MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. — The putt went down, the putter went up in the air and into a series of slow backflips. Chad Greenway responded to the cajoling of his playing partners with a "Nature Boy" Ric Flair "Woooooo!"
The fivesome's 18 holes of golf ended with flair and high fives, but it truly was another beginning of more work that can be done by Greenway's Lead The Way Foundation.
The golf tournament at Mendakota Country Club was the 12th annual to be hosted by the Bohannon Group Foundation and benefit the Lead The Way Foundation for a fourth straight year, after successfully raising more than $100,000 in each of the first three. A dinner and silent auction followed the golfing Monday.
The foundations share a goal of providing comfort to critically and chronically ill children and their families. The Lead The Way Foundation uses the financial support for the Chad's Locker programs to establish electronic educational and entertainment devices, host a luncheon for mothers of sick children. It also hosted a "Field of Dreams" event for families at Mall of America last month. In addition to youth that have been lifted by the electronic libraries in hospitals, the foundations have learned that parents of sick children have used the devices to compete academic degree requirements.
"The Bohannon Group has been such a great relationship for us and our foundation," Greenway said. "They do such an unbelievable job of running this golf tournament, and we're the beneficiary. It's really been an integral part of the things we've been able to do for a number of years. They've been a huge supporter of our locker program. They've been in on our last four lockers that we've launched. They've turned into great friends and they're a great family. We're just happy to be part of it."
The South Dakota native played collegiately at Iowa where he met his wife, Jenni, and the family has developed a close bond with the Bohannon family: Tim, his wife Joey, and their son Tyler, who just graduated from Iowa.
"When you run a foundation, you count on a lot of great people around you," Greenway added. "The Bohannons are great Iowa Hawkeye supporters, so it's a great connection for me and my family. It's just a cool relationship we've created. We just want to keep adding to it."
Tim Bohannon said his family has enjoyed partnering with the Greenways and is impressed by "the work that Chad and Jenni do in the community and the willingness to give back."
"It's really been fun to see the events they host through the year and know that some of the money we raise today helps make that happen is awesome," Tim Bohannon said. "We have a great team of people that do a tremendous amount of work, led by Hailey Leverty, our event coordinator. Our group loves the energy of being here. Chad and all the Vikings and what they do just means so much to us, so a lot of prep time, and then you get a beautiful day like today, and it makes it all worthwhile. The real cool thing is the results from tonight, a lot of that can be used throughout the year, and that makes it pretty fun."
The smiles that are delivered throughout the year made it fitting that Greenway played part of the round with a ball he found that had a smiling face drawn on it with a green marker. The smiles continued within his grouping — Greenway jumped on Tyler's back in celebration of the younger Hawkeyes alum draining a putt — and as that fivesome passed other groupings along the course that were chasing birdies and eagles.
"I don't think I have any strengths in the golf game but I do enjoy it," Greenway said. "I love to come out and knock the ball around. Scrambles are always fun."
Tim Bohannon said Greenway "brings great energy and obviously great competitive value" to a grouping.
"He wants to win. You can see why he's done so well at every level," Bohannon said. "He loves to compete, but there's also great humor, and everybody we bring out love spending time with him. He has a word for everybody, which makes it awesome."
Greenway said the success of the event is "a credit to the Bohannon Group and my teammates."
"For these guys to come out here after an OTA, with an OTA tomorrow," Greenway said. "Thankfully it's a great day, not really hot. I really appreciate them coming out and spending their time, which is very valuable to our foundation. It's a huge day for us."