Kaeding tourney rolls along

BY TRAVIS VARNER | JUNE 15, 2009 7:26 AM

Iowa alumnus and San Diego kicker Nate Kaeding was back in town to host his fourth-annual charity golf tournament on June 12.

The Nate Kaeding Golf Tournament, held at the Brown Deer Golf Club, was geared toward raising money for local nonprofit organizations of Kaeding’s choice. This year’s money went to the Russell and Ann Gerdan American Cancer Society Hope Lodge and the Iowa City/ Coralville area Sports Authority.

The annual event has always thrilled Kaeding because it allows him to be back in his hometown helping the community. He is grateful for the help he has received from the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“I love golf, and I have a great relationship with the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Brown Deer Golf Club,” Kaeding said. “It’s an easy decision for me because it raises awareness and it’s for a good cause. It’s also a good time, so it kills two birds with one stone.”

In addition to golf, there were other various activities to keep everyone entertained. The Par-Tee, a party that kicked off the event June 11, offered participants food, drinks, and a wide array of entertainment. Some of those activities included kicking field goals between miniature uprights, playing Tiger Woods’ video game for the chance to win a Wii, and silent and live auctions.

Kaeding was pleased with the money raised from the activities, especially the auctions. Some items included his signed jersey from the 2007 Pro Bowl, a golf cart, and a Nile Kinnick oil painting.

However, there were fewer items this year because of the economy.

“The auctions were kind of tough this year because we wanted to tread a little lightly with the economy and didn’t want to push too many things on people,” Kaeding said. “But it’s amazing how everybody stepped up with all the people bidding. Not only people bidding, but people donating, and it all goes a long way to raising money.”

Josh Schamberger, the president of the visitors’ bureau, thinks this event will continue to grow and continue to be held every year because of its popularity.

“We’ll continue to do this. It’s a fun thing, Nate likes to do this, we like to do it, and it’s a good match between the two of us,” Schamberger said. “We raise a lot of money for two local nonprofits, and that’s the goal.”

Visitors’ bureau communications director Laurie Haman said she loves helping put the event on because of the sheer amount of donations and money raised for the charities. She takes great pride in her involvement with an event that has such a significant positive impact on the community.

“It’s a very fun, exciting tournament to put together because it’s one of a kind and brings great benefits to all the charities,” she said. “Where else do you get to kick a field goal at a golf tournament?”

Kaeding will no longer hold his sports camp with former Hawkeye Robert Gallery because of the two’s ever increasing personal responsibilities. It wouldn’t be possible this year, Kaeding said, with having one child and another due in August.

“Robert Gallery and I decided to stop the sports camp because of a time standpoint,” he said. “From a personal level, it became hard to fit it all in, but it was great while it lasted.”

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