THE Cork footballers should have been preparing for the biggest game of their season in recent weeks: an Old Firm showdown at Páirc Uí Chaoimh with a spot in the Munster final at stake.
Instead of gearing up to try and earn a first championship victory over Kerry since 2012, Ronan McCarthy's squad are fundraising for Pieta House.
The Cork panel and management will complete the distance it takes to run through each of the 24 clubs involved in the set-up next Saturday, May 30.
Starting with the team captain Ian Maguire of St Finbarr’s the players will run the total of 432km between them over the course of the day, finishing back with the team manager Ronan McCarthy in Douglas.
The Cork hurlers recently raised money for Marymount, while a number of clubs have organised events to donate to Pieta House, whose annual Darkness Into Light event was postponed because of Covid-19.
“It was inspiring and heart warming to see the nation wide support for Pieta in absence of their main fundraiser Darkness Into Light, but we the Cork footballers recognise that we can not rely on one event to fund such an essential service," said Maguire, whose own club generated €24,187 for Pieta House.
"We plan to show our solidarity with Pieta by running the required distance between the various clubs involved in our set-up. We plan quite literally to club together and share the burden of 430km between our clubs and each player to run 10kms on May 30th. This is fantastic cause and please come out and support us.”
The fundraising campaign has been launched via a Go Fund Me page, which you can find via 'Cork Club Together 4 Pieta' on social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. They will also have auctions throughout the week so keep an eye on the social media pages.
“It has been heartening to see over the last number of weeks and months so many clubs around the country making such massive efforts to support this outstanding organisation," said Ronan McCarthy, now in his third season at the helm of the Cork footballers.
"Pieta is there for all in the community at any time that you need support and we want to acknowledge and support their wonderful work by making this effort to raise money for them. I urge you and ask you to donate to our efforts and let us all come together for Pieta House.”
Pat Duffy of Pieta House said: “I would like to thank the Cork Senior Football team and their management team for there support this year to help us overcome the loss of the Darkness Into Light event. The Darkness into Light event last year accounted for €6million which represents 45% to 50% of our annual fundraising.
"All services in Pieta House are completely free and we depend on the community for our funding. Overall, our annual funding from the community accounts for in excess of 80%. One piece of research that I would like to mention although from a few years ago through the Open University and in conjunction with the University of Ulster. Saving 1 person from suicide you actually help as many as 71 people.”
Donations on https://www.gofundme.com/f/corkclubtogether4pieta