Chad Greenway has been selected as the Vikings Community Man of the Year for a second straight season and third time in his 10-year career.
SHAKOPEE — Students at Shakopee High School received congratulations last week for going back-to-back from a Vikings player who has done the same.
The students collected the most items in the second annual Warm & Fed Challenge to benefit The Salvation Army Northern Division. Participating schools in the Twin Cities combined to raise more than 9,500 items (hats, mittens, gloves, coats and non-perishable foods).
Shakopee High School gathered 4,403 items in 2015 a year after winning the inaugural challenge.
For a second straight year, linebacker Chad Greenway was announced as the Vikings Community Man of the Year during a pep rally that included appearances by Anthony Barr, Vikings cheerleaders and mascot Viktor. Greenway is the Vikings nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, which will be announced before Super Bowl 50.
"I'm so proud of Shakopee for winning this award back-to-back," Greenway told vikings.com. "It's just such a great community of kids doing something bigger than themselves."
Barr presented an autographed jersey to the student who donated the most items. He and Greenway both congratulated the students for making an impact in their community. Greenway encouraged them to take another step by visiting shelters or through volunteerism to closer connect with the people they help.
Greenway's Lead The Way Foundation hosts numerous events annually, but said he sincerely appreciates the direct interaction with beneficiaries who attend an annual TendHER Heart Luncheon hosted by he and his wife Jenni.
"I think when you talk about running a foundation, it's easy to kind of be a part of something, but to really go and get involved and meet the actual people you're trying to improve in some way or help or make a difference, that's really what it's all about," Greenway said. "Just getting down to the nitty gritty and being an authentic person and somebody who is there not just to have their name on something but to truly get to meet them, to understand their struggle, not assume you know or understand what they're going through, but to listen, learn and see what other ways we can help as a foundation. I think that's really kind of with Jenni and I, that's our pillar of trying to interact and be a part of it."
Jessica Dereschuk, 2004 Miss Minnesota USA and CEO with JD Style Group, worked with The Salvation Army on the idea to create the Warm & Fed Challenge last year because she learned the merits of participating in service projects during her youth.
The assembly featured appearances by freshly crowned Miss Minnesota USA Bridget Jacobs and Miss Minnesota Teen USA Sophia Primozich and performances from the school's band, a soloist and several students and teachers doing their best touchdown dances.