Who said the Packers Tailgate Tour is all play?
The members of the tour traded in their Sharpies for work gloves Friday morning in Sun Prairie and helped the Hammer with a Heart program with a home-improvement project at the home of Madelyn Link. The players demolished an old storage shed and built a raised garden bed to pitch in.
“It was fun,” said Micah Hyde. “I’ve done that before and have really enjoyed it.”
Hyde also reflected on the impressive hammer swinging of his teammate, Andrew Quarless.
“It’s about time he used his strength for something, since he doesn’t use it on the field.”
Link was very excited, not only to have the work being done on the home, but also to have the Packers take part.
“Excited is an understatement,” she said. “I blew a gasket when I heard they were coming. With the house, I was to a point where I didn’t know what to do. Jason (Hafeman) and Project Home came and looked at the house and said it was something they could do. I could give them all a bear hug.”
For Hafeman, the organization’s outreach manager, Link is exactly the type of person the program seeks to help.
“She’s got an amazing story,” Hafeman said. “She’s been in this house since she was born and a crossing guard at the school five blocks away for 31 years. To make it safe and keep her in her home is great.”
The Hammer with a Heart program, which is run through Project Home and supported financially by the Packers, assists approximately 1,000 households each year with a variety of no-cost and low-cost home improvement programs. Hammer with a Heart provides major home repairs and maintenance, and improves the families’ safety, comfort and health in their homes through the help of sponsors, volunteers and staff.
While the younger members were at the home site, Mark Murphy, Antonio Freeman, Dave Robinson and Jerry Kramer paid a visit to the Colonial Club to play Wii bowling and toss the bean bag with the residents. The visit included a discussion of some of the great moments of the Lombardi Era with Kramer and Robinson.
“It was a lot of fun,” Murphy said of the visit with approximately 70 residents. “They definitely know their history about the Ice Bowl.”
Afterward, the tour enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Sweet Spot in Whitewater as they continued their route south to Elkhorn for tonight’s party to benefit VIP Services Inc.
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