www.acorns.org.uk/acornsday.