[size=18px]Hike Foundation Golf Classic[/size]
June 13, 2006
Author: Mike Wobschall, vikings.com
On Monday, Vikings center Matt Birk and the HIKE Foundation hosted the fourth annual Matt Birk HIKE Foundation Celebrity Golf Classic at Rush Creek Golf Club in Maple Grove. 17 current Vikings, including Brad Johnson, Steve Hutchinson, and Chad Greenway joined Vikings alumni, other Minnesota celebrities and registered guests to help raise money for the Foundation. Proceeds from the event go to benefit the HIKE Foundation, a foundation established by Birk aiming to provide at-risk Twin Cities children with the educational opportunities needed to excel in the classroom and in life.
To date, the HIKE (Hope, Inspiration, Knowledge, Education) Foundation has awarded 12 renewable college scholarships based on excellence in the classroom, financial need, and commitment to the community. The Foundation impacts the lives of at-risk children by providing interactive programs and resources needed to guide a child through the key educational transitions between elementary, middle, high school and college.
"I've been fortunate enough my whole life to have people there for me to help me and to care for me," Birk said at the event. "I want to be able to lend a helping hand to kids and to better equip them to be ready for what life brings to them."
Birk, a four-time Vikings Man of the Year recipient, is a St. Paul native and graduate of Cretin-Durham Hall High School. He has continued to be a devoted member of the Twin Cities community via efforts with the HIKE Foundation, Vikings Children's Fund, the United Way and many other events each year across Minnesota.
Golf events serve as common venues for charity events, as the Vikings Children's Fund will also host a golf event at Rush Creek on Thursday of this week.
"This is a great opportunity and a good way to raise money for the Foundation," Birk said. "Everybody can come out and golf and help us raise money for the kids."
"It's our duty to always give our time and efforts to special events and charity events," Mewelde Moore said during Monday's events. "Beyond being exceptional athletes, it's our responsibility to be exceptional citizens and role models."
The event gave some Vikings rookies a chance to get out in the community and meet people as well.
"This is an opportunity for me to get my feet wet and begin to meet people in the community," Greenway said. "It's great to be able to help Matt out with his foundation and to support a great cause."
Minnesota Gophers head men's basketball coach Dan Monson was in attendance, as were former Vikings Joey Browner, Leo Lewis, and Randall McDaniel.
The event began at 12:00pm with registration and a luncheon. Guests were treated with a complimentary lunch and an opportunity to purchase golf merchandise as well as Minnesota and national sports memorabilia. A 1:30pm shotgun start marked the beginning of the golf outing, and a 6:30pm awards dinner wrapped up the day's events.
Numbers detailing the amount of money raised were still pending on Monday, but Birk was pleased with the turnout. The weather was perfect, as golfers were able to enjoy clear and sunny skies all while raising money for the HIKE Foundation.
Hike Foundation Golf Classic