9th annual Zach Johnson Foundation Classic brings in big names for charity

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWWL) — It’s a golf classic that attracts some of the countries top athlete’s and celebrities to Cedar Rapids, all in the name of charity.

The 9th annual Zach Johnson Foundation Classic teed off at Elmcrest Country Club today. The event raises money for the Kids on Course program.

Kids on Course provides mentoring, tutoring and student enrichment at least seven Cedar Rapids schools that are considered high poverty.

The shotgun start was at 10:15 and the teams quickly took to the green. Today’s line up? PGA Tour Champions like Bryson DeChambeau and the man behind the foundation and event, Zach Johnson.

“Knowing there are children out there that if we just give them a little inkling of an opportunity, just a little glimpse of academic and extracurricular activities, they can do anything,” said Johnson, “It’s amazing!”

Also in attendance was Kyle Stanley, ranked 56th in the PGA tour, who’s been coming for years.

“It’s fun, it’s a bit of a break from the normal pressures of Thursday to Sunday golf,” said Stanley.

Other celebrities like Alfonso Ribeiro, of Fresh Prince and host of America’s Funniest Home Videos, and former NFL Kansas City Chief’s player, Danan Hughes were also taking their shot.

“I’m a Hawkeye and to have the opportunity to come back and support a great cause, like Zach has been, here in the state of Iowa, is just a double blessing,” said Hughes.

For them, it’s the kids and the atmosphere that keep them coming back.

“Obviously, it’s so important to get an education and sometimes when you’re in a less fortunate situation, it’s hard to get that education. And so what they’re doing is pretty spectacular,” said Ribeiro.

One person who surely put a smile on everyone’s face, Freestyler and Musician, Kelley James who was keeping the masses of fans and players engaged with a little fun at hole 8.

“Everything’s on the spot,” said James, “They give me a little list of data points for each player. Obviously, a lot of the local guys I won’t know but the tour players are pretty easy. I know how to poke them just in the right way.”

James works PGA Tours all over the country but this was his first time at the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic.

Last year the event raised $1.3 million for Kids on Course. To learn more about the program and how to get involved, visit the website. 

Ashley Neighbor

Ashley Neighbor

Reporter, Cedar Rapids
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