Overwhelming response to Mary's Meals appeal in memory of Kingussie man
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Supporters of a Mary's Meals appeal dedicated to the memory of a popular Kingussie man have said they have been overwhelmed by the response.
An initial target of filling 40 backpacks for the Scots charity has been more than doubled by parishoners at the town's church Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Columba, their friends and the family of the late Derick Young.
In fact by the end of counting following yesterday's deadline, a fabulous 100 backpacks had been filled and will soon be heading to Malawi.
And it has all be carried out in the name of Mr Young, a well-known member of the Catholic church's congregation and keen supporter of the town's shinty club.
Hazel Kay, who has helped spearhead the Derick Young Project at Our Lady of the Rosary and St. Columba, said: "We decided to try to fill 40 backpacks which Mary’s Meals would then ship out to Malawi.
"However, our efforts came to a complete halt due to a succession of Covid-19 lockdowns over the past 18 months.
"Once the pandemic restrictions eased, we firmed up a plan with Mary’s Meals to have our backpacks completed and ready to be uplifted by the end of September.
"Sadly, in June, earlier this year, we lost our much-loved Senior Parishioner, Derick Young who was a huge supporter of the charity.
"He made many personal donations to Mary’s Meals in his lifetime and had significantly influenced the initial success of our project prior to the first lockdown.
"Family and friends understood his commitment to Mary’s Meals and made donations amounting to £609 at his funeral.
"So, in Derick’s honour we intend to complete this project in his name and increased our target to completing 60 backpacks."
But even that target was surpassed with the help of the Young family – who have contributed 39 backpacks meaning that 100 backpacks are now filled and ready for collection by the charity later this month.
Hazel said: "We want to thank everyone who has been part of this terrific initiative."
The charity's backpacks contain items including clothing for children aged between four to 12 years is suitable, notepads, pencils, crayons, erasers, rulers, sharpeners, pencil cases, towels, shorts or skirt, t-shirt and dresses, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and small balls.
Kingussie Shinty Camanachd players and supporters turned out to say farewell to Mr Young at the Dell.
His cortege moved sedately round the ground to the sound of Gerry and the Pacemakers’ classic version of You’ll Never Walk Alone, and players and supporters of all ages took their turn in raising the cub’s colours to him.
Mr Young had been a lifelong supporter of the club, serving it as both a player and a coach over the years.
He had been involved with the club as a player in the 1950s and 1960s, earning his fair share of the spoils in 1960 when Kingussie claimed the Macaulay Cup.
Mr Young passed away at St Vincent’s Hospital on June 23.
Mary’s Meals is focused on one goal – that every child receives a nutritious daily meal in a place of education.
Read more about the charity's work here