Organisers of the 2022 Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival (SICF) have chosen The McCarney Foundation as their designated charity to which monies from this year’s event will be donated.
Established in May 2021 by Pru McCarney following the untimely passing of her husband Eugene in 2020 the charity; aimed at children and young people whose financial or personal circumstances prevent the opportunity to play either cricket or rugby; provides sporting equipment, coaching, assistance with transport to fixtures and guidance on sports psychology. Since its inception the organisation has raised £25K through charitable sports days such as the McCarney Cup at Eugene’s former cricket club Shrewsbury-based Shelton CC and the Wear It Red campaign to celebrate his birthday in September. It has also recently appointed the foundation’s first ambassador, 17-year-old Taylor Youens. The McCarney Foundation’s strapline Every Moment Counts is based on Eugene’s initials EMC.
Outlining the background to the charity’s establishment and its future goals Pru McCarney said: “Times were tough for the family when their father passed away at an early age. However, in the summer of 1979 Eugene was gifted a cricket bat from a player in his hometown of Pembroke, which led to his 40-year cricketing journey. The foundation aims to maintain that legacy, which I hope we have achieved by appointing Taylor as our first ambassador. Nominated by Bomere Heath Cricket Club he is a young man with an exemplary attendance record, positive attitude and commitment. Through the foundation he has received new equipment including a Hawk bat and pads to help him pursue the sport he loves. Our goal is to help children and young people start their own journey into the world of competitive cricket or Eugene’s Welsh passion of rugby, by offering them the same simple gift of kindness he received.”
SICF director Kevin Bland said: “This year’s charity is one particularly close to our hearts as festival co-partner Nev and I both played cricket with Eugene. He was a great competitor on the pitch, as well a generous, funny bloke off it and someone who is missed very much by his cricketing family. It is an absolute pleasure to support Pru and the superb work she and the foundation are carrying out.”
For more information about The McCarney Foundation go to https://www.themccarneyfoundation.com/
SICF takes place from Thursday 14 July to Sunday 17 across a series of venues throughout Shrewsbury, culminating in the Gala Show at Theatre Severn on the Sunday, which includes headline acts Flo & Joan, Steve Royle, Gary Delaney, Seann Walsh and Paul Sinha.
Tickets for all performances are available through the Theatre Severn box office 01743 281281 or online here: https://theatresevern.co.uk/shows/shrewsburyinternationalcomedyfestival/
Picture: (left to right) Kevin Bland, Taylor Youens and Pru McCarney.