WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – NFL Hall of Famer and Wichita native Barry Sanders came back home on Friday. However, his trip was not about football, it was about the kids.
From breaking a record with 2,000 yards on the football field in 1997 to putting 2,000 yards on the golf course, Sanders joined other sponsors for the 27th annual Boys and Girls Club Golf Tournament Friday.
“It’s important for me because this community is a part of who I am and there’s a lot of people here that mean a lot to me,” said Sanders.
This is Sanders twelfth year attending the tournament and he said the Boys and Girls Club was always a good resource for kids.
“The club has been around for a while, since I was coming up really,” explained Sanders. “They established their presence in the community where I pretty much grew up.”
There was a registration fee of $1,250 for each team that played in the tournament and nearly 30 teams showed up. With 100 percent of the registration fees, among other raffles and donations, going to the Boys and Girls Club. Over $400,000 has been raised from these tournaments in the last decade.
People at the event said one of the reasons they attend every year, is for the fun.
“These guys are great, always a lot of fun,” said Boys and Girls Club board member, Jeff Grace.
“I’m here to watch these guys play,” laughed Thomas, watching a player miss his hit.
The winner of the Kansas Youth of the Year award, Chris Burrell, was also in attendance. Burrell accepted the honor with scholarships of his choice through the Boys and Girls Club program and he said it wouldn’t be possible without the CEO of the club, Juston White.
“He’s brought so many programs back into the club,” explained Burrell. “He’s slowly bringing basketball in and college workshops. He’s pulled off this golf tournament and he’s done a great job bringing our club back up to its former glory.”