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  • Sun., Nov. 23, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers at Minnesota Vikings Packers at Minnesota Vikings
  • Mon., Nov. 24, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Linsley, Bush, Barrington appearance Packers Corey Linsley, Jarrett Bush and Sam Barrington are scheduled to appear at the Big Red Kettle at Bay Park Square Mall on behalf of the Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign.
  • Mon., Nov. 24, 2014 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM CST American Red Cross "Celebrity Bartender" Players tentatively scheduled to attend: Davante Adams, Brandon Bostick, Letroy Guion, Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers
  • Sat., Nov. 29, 2014 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Beebe, Harris) Don Beebe and Bernardo Harris are scheduled to appear at the Packers Pro Shop on Saturday, Novemeber 29th, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 11:25 AM - 3:25 PM CST Toys for Tots Collection The U.S. Marine Corps will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for distribution to needy children in the area.  Cash donations will be accepted as well.  The collection will take place in the parking lot and at each of Lambeau Field’s gates.
  • Sun., Nov. 30, 2014 1:45 PM - 2:45 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Beebe, Harris)

    TTZ: Don Beebe
    Club Level: Bernardo Harris


Packers Tailgate Tour concludes eighth year

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 18, 2013 – 8:39 pm

The Tailgate Tour’s eighth year came to a close as the bus pulled into Lambeau Field after a 691-mile trek through Denmark, Little Chute, Neenah, Oshkosh, Waupun, Watertown, Delevan, Beloit, Monroe, Dubuque, Fennimore, Sparta, Tomah, Port Edwards and Wisconsin Rapids.

The Tailgate Tour’s eighth year came to a close as the bus pulled into Lambeau Field after a 691-mile trek through Denmark, Little Chute, Neenah, Oshkosh, Waupun, Watertown, Delevan, Beloit, Monroe, Dubuque, Fennimore, Sparta, Tomah, Port Edwards and Wisconsin Rapids.

More than $300,000 was raised collectively on the 2013 Packers Tailgate Tour – VIEW TOUR PHOTOS

More than $300,000 was raised collectively on the 2013 Packers Tailgate Tour – VIEW TOUR PHOTOS

Five communities hosted tailgate parties, with more than $300,000 raised collectively for the benefitting charities. This year’s effort pushed the eight-year total to more than $1 million raised.

During the bus ride, the members of the tour had the opportunity to reflect on the fun-filled five days.

Some excerpts:

Jarrett Bush: “There were a lot of great moments this week. Many that I’ll take home with me. It was great to spend time with the fans, and the guys here on the bus.”

Randall Cobb: “It’s a trip all the players should do; it really tells you what it means to be a Packer and see how much the Packers mean to everyone.”

Alex Green: “The people were great. I really enjoyed meeting so many fans. They are so appreciative.”

“I had a lot of fun seeing Jarrett do all those push-ups, too.”

Mark Murphy: “I enjoyed going to Iowa for the first time. We really had a great reception there.”

“The Wisconsin School for the Deaf was special. It seemed to be very meaningful for the kids.”

Santana Dotson: “The spirit of the fans and the organization is about giving back. It always was that way; they supported each other. It’s been great to be a part of that.”

Aaron Taylor: “It was fantastic and exceeded my expectations. It was a great way for the players to mutually express appreciation for the fans.”

Frank Winters: “It was really fun to raise money for the local charities and support the communities. The playground build was a good example. Maybe that doesn’t get done without this support.”

The guys enjoyed some laughs as they remembered the lighter moments of the tour as well.

The ongoing push-ups amongst the current players was a topic, with Bush being on the losing end of on-bus cards games most often. It seemed as though he was constantly doing push-ups, whether it be on the bus, on stage at the parties, or even on the autograph tables.

“It’s a good thing I wasn’t playing games,” said Winters. “I would have to do them from my knees.”

Winters’ East-coast accent was the subject of some ribbing on the bus amongst the crew. He didn’t deny he had one.

“I don’t really think I do, but then I hear myself on a voicemail and I think, ‘Geez, I do,’” he said.

The players also spoke of how they learned to be careful during the times when they toss footballs and t-shirts into the crowd.

I remember throwing a shirt once and the guy wasn’t looking and it hit him right in the face and his glasses went flying,” Winters recalled. “After that I was handing them out.”

The other players laughed and nodded, remembering their own similar experiences.

Overall, the participants enjoyed the interaction with fans, spending time with each other and supporting worthy causes in the community.

 


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Packers enjoy Wisconsin Rapids

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 18, 2013 – 4:45 pm

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.

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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Packers treasure hunt at Port Edwards rummage sale

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 18, 2013 – 2:36 pm

Earlier, the Packers Tailgate Tour team had the opportunity to mingle with another team that rides in a large vehicle during a stop at the Port Edwards Fire Department’s open house.

Was it the color of the Zebco reel that caught Aaron Taylor’s eye?

“I do like fishing. I’m not that great of a fisherman, but I do like getting out there,” Taylor said as the Tailgate Tour stopped at a Port Edwards home during the community’s annual city-wide rummage sale.

Ultimately Taylor passed on the reel, but Santana Dotson did find his treasure: mini crescent wrench key chains. He purchased four for $1.

“How can you pass these up?” he asked rhetorically. “I’m going to love having a wrench available any time I need it.”

Earlier, the Packers Tailgate Tour team had the opportunity to mingle with another team that rides in a large vehicle during a stop at the Port Edwards Fire Department’s open house.

Alex Green noted with disappointment that the building was only a one-story facility.

“Oh, I guess no fire pole,” he said. “That would have been fun.”

The players toured the facility’s garage and fire trucks, and asked questions of the firemen. Randall Cobb and Dotson even had the opportunity to wear the equipment.

“Much heavier than our equipment, wow,” exclaimed Cobb. “I have a lot more respect for those guys. And to wear that stuff and run into a burning building.”

“Alright, Miss, what tree is your cat in?” asked Dotson to the firemen, who responded with a laugh.

“We’re in trouble if you guys are the ones responding to the fire,” said Frank Winters, whose brother is a fireman.

The tour’s final party awaits.


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Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour

Morning brats and the ATM

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 18, 2013 – 11:30 am

“It’s never too early for a brat,” Aaron Taylor said as he put some garnish on a bratwurst outside a Wisconsin Rapids grocery store that was hosting a brat fry fundraiser for a local VFW post.

“It’s never too early for a brat,” Aaron Taylor said as he put some garnish on a bratwurst outside a Wisconsin Rapids grocery store that was hosting a brat fry fundraiser for a local VFW post.

On the fifth and final day of the tour, the players started off by thanking the vets working the stand for their service.

A handful of shoppers said hello to the players and posed for pictures.

“You stopped here just to make me feel smaller than I am,” said a diminutive woman with a smile.

“That’s what we do,” offered Taylor.

The group then stopped by to say hello to staff and customers at an Associated Bank.

Taylor hit the ATM outside to obtain some cash for the next stop, a visit to a village-wide rummage sale in Port Edwards.


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Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour

Packers delight at Tomah Tailgate

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 17, 2013 – 10:44 pm

Tomah’s Recreation Park was an electric venue Friday night for the fourth party of the Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour.

Tomah’s Recreation Park was an electric venue Friday night for the fourth party of the Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour.

Nearly 600 fans were on hand to welcome the players and Mark Murphy for the event to benefit Tomah Area Cancer Support, an organization dedicated to providing monetary support for local area cancer survivors and funding for local cancer research.

After a raucous introduction, the players answered questions for fans that were submitted ahead of time. Mark Murphy drew some laughs from the tour members when he said the question was for Frank Winters and it was about the nature of his nickname, “Frankie Bag of Doughnuts.”

Winters, you see, has been asked that question multiple times this week. And he’s not entirely certain of its origin, but thinks Brett Favre planted the seed to former game broadcaster John Madden, who then spoke of it on the air during a game.

“I’ve been asked that question about thirteen hundred times this week,” he said, with a laugh. “I bet Aaron Taylor $20 that I’d be asked that question tonight. He can give me 20 pushups, or the $20.”

Taylor immediately pulled out his wallet and held it over his head for the answer to Winters. Fans applauded his decision and the party soon transitioned into the autograph session.

Later, while steaming north on the bus toward Wisconsin Rapids, the group reflected on the day.

“I liked the Challenge Academy,” said Randall Cobb. “We connected well with them. The kids coming through the line had a lot of good things to say when we shook hands.”

The final day of the Tailgate Tour is on tap for Saturday, with a party in Wisconsin Rapids to support Opportunity Development Center (ODC) Inc.


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Tour members share life experiences at Challenge Academy

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 17, 2013 – 4:08 pm

A Wisconsin National Guard program, ChalleNGe Academy is a 17-month program for at-risk youth ages 16 years and 9 months through 18.

After spending a portion of the morning with high school students in Fennimore, the members of the tour were excited to visit with non-traditional high school students, young cadets enrolled in Fort McCoy’s ChalleNGe Academy.

A Wisconsin National Guard program, ChalleNGe Academy is a 17-month program for at-risk youth ages 16 years and 9 months through 18. Academy cadets complete a 22-week residential phase during which the cadets can earn their high school equivalency diploma and change their outlooks and viewpoints on life and character.

The guys spent their time talking to more than 110 cadets about character and overcoming adversity in life.

Alex Green shared his story about overcoming dyslexia, a learning disorder.

“I was the youngest of seven kids and it was tough to be the one struggling in school,” he said. “But I am proud that I was able to overcome it and be able to succeed.”

One of the cadets asked the players about what more do they want to accomplish after getting fame and fortune.

“This isn’t the top,” said Randall Cobb. “We need to remember the value of hard work and continue to work hard. And, for me, I like to be in a position to inspire. We can inspire young people to achieve. I had to overcome obstacles, just like you, and hopefully I can inspire others to work hard and reach their potential.”

The crew is taking a break in advance of tonight’s party at the Tomah Recreation Park to benefit Tomah Area Cancer Support.


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Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour

Fennimore welcomes the Tour

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 17, 2013 – 11:45 am

Back in Wisconsin, the Packers Tailgate Tour just finished a visit at Fennimore High School.

Back in Wisconsin, the Packers Tailgate Tour just finished a visit at Fennimore High School. More than 300 students in grades 7 through 12 listened as the players discussed the bad effects of drugs and steroids and the positive effects of exercise and proper nutrition.

Aaron Taylor urged the students to resist the temptations that can put you in a bad situation. A piece of advice he offered was a question he learned to ask himself.

“Can I afford to be wrong about…fill in the blank,” he said. “When confronted with one of those situations, take a step back and ask yourself that.”

Jarrett Bush spoke of his basics with exercise and nutrition, and urged the students to hydrate themselves constantly.

Santana Dotson reminded the students about being committed to goals with a story from his own high school days. When he was 16, he played football but wasn’t totally committed to it. His team was headed to the state championship, but he had violated a team rule and was dismissed from the team and wouldn’t be competing.

“It was after that situation that I realized I needed to be fully committed,” said Dotson. “We can’t be afraid of what others think when we pursue our goals. Goals are bigger than fears. You need to stay away from dream killers.”

During the Q&A session, players were asked about their most embarrassing moment on the field.

“I wasn’t feeling well one game,” Bush began, “and I threw up while I was running down the field covering a kickoff.”

The assembly groaned and laughed as they imagined that sight.

Later on the bus, Bush chuckled at the memory.

“It was funny,” he said. “The players on the other team were grossed out and kind of let me run right through. I kept going and made the tackle.”

The Tour continued toward Tomah.


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Posted in Packers.com Blog, Tailgate Tour

Packers fever hits Iowa

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 17, 2013 – 12:04 am

The Grand River Center in Dubuque served as host for the Tour’s first-ever tailgate party in Iowa.

The Grand River Center in Dubuque served as host for the Tour’s first-ever tailgate party in Iowa. The facility entertained nearly 2,000 people, all who came out to support the popular Camp Albrecht Acres in nearby Sherrill, Iowa.

The camp, which has been operating for more than 30 years, sits on 40 acres of wooded land and provides a unique environment for people with special needs. Camp Albrecht Acres operates exclusively on donations, fundraisers, camp fees and grants, and receives no financial assistance from local, state or federal government.

The evening started off in dramatic fashion as the tour bus pulled into the convention center to the music of Todd Rundgren’s ‘Bang the Drum All Day.’

The players were introduced and made their way to the stage which featured a digital video screen backdrop and was flanked by two large screen TVs on each side, creating a concert-like setting.

“We’re thrilled to be in Iowa for the first time on our Tailgate Tour,” Mark Murphy said to the cheers of the fans in the convention center. “There are Bears fans in Iowa, but we know there are a lot of Packers fans, especially here tonight.”

During the Q&A, the crowd learned that Jarrett Bush has a dance that is included in his pregame ritual. To the fans’ delight, and at the urging of Randall Cobb and Alex Green, Bush briefly demonstrated his moves on stage.

The Preston family from Dubuque, including Brian, Carrie and Taylor, enjoyed the event and appreciated the group making the stop in Iowa. Carrie, a 5-year-old sporting a pink Packers No. 52 jersey, also had the chance to show off her Clay Matthews post-sack pose.

Deb Rahe, executive director of Camp Albrecht Acres, was pleased with the event.

“It exceeded our expectations,” Rahe said. “It’s the biggest event we’ve ever done and will give us great recognition and long-term support.”

Overall, members of the tour enjoyed the day and relished in taking part in some Tour firsts.

“It was great to have the playground build today,” said Murphy as he reflected on Day 3. “That was a nice addition to the tour.”

The Tour will make its way back to Wisconsin Friday for another string of surprise stops on the way to Tomah.


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How many Packers does it take to build a playground?

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 16, 2013 – 3:01 pm

130516-tailgate-tour-playground-600Lincoln Park was the site of another stop in Monroe, as the Tailgate Tour members put on their work clothes to help install a new playground.

The work on the green and gold playground structure, which was donated by the Packers, began a couple days ago and would be finished up by the tailgate crew with the help of Monroe parks and city staff, as well as community volunteers.

No matter the players’ position on the field (skill or line), they proved to be adept with tools and direction. That didn’t preclude a few comments about where or how they were put to work.

“Hey, they’ve got power tools over there,” complained Frank Winters. “We’ve got these hand tools here. What gives?”

RB Alex Green and CB Jarrett Bush help assemble a playground

RB Alex Green and CB Jarrett Bush help assemble a playground at Lincoln Park. – VIEW PHOTOS

Later, when asked by a volunteer at the park what his best skill was , Winters had finally discovered it.

“Supervising,” he deadpanned.

The new playground is greatly appreciated, according to Paul Klinzing, Monroe’s parks supervisor.

“This is a heavily used park and it provides a huge upgrade,” he said. “It’s great the Packers not only donated this, but then to come help install it is outstanding. Our community is going to enjoy this for the next 20 to 30 years.”

After finishing up the install in couple hours, the crew enjoyed a picnic lunch and posed for pictures with the other workers before heading toward Dubuque, Iowa, for tonight’s party.


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Packers Bingo in Monroe

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 16, 2013 – 2:00 pm

Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb poses for a picture with fans.After departing Beloit – it was the team’s first visit to Beloit since Nov. 23, 1919, by the way, when the Beloit Fairies defeated the Packers, 6-0 – the Tour made a visit to the Behring Senior Center in Monroe, Wis.

The players and alumni had the chance to meet and play Bingo with more than 90 seniors who live at the center.

Bingo card-drawing and announcing duties were shared among the players and after the first shout of “Bingo,” Aaron Taylor drew laughs when he said, “We need verification.”

Later, during a particularly long game, Taylor wryly observed, “You can cut the tension with a knife.”

Jarrett Bush tested all the Bingo players when he sped things up with his version of “No Huddle Bingo.”

RB Alex Green talks with a fan at the Behring Senior Center

RB Alex Green talks with a fan at the Behring Senior Center – VIEW PHOTOS

Some of the seniors playfully booed him and shouted, “Slow down!”

During a question-and-answer session, Frank Winters was asked why Clay Matthews was wearing his No. 52. The room burst into laughter.

“Funny story about Clay,” said Winters. “My first year in Cleveland, I played with his dad. I told Clay that I remembered him as a boy coming around practice.”

For the seniors, the special guests provided a memorable morning.

“It’s uplifting and humbling at the same time,” Paul Schoenike said, “that these guys would take the time to visit us. Many of us came early we were so excited.”

The group is heading a couple blocks down the street to install a new playground at a park.


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