Monday morning meant the start of the work week for most people, but at Oakwood Country Club in Kansas City, it was the end of a weekend event for the NFL Alumni’s Kansas City Chapter.
Pro Football Hall of Famers Len Dawson and Bobby Bell were among the 200 former NFL players and sponsors gathered for the 29th annual golf tournament benefitting The Dream Factory of Greater Kansas City.
“Nothing has changed over the years; even though it’s a different game, everybody’s the same way,” said former Chiefs defensive back Larry Marshall. “Who hurts, who’s got a bad shoulder, who’s got a bad knee, ‘I haven’t played in a year’ is what everybody’s saying and then they come out here and shoot 68 so it’s the same stuff [and] everybody’s got all their things going but it’s fun.”
The first part of the weekend event was the silent auction held on Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium, with Monday’s golf tournament serving as the fundraiser finale.
The Kansas City Chapter of NFL Alumni is one of the 27 in the country from coast to coast and Chiefs Hall of Fame offensive lineman Ed Budde is one of the founding fathers.
“It started off when Ed Budde and some of the other guys got together when they had formed NFL Alumni and the headquarters is in Fort Lauderdale,” said Karen Conrad, a 27-year board member. “They got together and they said ‘we want to go ahead and start the chapter here’ so the first couple of years we had Buck Buchanan, Len Dawson, Ed [Budde] and Ed Lothamer and they were all very much involved with the organization.”
The golf tournaments started as fundraisers for kids organizations and the idea took off from there.
“They started off with doing golf tournaments to raise money for kids organizations and I think one of the first ones that they did was the Girls and Boys Club of Kansas City [and] it just kept evolving more and more and more,” said Conrad.
In addition to The Dream Factory of Greater Kansas City, the chapter has also worked with Juvenile Diabetes and the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation.
The tournament itself is done throughout all the chapters, with the winning five-player group advancing to the Super Bowl of Golf. Last year, former Chiefs RB Ted McKnight won the event and went on to finish fifth in the Super Bowl.
Budde, who currently serves as President of the Kansas City Chapter, hoped they could cut a large check for The Dream Factory after Monday’s tournament.
“We raised something like $5,000 then [at Saturdays reception] and hopefully we’ll cut a check for the Dream Factory for maybe $25,000,” said Budde.