Chad Greenway’s Celebrity Waiter Night Raised $185,000 for his Lead the Way Foundation
Posted By:  Annie Butler
Wednesday, October 17, 2012

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blogMINNEAPOLIS - On Monday, October 8th I had the pleasure of attending a portion of Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway’s Celebrity Waiter Night at nationally renowned Manny’s Steakhouse in downtown Minneapolis. That night, I was reminded of the good that professional athletes and teams do in the world.

While this was Chad’s Celebrity Waiter Night the entire Vikings organization deserves credit for pulling off an event that helped raise $185,000 in a single evening. In talking to Chad on Monday he said he actually had to turn away players who volunteered to be celebrity waiters because he had way more than he needed. As it was, over 15 Vikings players including Chad, Jared Allen, Christian Ponder, Harrison Smith, John Sullivan, Everson Griffen, and others took turns serving over what appeared to be about 100 guests.

The purpose of the evening was to raise funds for Chad’s Lead the Way Foundation. Chad’s foundation provides funding to Field of Dreams, Chad’s Locker and the TendHER Heart Luncheon – three worthy charities making a difference. 

I have to give the players credit for stepping out of their comfort zone as it was obvious that these gifted athletes, who have incredible body control and make amazingly graceful and athletic plays on the football field, have not spent much, if any, time waiting on tables. I was very entertained watching the same players that can hang onto a football while gigantic opponents hit them as hard as they can and rip constantly at the ball carry trays of drinks with both hands with nearly immobilizing fear that they were going to drop the tray.

Having been touched just this year by an extended hospital stay for my brother I know very personally how challenging time in the hospital can be not only for the patient but also for the family who must figure out how to manage their time and maintain some semblance of normalcy, contact with the outside world and remaining productive during a very stressful time. Chad’s Locker provides patients and their families with access to notebook computers, movies and video game systems to occupy their time during their hospital stay. Chad has found a novel and creative way to make a difference when people are going through a lot and I am certain this helps the families cope, reduces tension and aids in the healing process.

After funding his first “locker” at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital in March Chad just launched another locker, this time at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital, last week after a wildly successful event on October 8th.

In addition to raising a lot of money to help others, the event made lives better for those in attendance. It was an incredible opportunity for couples and families to meet and interact with the players they love to watch on Sundays and what impressed me most was how the players went out of their way to engage with the fans and make it a fun night.

Before I go, I have to recognize Jared “heavy pour” Allen for being the life of the party and going out of his way to make Chad’s event fun for everyone. He was gregarious and outgoing and he encouraged everyone to have their picture taken with him and to get an autograph. Guests at the event especially liked what Jared termed his “heavy pour.”

Kudos to Chad Greenway, the Minnesota Vikings and Manny’s for partnering to make a difference and have a positive impact!!!

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