The Empire at Birdies for Boonie

On July 30, 2012 by Grant Edgell


Over the last few months Buckeye Empire has gotten behind a central Ohio benefit called Birdies for Boonie, an annual event put into place to assist a local family in offsetting costs of care for their nine-year old son. That family, the Shoewalters, have spent nine years raising a young man named Boone who had some setbacks with his health from the very moment he came into this world.

On Saturday we attended the 2nd Annual Birdies for Boonie event in Mount Vernon, Ohio, which consisted of a scramble-format golf tournament in the afternoon followed by a dinner later in the evening that included both a silent and live auction. Many items were donated for the auctions from local residents, which ultimately contributed the vast majority of earnings for the day. There was autographed memorabilia from people like basketball legend Dennis Hopson, Buckeye favorite Chris Spielman, as well as from recent Buckeyes like Jon Diebler and David Lighty.

We asked Buckeye Nation to open up their wallets and help us to reach a goal of $1,000 to donate to the cause from Buckeye Empire. Today I’m very proud to announce that, because of you, we were able to raise $1,500 through the blog to turn over to Birdies for Boonie. All told there were twenty-two different people who presented their hard-earned money towards the cause through our little blog, and for that we’re forever thankful. Those twenty-two people include:

Susan Kubiak; Jon Fligner; Andrew Huber; Susan Zajac; Aaron Lane; Reva Friedel; Michael Nestor; John Kelly; Angeline Jones; Jake Russell; Mitch Goldberg; Theodore Russell; Tammy Sprague; Ashley Elliot; Cyrus Manesh; Steve Edgell; Judi Jenkins; Chris Mitchell; Clint Hulse; Tom Robey; Sara Harris; Nelson Watson.

When we originally began the support for the event through the blog, I pledged to try to donate an additional $1,000 if we were able to raise $1,000 through donations. I’m happy to report that I was able to hold up my end of the bargain, donating $368 towards the $1,500 and winning three live auction items, each very important to me on a personal level, for another $1,600.

When the final math is calculated I believe we’ll find that the Empire team, and those of you who support us, was able to help contribute just over $3,100 to the cause – a number I wouldn’t have guessed was possible. Our new goal for Birdies for Boonie 2013? Yep…..$3,200.

Many others also contributed their time to support the Empire’s push for donations, including but not limited to: Chris Hunt from The Buckeye Battlecry, the Eleven Warriors brass, ESPN’s Buckeye Nation as well as each one of my Empire teammates: Chris Holloway; Andrew Huber; Joe Dexter; Jon Thoma; Ryan Lephart; JR Reinhard; and Dan Vest.

Many, many volunteers gave up their personal time to plan and run the event as well, none more important than the next. The work that went into this year’s event simply amazes me. Ryan and JR spent their Saturday in full Stormtrooper gear at the event as well, then donated a Buckeye Empire Stormtrooper helmet to be auctioned off, which ultimately sold for more than $325.

For those of you who follow the blog and our random event updates, you already know that Boone is my nephew (my sister’s son). I can’t thank everyone enough for what they provided, as this cause obviously hit very close to home for me.

By the time Saturday night was over we had attendees representing everywhere from Oregon and Texas to Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Dayton. We even had an old family friend come in from Switzerland to attend the benefit.

At one point during the night, my sister made a comment that Boone ‘brings people together.’ That statement proved to be a fact as the people who attended came from every aspect of the family’s life dating all the way back to the early 1980’s. I saw people at the event I thought I may never see again, yet there they were, back in central Ohio, supporting Boone. To say that it was an amazing day would be an understatement.

Now that the 2nd Annual Birdies for Boonie Benefit has come to a close, I can say that I’m very proud of my sister, Kristi Shoewalter, and her husband Dave Shoewalter and children Taylor and Boone. The strength that they have shown throughout the entire process that is the life of Boone David Shoewalter is nothing less than inspiring.

I’m proud of my parents, Barb and Steve Edgell, for the undying support they show to the cause and for the way they have continued to lead our family during good times and bad.

I’m proud of my extended family and friends for what they were able to contribute for months leading up to the event, all of which was necessary but none of which was required by them.

I’m proud of the ‘fraternity’ that is Buckeye Nation for the love they showed over the past few months towards the cause. Our fan base is full of an amazing type of people.

And I’m proud of my little home town community of Mount Vernon, Ohio for coming together this weekend as they did, supporting a local family in need.

Thanks to all who were involved and who donated time, energy, money and live auction items to help a wonderful cause. None of what occurred on Saturday would have been possible without you.


Christopher Moody
Christopher Moody

Great job, guys. That was a wonderful helmet. Someone is very lucky. Glad to see Star Wars fans coming together for a good cause :)


Congrats, reaching and exceeding, going the extra mile, "the love you take is equal to the love you make"