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Glasgow Games ceremony to be UNICEF fundraiser

July 22, 2014

GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — The Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow will partly be a UNICEF fundraiser, with the agency hoping the move encourages other sporting events to use showpiece occasions as charitable platforms.

The Celtic Park spectators — and the millions watching the games curtainraiser on television on Wednesday — will be asked to support charitable projects in the Commonwealth of former British colonies by donating to UNICEF.

“There will be a moment where everybody involved — the athletes, the audience in the stadium, the people watching on TV — will have the opportunity to support us by text or through online donations,” UNICEF UK chief operating officer David Sparkes. “But it’s not going to be a traditional telethon.”

With around 2,000 people even donating during a rehearsal, UNICEF hopes FIFA will be inspired to follow their lead at the 2018 World Cup with a similar charitable endeavor.

“It will sound slightly hubristic, (but) I think tomorrow night will prove that something is possible that will be picked up and used at every sporting event,” said UNICEF ambassador David Puttnam, a UNICEF ambassador, who produced the athletics-themed film “Chariots of Fire.”

“I cannot imagine the next football World Cup (in 2018) not finding a means of engaging people globally by getting them to contribute to (charity).”

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