The McNany Family Charitable Foundation How we got started . . .
It was during the late 1960’s that our family arrived in Springfield, N.J. and settled in a small apartment with 5 siblings and a single parent. Though times were lean, our mother, Ann Marie (Mickey) McNany, did her best to foster a loving, caring, and happy home for her five children. Her caring and nurturing ways were sculpted and honed over a career that spanned nearly forty years in the nursing field where she maintained her Registered Nurse status in 2 states. These traits did not stop at the end of her shift or when she arrived home. Ann continued to give back to others through volunteer work. Whether it was at her children’s schools, St. James Church, or as a lifetime member of the Springfield Volunteer First aid Squad, she always felt the need to “give back” believing that it was the right thing to do for others within the community. Seeing how she divided up her time between family, work and community without a complaint, the example that she set pointed us, her children, in a similar direction. Not only was she giving of her time, but “Mickey” also loved family gatherings which were always filled with laughter, song and love in the true Irish tradition.
The oldest of the McNany children, Paul J. McNany, was extremely smart and talented with a great sense of humor. At a young age he and the family were dealt a crushing blow as he was diagnosed with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy putting him in a wheelchair. Although this changed things drastically, Paul’s life did not stop! With mom’s determination and help from his brothers and sister, his life continued on and he thrived. Smiling and being the best brother he could be without a complaint. The community also took an interest in Paul by helping ensure that his life was as normal as it could be. As he continued through high school, members of the Springfield Fire Dept. came to the house and helped get Paul out the front door, down the stairs and onto the bus so he did not miss out on his education. Yes, they returned at the end of the day to make sure he got back into the house safely. This example of helping others within the community left an indelible mark on our family and we were very grateful. Paul continued his education attending Union County College in Cranford where he thoroughly enjoyed the challenges of college and his many friends that were there to help get from class to class. Unfortunately, Paul’s life was cut short with his passing at the young age of 20. However, his example of how to live life the best you can with what you got has not been forgotten and remains a constant reminder of perseverance through adversity.
All things sports is the best way to describe the life of Brian McNany. The “middle child” of the five of us, he stood out not only for his athletic ability from a young age, but he was the only lefty in the lot. His competitive spirit not only was evident on the football and baseball fields or basketball court, but carried over to family board games. Even a simple card game had the air of a championship game. His passion for sports continued after his years at Montclair State College as he began a career in the recreation field. Being the Director of Recreation for several towns over a long career, Brian was always coming up with new programs or fine tuning the old ones so that the community could enjoy themselves. Long hours were common as he did his best to serve. It didn’t stop there! Coaching and officiating was where Brian did his best work. On the sidelines coaching both high school football and basketball, he helped countless student/athletes excel. He also had an impact with many, many youngsters while officiating in numerous recreation basketball and baseball leagues. This was Brian’s way of giving back to the community. “Coach Mac” or “Mac” as he was known by the student/athletes and his friends lost a courageous fight with cancer and left a mark on our lives that will never be erased.
In 2015 after laying their brother, Brian, to rest, Ed, Rita and Mike decided that with all the assistance and good will bestowed on our family over the years, along with the examples of doing for others that we experienced, it was time to GIVE BACK!
The McNany Charitable Foundation, Inc. was born with the memories of Ann, Paul and Brian at the forefront to guide us. Ed, Rita and Mike have been successful in their own right as their careers have been centered around community. This has been the basis in which the Foundation was started and it has become successful with establishing scholarships at local high schools, donating to first responders and assisting families in need that have experienced unforeseen tragedies. This could not be possible without the help of the countless supporters that have taken an interest and believe in our principles. The McNany Charitable Foundation knows that we cannot do it alone and as we continue to strive to help those in need, we feel that as a community we can make a positive impact on the lives of others.