Vikings Players Help Kick Off Charity Event In Mendota Heights
August 31st, 2011
Original article by Derrick Knutson. To view click here.
Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway and some of his teammates were on hand at the Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights Aug. 21 to help raise money for a good cause -- fighting childhood cancer.
Greenway, who was drafted by the Vikings in 2006, set up the "Lead the Way Foundation" with his wife, Jenni, shortly after entering the NFL.
The foundation's goal is to enrich the lives of individuals and families in need. The primary focus of the Lead the Way Foundation is to provide metro-area critically- and chronically-ill children with daily support and life changing experiences.
"The Lead The Way foundation was started originally because we just wanted to help kids," Greenway said. "A lot of our events and functions are in order to make their lives a little bit better."
Greenway added he realizes just how fortunate he was to be drafted into the NFL, and he'd like to continue using his position as a well-known professional football player to help those in need.
"When I came out of college in 2006 and got drafted, we were obviously in a very good spot, a very good position to help other people who are less fortunate," he said. "The foundation allows us to help as many people as we can."
The perfect fit
Greenway said he and others at the Lead the Way Foundation routinely look for other organizations to partner with, and the Bohannon Group seemed like the perfect fit.
Tim Bohannon, Managing partner of the Bohannon Group and Northwestern Financial Network, has been partnering with Children's Cancer Research Fund for the past eight years to host a charity golf tournament, and this year was the first time Chad Greenway and the Vikings got involved. Subsequently, the event was stretched out to two days - one for participants to meet Greenway and his teammates, and the other for the golf tournament.
"We were looking for a great partner to piggyback with a golf tournament," Greenway said. "The Bohannon group was very instrumental in allowing us to be a part of their group for this event."
Of the Bohannon group's involvement with the Lead the Way foundation, Bohannon said, "I thought it was a great opportunity for us - (Greenway's) foundation is focused on disadvantaged kids and we're focused on helping kids - disadvantaged or sick - so we're excited to be a part of it."
Keeping it local
Jim Leighton, director of events for Children's Cancer Research Fund, said the money raised at the 8th annual charity golf and gala will stay in Minnesota.
"There's two beneficiaries this year, Children's Cancer Research Fund and the University of Minnesota Cancer Center," he said. "All the money that is raised here will stay local to move pediatric cancer research forward."
Bohannon said the money raised at events like the golf gala go a long way toward helping children with cancer and other diseases.
"When you understand the impact you're able to have on kids, when you understand how we're fortunate to be able to have an impact and make a difference in people's lives, I think people get excited about rallying around a cause," he said. "If you've experienced good health, you want to help out folks who haven't been so fortunate. We have a generous group of folks who want to help out."