I founded the Bay Area Gooners over 8 years ago because of a desire to watch Arsenal matches with other fans of the club. In that time, we’ve gone from about 10 people in the pub to a mailing list of over 700, a Facebook group of 874, and a Twitter feed with some 2,700+ followers.
Most matches now at Maggie McGarry’s draw a pretty good crowd, even at 4:45AM, andit’s especially packed for particular big matches. I’m there for most if not all of the matches, and do my best to make new Gooners feel welcome and part of the family.
Over the years, I’ve tried to steer the group towards good works. We’ve done charity matches against the local Spurs group, raising money for everything from Southern tornado relief to the Japanese earthquake fund. We’ve also collected canned goods for the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank on numerous occasions, and held the occasional charitable raffle for different causes.
Running the group can be time consuming, and while I’m not complaining (it’s been a great experience thus far), I’ve decided to try and bring some other folks on board to help share the load. I attended an event a few months back put on by the local Liverpool supporters group, and was impressed by the fact that they have a committee of 6 or 7 leading their efforts.
Not exactly sure how this will work, but there are things the Bay Area Gooners could accomplish that I’m finding I don’t have the bandwidth to do on my own, such as more charitable efforts, a site redesign, maybe even a group trip to the Emirates.
At the very least, if I’m can’t make it to the pub, it would be great to feel assured that someone was taking new Gooners under their wing and making sure they’re integrated into our Gooner family.
See you at the pub!