This weekend sees two large-scale fundraisers take place in aid of Aaron McMahon from Shanagarry, with the first being a Fancy Dress Soccer tournament this Saturday, 1 July and the second being a concert in Garryvoe featuring Gina and the Champions with special guest Ronan Collins.
A Fancy Dress Soccer Tournament takes place this Saturday, 1 July from 1pm at Kilboy Park, home to Churchvilla Football Club. The entrance fee per player is €10 and matches will be played five-a-side with all players in fancy dress, or else paying a €20. All teams must be mixed with girls’ goals counting double and each team must include at least one male dressed as a female on the pitch at all times. There will be two age categories on the day, one for Under 16's and one for adults.
“We are still getting more teams, but anybody can get involved,” said Jason Brown, Child Welfare Officer for Churchvilla FC and organiser of the tournament. “Individuals can come down on the day and join a team. Four teams are already confirmed and we have a lot of people who are going to be there. We will work out teams from them on the day as well and we have enough for another two or three more.”
The idea for the tournament owes its origins to a conversation between Aaron and Mr Brown.
“There was a discussion between Aaron and myself before he went out for his treatment,” said Mr Brown. “He was a little worried about what would happen and we decided to do a tournament as a bit of a laugh. Now while Aaron’s out there he’ll get to see his mates playing football while dressed as women and who-knows-what. Hopefully it will give him something to laugh about. The club will do anything they can to help. This tournament is about two things: we are looking to raise money for Aaron’s treatment, but we are also hoping to put a smile on his face so the more people who come along, the better.”
The second fundraiser of the weekend is a concert by Gina and the Champions along with Ronan Collins as special guest hosted at Garryvoe Hotel the day after the tournament on Sunday, 2 July with doors opening at 8.30pm. Tickets, though limited, cost €20 and can currently be purchased at McCarthy’s Newsagents in Midleton, as well as in stores in Ballycotton, Garryvoe, Centra in Cloyne and Broderick Filling Station in Shanagarry.
“There are still some tickets left,” said Sheena McGlone of the Aaron’s Hope fundraising team, “but we would urge people to get them as soon as they can as they are steadily being sold. Aside from the great concert we will have a fabulous raffle with wonderful prizes on the night. The prizes will include dinner at Ballymaloe, food hampers and alcohol. It promises to be a great evening, so we would say to everyone to come along and enjoy themselves for a good cause.”
Aaron’s Hope is a trust set up to fundraise for Aaron McMahon, a 16-year-old from Shanagarry, who underwent brain surgery to remove 80% of a chordoma in March and is currently in Essen, Germany receiving specialised radiation treatment to remove the remaining 20%.
A GoFundMe account to cover the costs can be found under Aaron’s Hope, with more information available at the Facebook page of the same name.