Madison welcomes the Packers

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 16, 2012 – 10:01 pm

The Packers Tailgate Tour ended Day 2 in fine fashion at Madison’s Alliant Energy Center where more than 850 fans took part in the event to support the Ronald McDonald House.

Members of the UW Marching Band led the group into the facility, which gave the exhibition hall a bit of a feel of legendary Camp Randall Stadium.

Tonight’s Q-and-A featured some familiar topics, including various football questions and opinions on Donald Driver’s dancing abilities (William Henderson referred to him as “Twinkle Toes”). Fans also learned tonight that Charlie Peprah admired former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith and Henderson admired former Redskins running back John Riggins.

It was just that setting the appealed to Sharon Adler of Madison.

“It’s their interaction with people that makes this event so much fun,” she explained. “It’s so awesome to see the players in this different atmosphere. It brings it all back to that they’re real people, they’re just like us. We love them.”

Adler made it a family affair and enjoyed the party with her sister and two nieces. It was also her sixth party in the seven years of the Tailgate Tour. She did not attend an event last year as the route stayed in the northern parts of the state. She did say that geography won’t hold her back in the future, however.

“We’ll find one every year,” she vowed.

Mary Donahue, who coordinates marketing and communications for the Ronald McDonald House, said local companies were very supportive with sponsorships, in addition to the fans who bought individual tickets to the event.

“It was a great success for the House,” she said. “Families are having a great time tonight. It’s really fun to see.”

For Charlie Peprah, it was a successful way to end his second day on the tour, coincidentally in a city where his younger brother, Josh, plays football for the Wisconsin Badgers.

“Madison has some good fans,” he said. “A few people asked me about my brother.”

He also enjoyed the earlier parts of the day, particularly the visit to Truax Field to see the Wisconsin Air National Guard.

Day 3 will feature a number of stops on the way to Kenosha.

Click here to see photos of the Madison tailgate party.

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Packers land at 115th Fighter Wing for a visit

Posted by Aaron Popkey on May 16, 2012 – 9:39 pm

Larry McCarren

Today’s afternoon surprise stop was at the base of the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 115th Fighter Wing at Truax Field in Madison.

Approximately 350 members of the unit, nearly all of its full-time personnel and roughly 30 percent of the base’s total compliment of Airmen, were participating in a recognition ceremony in a hanger when the tour bus pulled up to surprise them.

The tour members proceeded to the stage and had the opportunity to thank the Airmen for their service to the country.

Lt. Col. Chad Milne, a pilot who has participated in flyovers at Lambeau Field, enjoyed welcoming the Packers to his turf for a change.

“It was a great experience for them to come here and have us show them around,” he said. “It’s neat to share our story with anyone, but especially these guys.”

Col. Pat Volk particularly enjoyed the timing of the surprise visit as the unit has been going through a series of inspections.

“It’s a stressful time for our Airmen, with our readiness exercises and inspections, and preparing to go overseas again later this year,” he explained. “Today is a great morale event.”

After mingling with the Airmen, a few of the players had the opportunity to see the cockpit of an F-16 up close. Larry McCarren, who holds a private pilot’s license, even had a chance to sit in the pilot’s seat of the fighter. He clearly enjoyed the moment.

“If you’re an airplane nut like me, that was a great time,” he said with a smile. “If was fun talk to the pilot and the guys who take care of the plane.

“It was something to sit in that cockpit, too. I’ve heard them say that in a fighter, you strap on the plane. It’s true. That’s a tight fit.”

Click here to see photos from the 115th Fighter Wing visit.

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2012 ‘Packers Tailgate Tour’ set to depart Tuesday

Posted by Duke Bobber on May 14, 2012 – 6:05 pm

What? An event that raises money for charities in five cities over five days. Each evening Tailgate Tour party will benefit the hosting non-profit organization and will feature a flavor of famous Lambeau Field tailgating food, giveaways, tour celebrity question-and-answer sessions, and autographs.

When? May 15-19.

Who? Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, wide receiver Jordy Nelson, kicker Mason Crosby and safety Charlie Peprah, along with former Packers Marco Rivera, William Henderson, and Larry McCarren.

Where? The tour will make stops in La Crosse (May 15), Madison (May 16), Kenosha (May 17), Cedarburg/Grafton (May 18) and Sturgeon Bay (May 19), with evening tailgate parties held in each city to support a local non-profit organization.

How can I get tickets? Official tailgate party tickets can be purchased for $30. General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Kenosha.Tickets for the tailgate parties are on sale. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ evening tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows: (6 to 8:30 p.m. in each city):

  • La Crosse: Oktoberfest Southside Fest-grounds. To benefit the Children of the Heart. Tickets on sale at Festival Foods locations at 1260 Crossing Meadows drive, Onalaska, and 2500 State Rd., La Crosse, in the Village Shopping Center.
  • Madison: Alliant Center. To benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Tickets on sale only through, TicketMaster, or by calling 866-777-8932.
  • Kenosha: Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha. To benefit Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha. Tickets on sale at Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, 1330 52nd St.
  • Cedarburg/Grafton: Grafton High School. To benefit Portal, Inc. Tickets on sale at Portal, Inc., 1015 Cedar Creek Rd., Grafton, with information available at
  • Sturgeon Bay: Sunset Park. To benefit Habitat for Humanity. Tickets on sale at Marchant’s Foods, County Highway DK, Brussels; Main Street Market, 7770 State Rd. 42, Egg Harbor; Pick n’ Save,1847 Egg Harbor Rd., Sturgeon Bay; and Door County Habitat for Humanity, 410 N. 14th Ave., Sturgeon Bay.

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