Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan returned to Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va., on Monday for the 13th-annual Leukemia Golf Classic, joined by many of his teammates, coaches and team officials.
For the fourth consecutive year, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan hosted the Leukemia Golf Classic, continuing his community outreach efforts to help patients and families facing life-threatening illnesses related to blood cancer.
In its 13th year overall, the golf tournament, which took place Monday at Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, Va., hosted Redskins players, coaches and front office personnel to play a round for the cause, raising a grand total of $560,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“Just seeing how big of an impact this event has financially on leukemia research is really awesome and they see it year in and year out at the Leukemia Ball, the efforts being made and the progress being made in blood cancer research,” Kerrigan said. “So knowing this event raises a lot of that money is really exciting.”
Redskins legend Bobby Mitchell hosted the original golf outing, which has switched hands over the years, as Kerrigan took over for linebacker Brian Orakpo in 2015. What has remained consistent has been the outpouring of support by Redskins players and coaches, once again showing their generosity to take time off to play the event with donors each year.
Redskins president Bruce Allen, on hand for the outing, said head coach Jay Gruden made sure to schedule practice a little earlier Monday so that more players could make it.
“It’s great,” Gruden said. “Ryan does an excellent job for this tournament and to see the players support him and support the cause is just great. It tells you what type of guys we have on this football team, what type of guy Ryan is for sure. Hopefully there’s more like this that we can benefit certain charities. It’s a great event, I’m happy to be here.”
Those in attendance included new quarterback Alex Smith, still ingratiating himself to his teammates and getting familiar with the area after a couple of weeks of workouts. Kerrigan said he’d instantly draft Smith to be a golfer on his team if given the chance, and Smith was happy to hit the links and support a cause his teammate is passionate about.
“[It’s] important for a couple reasons,” Smith said. “One, obviously, is it’s a great cause. Our health is so important to us it’s easy to take for granted sometimes. It shouldn’t be that way, so to help support a cause like this is great and certainly a teammate of ours trying to do something good in the community and if we can help in any way, whether it be coming out and taking part in something like this, then I’m all in on it.”
Each Leukemia Golf Classic features a patient hero, whose story serves as an inspiration and as the direct meaning behind the tournament: to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
This year, two children were chosen – Jack and Karter – and each got the opportunity to meet Kerrigan and share some of their stories next to their parents.
“They’re two special little guys and it’s been really cool to hear their story and get to know them,” Kerrigan said, before introducing them to the crowd of golfers.
“You get to meet people of all ages that have been affected by this terrible disease. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to hopefully one day find that cure.”