Witter Field, normally a baseball home to the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, served as a football host today for the Packers Tailgate Tour as more than 1,000 fans turned out on a beautiful day to support the Opportunity Development Center Inc.
ODC Inc. is a nonprofit organization that delivers manufacturing and service solutions to businesses, while creating meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In 2012, 331 individuals gained 135,000 hours of work experience within ODC’s Facility-Based Employment Training programs. Jobs in packaging and assembly, mailings and fulfillment, wood working, electronics recycling and vinyl manufacturing were provided by contracts with local, regional and national companies.
The crew was treated to an energetic reception as they were led off the bus and around the baseball diamond to the pitcher’s mound for the Q&A portion of the event.
Favorite topics were covered and Super Bowl aspirations were confirmed by the players. And Jarrett Bush was again able to talk about the importance of nutrition. The queries covered the gamut.
And, yes, Frank Winters was again asked about doughnuts: “How many doughnuts did you eat today?”
“I don’t even really like doughnuts,” Winters said emphatically. “And Aaron Taylor owes me another $20.”
Santana Dotson, a former defensive lineman, confirmed a fan’s suspicion that offensive linemen are cheaters.
“That is an understatement,” he said.
And, in a Tailgate Tour first, a youth trombone player led the gathering in a robust rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ for Bush, who celebrates his this week.
The younger attendees enjoyed some inflatable offerings in the outfield at Witter Field, and Randall Cobb couldn’t resist either as he ran to the ‘Down and Out’ inflatable to replicate his Sunday afternoon feats of one-handed catches.
Pam Ross, ODC’s president, appreciated the support of the community.
“What a great turnout this was,” she said. “The town was really fired up, and the weather cooperated. This will benefit the organization, and all our ODC people will remember it for a long time. It was a big deal for them to meet the players and get autographs.”
The tour continues north on its journey home.
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