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Posted at 06:41 PM ET, 03/16/2011

D.C.-based PeacePlayers International gets royal wedding boost from William and Kate

William and Kate greet well-wishers last week during a surprise visit to Belfast. (Julien Behal/AP)

Sending a wedding present to Prince William and Kate Middleton? On Wednesday, the happy couple announced a fund of hand-picked charities for guests and fan donations in lieu of presents — and PeacePlayers International, a Washington-based group, made the list.

The royal couple selected 26 small, local organizations benefiting children, seniors, arts, sports and the environment. During a surprise trip to Northern Ireland last week, Wills and Kate told PeacePlayers Belfast director Gareth Harper that they were “so impressed” with the basketball program that teams up Catholic and Protestant kids.

A coach and two children from PeacePlayers in Northern Ireland. (Courtesty of PeacePlayers International )
“It’s huge for us,” said Brendan Tuohey, co-founded the charity with brother Sean a decade ago. The Tuoheys boys grew up in D.C., played hoops for Gonzaga High School, and both played and coached in Ireland. The charity also has programs in South Africa, Cyprus and Israel, but it was the Belfast effort that caught the attention of the palace.

So. . . does this mean an invite to the royal wedding? “That was my wife’s first question,” said Tuohey. (Unlikely, he thinks.) He’s just thrilled his charity got the boost from the royal couple: “I think it’s really smart how they’re doing it.”

By  |  06:41 PM ET, 03/16/2011

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