Former Packers WR Donald Driver announced on Tuesday a new annual awards program to be conducted through his foundation. Called “Donald Driver’s Driven to Achieve Awards,” they will be presented each year at a ceremony in Milwaukee in partnership with BMO Harris Bank.
The awards will recognize eight individuals each year, with a minimum of five winners coming from the state of Wisconsin, for significant contributions to their communities. The inaugural awards will be presented in spring 2014.
“Too often, we as a society focus on the bad things that are happening,” Driver said in a press release. “This program is about turning the spotlight around and shining it on the people that work hard every day to make this world a better place.”
As stated in the press release, the “Driven to Achieve Awards” are open to all legal residents of the United States who can demonstrate they delivered a clear benefit to their community through volunteerism, mentoring, fundraising or any other not-for-profit means. Award winners will embody leadership, possess a dedication to excellence and will have displayed persistence and tenacity in reaching their organization’s goals.
Detailed award criteria and nomination forms can be found at the Donald Driver Foundation website, www.donalddriverfoundation.com.
Tags: awards, donald driver, foundation
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Retired Packers WR Donald Driver will make a series of guest appearances on ESPN on Thursday.
Taking a turn as an NFL analyst, Driver will appear on SportsCenter at 10 a.m. CT, on NFL Live at 3 p.m. CT, and on NFL 32 (on ESPN2) at 4 p.m. CT.
Tags: donald driver
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The recently retired Donald Driver will receive the 2013 AMVETS National Ladies Humanitarian Award next month. AMVETS is a congressionally chartered veterans service organization.
Below is the press release announcing Driver’s award:
Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading wide receiver, Super Bowl Champion and “Dancing With the Stars” winner Donald Driver will be the 2013 recipient of the AMVETS National Ladies Humanitarian Award. AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary President Leslie Wunderle announced Driver will be presented with the award at the AMVETS Silver Helmet Awards Banquet on Friday, April 5, at the Hilton Mark Center, Alexandria, Va.
Driver is being recognized for his work with the Donald Driver Foundation through which he has helped homeless families get on their feet and underprivileged children succeed in the classroom. In addition to the work he does with his own foundation, Driver currently sponsors several hundred children through Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that helps ensure impoverished elementary school children are fed on the weekends by sending them home with a backpack full of food every Friday throughout the school year.
Joining a distinguished list of past award winners including First Lady Barbara Bush, Dolly Parton and Bart Starr, Driver said he is humbled by the nomination. “The Ladies Auxiliary does so much for our Veterans,” Driver said. “This award is truly special to me, but these ladies, along with all of our veterans, are the real heroes.”
Recently retired from the Green Bay Packers, Mr. Driver will continue fundraising events for the Foundation in Wisconsin including his annual golf tournament, celebrity softball game and “Evening of Elegance.”
Driver was nominated for the award by Cathy Tratz of Oshkosh, Wis., and was selected as the recipient at the AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary annual National Convention in Daytona Beach, Fla., August 2012.
Tags: donald driver, foundation, humanitarian award
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All available tickets for the Donald Driver retirement event on Feb. 6 have been distributed.
More than 1,000 tickets were distributed, free of charge, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Doors open at 9:30 a.m. for the event, which begins at 11 a.m. next Wednesday.
Tags: donald driver, retirement, tickets
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Packers WR Donald Driver made his retirement announcement on Thursday morning on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike In The Morning program, which was broadcasting live from New Orleans, site of Super Bowl XLVII. Driver joined hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on their radio set in New Orleans and was immediately asked what his future held.
“I’m going to officially put the cleats on the shelf and walk away from the game,” Driver said. “I’m calling it a career.”
Driver went on to explain that he reached the decision after talking to his wife and kids at the end of the season, his 14th, all with the Packers. Green Bay was eliminated from the NFC playoffs in the divisional round by the San Francisco 49ers, who will play the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in the Super Bowl.
“My wife said something truly special to me,” Driver said. “She didn’t want to go anywhere else. That made it easy for me.”
Driver didn’t delve into too many other details of his decision, saying he would save those thoughts for the public event at the Lambeau Field Atrium on Feb. 6.
“I want to do something special, I want to do it in front of the fans, something that no other player has done,” he said. “I’m going to open my retirement up to the fans and give them everything they deserve.”
Driver said he was “at peace” with the decision, but he acknowledged there have been and will be some hard moments. He did emphasize, amidst implied jokes about his former QB, Brett Favre, that he’s not coming back.
“Very difficult. It’s always difficult, especially when you feel you can still play the game,” he said. “You just let it go and say, ‘There’s other things out there, the next chapter of your career, and I’m ready for it.”
It sounds as though that next chapter will be as a family man. He and his wife, Betina, have three school-age children.
“Someone’s always going to be able to tell my kids that their dad was a great football player, but no one is going to be able to tell my kids that their dad was a great dad and great husband,” Driver said. “So I have to be able to show them that, and that’s what next chapter of my career is going to be.”
Asked what he will cherish the most about his career, Driver didn’t single anyone or anything out.
“All 14 years. Every day,” he said. “The biggest thing is walking out of that tunnel at Lambeau. It’s a special place to walk out of and that’s something I’ll never forget.”
Driver didn’t get emotional at all in making his announcement, but he suggested that he probably would next week when he’s back in Green Bay.
“It hasn’t really hit me at this moment,” he said. “I think it’s really going to hit on Feb. 6 when I have my entire family there and three, four thousand fans standing out there.
“Somebody always says next year, but for me, it won’t be.”
Tags: donald driver, retire
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The board made the proclamation at its Wednesday night meeting and read a statement from Driver, who could not be present.
“It is truly an honor to have January 17, 2013, become Donald Driver Day. I will always appreciate the special relationship that I share with Green Bay Packers fans, and I have so many incredible memories of my time spent in Green Bay and Brown County. I look forward to remaining a fixture in the community here for many years to come! Thank you to the Brown County Executive, Chairman, and Brown County Board of Supervisors for this proclamation. God bless, and Go Pack Go!”
Here is the text of the official proclamation from Brown County:
OFFICIAL PROCLAMATION IN appreciation of
WHEREAS, Donald Driver, a.k.a. “Double D”, has been sporting number 80 with the Packers for 14 seasons, while earning a Super Bowl Championship, four Pro Bowl Selections, becoming the all- time leading receiver for the Packers, and recently receiving the coveted mirror ball trophy on the 14th season of ABC network program, “Dancing with the Stars; and
WHEREAS, Donald is no stranger to setbacks but yet continues to move forward in making a difference in people’s lives by donating his time and efforts to organizations such as the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Goodwill Industries; and
WHEREAS, in 2000 Donald along with his wife Betina created the “Donald Driver Foundation,” focusing on minimizing the challenges of homeless families and lack of education, along with donating to a variety of other charities, providing motivational speeches, writing children’s books, and offering assistance to those in need; and
WHEREAS, Donald has been recognized for his contribution to his communities by receiving the Walter Payton Man of the Year award in 2002, the only off the field community service awarded by the NFL , the Community Service Award in 2001 by Green Bay Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Ed Block Courage award by his teammates; and
WHEREAS, when Donald is not spending time with his family, on the field or giving back to his community you will find him on his TV show Inside the Huddle, hear him on one of Milwaukee’s number 1 rated A.M. radio stations, or even managing his endorsements with top organizations such as Wisconsin Department of Transportation, McDonalds, Goodwill Industries and others; and
NOW, THEREFORE, We, Troy J. Streckenbach, Brown County Executive, Patrick Moynihan, Chairman of Brown County Board of Supervisors, along with the Brown County Board of Supervisors recognize Donald Driver and his overwhelming generosity to our community. And call onto all citizens to acknowledge and emulate his positive thinking and commitment to the community as a whole.
And do hereby proclaim Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013, as a day of recognition as
Donald Driver Day
Tags: brown county, donald driver
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Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Sunday discussed the difficulty in leaving veteran WR Donald Driver on the inactive list for what might have been his final game at Lambeau Field. It was the fourth time Driver has been inactive this season, with the three occurrences in the regular season coming in Weeks, 13, 15 and 17.
“Donald Driver is a class act to say the least,” McCarthy said. “He’s a pro’s pro. He does everything you ever ask of him. We’ve had conversations of late here, … and he’s handled it very well. He’s an excellent teammate. Everyone clearly understands what he means to the organization and what he’s done.
“He’s out there preparing every day, getting ready to play. He may have an opportunity this week. We’ll see how it shakes down. Those are very difficult decisions to make, when you have a healthy 53, to get to 46.”
McCarthy pointed out that the final decisions for the gameday active roster often come down to special teams, and rookie LB Terrell Manning was activated for Saturday night’s playoff game against Minnesota. Manning proceeded to earn a game ball on special teams from the coaches as well as the “Big Hit” award, McCarthy said.
“That’s why you have to make those kinds of decisions,” McCarthy said. “That’s part of the way it sorts out in game-planning and obviously special teams plays into it.”
A couple of other notes from McCarthy’s Sunday press conference:
–He mentioned it only in passing, but McCarthy made reference to rookie RT Don Barclay playing his best game to date. Barclay started the last four games of the regular season and was making his playoff debut.
–The only injury reported from the game was a hamstring injury to TE Jermichael Finley. McCarthy said the medical staff has told him it’s “nothing of a serious nature,” but he did not address Finley’s status for this week.
Tags: donald driver, mike mccarthy
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Depending on the post-practice update from Mike McCarthy, the Packers could be a little thin on the defensive line for Sunday’s showdown against the Vikings and RB Adrian Peterson.
DL Ryan Pickett and C.J. Wilson were both sitting out practice on Wednesday during the portion of the workout open to reporters. Pickett will be new to the injury list when it is released after practice. Wilson left Sunday night’s game against the Giants with a knee injury.
Also, WR Donald Driver was not practicing. Driver has been on the injury report with a thumb injury, but he hasn’t missed any games. Backup RB Johnny White, who left Sunday’s game with a concussion, also did not practice.
Continuing to sit out on defense were DB Charles Woodson, CB Sam Shields and LB Clay Matthews.
Tags: c.j. wilson, donald driver, ryan pickett
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NT B.J. Raji (ankle) was practicing on Thursday during the portion of the workout open to the media. The practice was in full pads. Raji has missed the last two games due to injury.
WR Jordy Nelson (hamstring) and RB James Starks, however, were not. Mike McCarthy said on Wednesday that Nelson’s hamstring tightened up on him during practice. Starks is not listed on the injury report, so there won’t be any information until McCarthy’s post-practice update.
Also, WR Donald Driver (neck) returned to practice after sitting out on Wednesday.
Update: After practice, McCarthy said Starks missed the workout due to an illness. Nelson will not practice on Friday, either, and he will test his hamstring either Saturday or Sunday to0 see if he can play. Raji “looked good,” and “looked like his old self,” according to McCarthy, who listed Raji as a limited participant in practice.
Driver was a full participant in practice, while FB John Kuhn (hamstring) sat out for the second straight day.
Tags: b.j. raji, donald driver, james starks, jordy nelson
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WR Donald Driver has seen his snaps, and consequently his production, greatly reduced in 2012, but the Packers’ all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards said on Wednesday he has no regrets about restructuring his contract to return to Green Bay after winning the “Dancing With The Stars” competition in the spring.
“No. When I came back, it was all for the opportunity to win another Super Bowl, and for the fans,” Driver said. “It’s hard to leave the fans that supported you throughout your career, and they supported me throughout the process, especially this offseason with ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ and you can’t let them go. You have to continue.
“You think about every time I catch a ball in that stadium, it goes crazy. I don’t think I would have gone anywhere else and gotten the same love.”
Driver has just four catches for 45 yards and one touchdown through seven games this season, and he has played only a handful of snaps in some games, even with WR Greg Jennings sidelined with a groin injury. He said he didn’t expect such a reduced role, but he’s staying positive with the thought that he could be called upon more later in the season. Driver missed practice on Wednesday due to a neck injury, but he said he’s fine.
“I don’t think you ever expect your role to be this way,” he said. “It happens, and it transitions to that certain point. Mine did. I think you have to be OK with it. When you’re OK with it, then everyone else around you will be OK with it.”
As a team leader for a long time and now a national celebrity, it’s clear by Driver’s words that he’s well aware his public demeanor is being watched closely.
“I don’t think you can complain,” he said. “The most I’ve complained is when I was a child. This is just a setback. You have to respect it, understand it’s a business decision, and when it’s all said and done, hoping that I get a little more playing time.”
Driver said he hopes the coaches haven’t taken him “completely out of the playbook,” and he vows to be ready for any opportunity that comes his way. QB Aaron Rodgers acknowledged that Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, James Jones and Jermichael Finley are all options getting more attention at this point, but over a long season there’s no telling when things might change. Rodgers probably remembers as well as anyone that Driver was his best receiver in the playoff defeat to the Giants last January.
“At some point we’re going to count on him to make the plays he’s capable of making,” Rodgers said. “Until then he’s going to be a great teammate and look for his opportunities and when he gets them we’ll expect him to make the plays.”
On another note, it was announced this week that Driver will be inducted into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on Dec. 6. A seventh-round draft pick out of Alcorn State, Driver joins former Philadelphia Eagles WR Harold Carmichael from Southern University in the eight-member class of 2012 inductees. The SWAC Hall of Fame already includes Pro Football Hall of Famers Willie Davis from Grambling and Jerry Rice from Mississippi Valley State.
Tags: donald driver
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