(WJHL) — A friendship that started in elementary school evolved into two close families generations later.

Together, they raise money for a school they attended and love.

It started with Dennis Greenwell and Duard Aldridge, two friends who went to Milligan College.

“They did that and they loved it, and they met their spouses and ended up getting married,” Tembra Aldridge, Duard Aldridge’s daughter-in-law said. “And then once they graduated from Milligan, they both followed each other to teach school.”

Milligan became home to Aldridge and Greenewell’s children, and grandchildren, as well.

That’s how Tembra Aldridge joined the family. She married Jeff, Duard’s son. They met at Milligan, as well.  

Throughout the years, the families stayed close, and each year, they give back to their alma mater by raising money through a golf tournament. The money raised goes to help the athletics department.

“It’s an awesome opportunity to do big things for Milligan Athletics,” Jennifer Greenwell, Dennis Greenwell’s granddaughter, said. “They are a smaller school. They’re an NAIA, so they don’t have the donors and the sponsorships of big corporations like other area colleges and universities do. And so this makes a difference to those athletes. When I graduated from Milligan, I went and worked in the admissions office and I was their athletic recruiter and worked directly with the coaches and the athletes and I saw the gaps and the things that were needed.”

In addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised, the families find its a way to look to the future using lessons from the past.

“And that was the legacy that granddaddy endured, said that was faith and family, and that was a very big deal to them,” Jennifer Greenwell said.

In the 29 years of the golf tournament, the family has raised almost half a million dollars for Milligan athletics.