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Shrewsbury comedy festival backs inspiring charity making Every Moment Count

Organisers of the Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival have revealed they will be supporting a charity close to their hearts at this year's event.

Taylor Youens, Pru McCarney and Kevin Bland,.
Taylor Youens, Pru McCarney and Kevin Bland,.

They have chosen The McCarney Foundation as their designated charity for 2022, one set up in May 2021 by Pru McCarney following the untimely passing of her husband Eugene in 2020.

SICF director Kevin Bland said: “My festival co-partner Nev Street 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.”

The charity is aimed at children and young people whose financial or personal circumstances prevent the opportunity to play either cricket or rugby.

It also provides sporting equipment, coaching, assistance with transport to fixtures and guidance on sports psychology.

Since launching, the organisation has raised £25,000 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.

Pru McCarney said: “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.

"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.”

The comedy festival takes place from July 14-17 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 on 01743 281281 or theatresevern.co.uk

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