The Packers 10th annual Tailgate Tour finished up in Sheboygan last night and the green and gold bus is long-since back to 1265 Lombardi by now.
Considering the alacrity with which negative news is reported when it comes to pro athletes and celebrities of any stature, I think we have a responsibility to talk about some of the good things the Packers organization and these individual players who donated their time and effort did while on their statewide tour.
As mentioned in my first article about the tour, the Packers visited several schools during their tour. At the high school in Durand, they spoke to students about the harm caused by bullying, and at a surprise stop at Riverdale High School they brought a message of how hard work and dedication pays off.
In fact, the students at Riverdale were actually outside for a fire drill when the Packers’ bus pulled up. Imagine how cool that would be.
The Packers also participated in several charitable functions. On Friday, the Packers stopped in Sun Prairie, an actual good town in Wisconsin, and helped a lady renovate her home as part of Project Home. The renovation included the partial demolition and rebuild of a structure on the property, and the current Packers seemed to enjoy themselves with the demolition. After all, who doesn’t enjoy destruction with a sledgehammer?
Andrew Quarless was the obvious star with the hammer causing Micah Hyde to say that it was good to see Quarless using the strength he doesn’t use on the field. Quarless cracked on Casey Hayward’s work by calling him a prima donna, but Hayward acquitted himself well by explaining that he was the “speed” of the team and not the strength.
On Saturday, the Packers visited the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and spent some quality time with the kids there before swinging back north to Sheboygan to attend another event for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The Packers have close ties to the organization as they try to fulfill a Wish for a child at every Packer home game.
I remember visiting the hospital after my kids were born, and across the hall from the elevator going up to the doctor’s office was the Pediatric Cancer Center. While waiting for the elevator, the wife and I would see parents come down the hall, holding their kid’s hand while holding a bag or a stuffed animal in the other. Instead of taking a right to wait for the elevator with us, they would take the dreaded left turn and go into the cancer center. I would think how I would rather have ISIS march me into a room with a camera than go through that door.
So props to all the Packers who take the time to try to put a smile on these kids’ faces and their parents. Especially props to the Packers who attended this year’s tour- Jerry Kramer, Dave Robinson, Gilbert Brown, Antonio Freeman, Bill Schroeder, Casey Hayward, Micah Hyde and Andrew Quarless. Good work, guys.
Wearing the green and gold is not just about what you do on the field, and the fans of Packer Nation want you to know we appreciate it.
Good article, Shawn. Much prefer stories like this over Monty’s constant TMZ-like stalking of ARod and his lady friend. Not everything in life has to be negative and bitchy. Glad somebody at this site realizes that.
In the early 90’s if a Packer game was not on TV my family and I would go to the local sports bar and watch the game. There were several other Packer fans that went including a couple with a young son who was a huge Packer fan. Over the years if the boys parents could not make the game they would drop him off to watch the game with my family and I. At the start of the season one year I asked the teen if he was playing football. No he said I have a shoulder problem. Well that shoulder problem was cancer.
The Packer organization, and make a wish, with the help of donations from kind and caring people sent him to a home game in 2004 against the Vikings. Javon Walker (his favorite Packer) spent time with him. Scored a TD in the game, and Ryan Longwell kicked a field goal with no time in the game for a Packer win. I still remember that day watching the game on TV many miles away and knowing how Great a day, and weekend, it was for that young man and his family. Javon Walker took the time out along with many others to make that young man and his family’s life easier for a short time.
When I read about some of the negative things written about Javon. There is only one thing I can think, and that is how much Javon’s willingness to spend time with that young man and his family, even for a short time helped bring some relief.
I say God bless the Packers organization, Make a wish, the doctors, the nurses, and players like Javon Walker for all they do for those who need their pain and worries forgotten, if only for a short time.
Easy to dismiss what these guys are doing as just part of their job, but the fact is these guys took time out of their off season to do good.
Yeah its a cushy gig anyways but, especially for the current players, its time they could have spent doing their own thing but instead they’re rolling around on a bus. So props for them.
it is great to see 3 generations of Packers players getting out there to be with the fans. The team and players do an excellent job of giving back to the community, and it is good to read the positve stories.