April 18, 2015 - 11:15 am - Paging Dr. Gilbert Brown
He’s not a doctor, nor does he play one on TV, but Gilbert Brown possessed some healing power today, if only for a brief while, while he and the other members of the tour visited Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in the Milwaukee area.
Brown and the group delivered cheer to the patients and families, and provided an appreciated respite from their health challenges. Visits took place in the lobby as well as on a couple floors in the MACC Fund Center, where children are treated for cancer and other illnesses. Small talk, pictures, pom-poms and footballs were shared.
“I loved that visit,” Brown said. “Best stop on the trip. To be able to interact with those kids, we feel like we made their day. And with their families, we helped to break the monotony of the day, what they’re going through. When they look up at you with the smile, it’s a thank you, and they don’t have to say it.
Photo gallery: Tailgate Tour makes stop at Children’s Hospital
While the players appreciate being able to provide some laughs and smiles, the effect on the kids and their families is real.
“We look forward to these visits,” said Jill Wiench, child life specialist for Children’s Hospital. “Sometimes we don’t see a smile for days, and then this makes their day. Even though they’re sick and the whole family is faced with challenges, a moment like this is a bright spot.”
After leaving the hosptial, the Tailgate Tour motor coach traveled north toward Sheboygan for its final tailgate party to benefit Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. April 18, 2015 - 4:43 pm - Wish granted in Sheboygan
With an escort from a very talented and energetic drumline, the Packers Tailgate Tour members experienced a rousing entrance to the party at the Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan.
The final get together of the 10th anniversary tour benefitted Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, an organization dedicated to granting the wishes of seriously ill children in Wisconsin.
The Packers already enjoy a heartwarming relationship with Make-A-Wish, as the Packers host the wish visits nearly every home-game Friday at Lambeau Field. Today’s event supports the organization even further.
“We are unparalleled partners in making wishes come true, but this event is a nod to be part of the fan base and an amazing opportunity to share our mission,” said Patti Gorsky, Make-A-Wish’s president and CEO. “Together, with the partnership of this event, it takes us to new heights.”
Photo gallery: Packers hold final tailgate party in Sheboygan
During the stage portion of the event, Gilbert Brown got the crowd on their feet when he discussed the appreciation he gained this week for Jerry Kramer and Dave Robinson.
“These two guys are the Packers’ national treasure,” he said as the crowd responded enthusiastically.
Antonio Freeman was asked about the Monday Night Miracle, the overtime, on-the-ground TD catch at Lambeau Field that beat the Minnesota Vikings. It was a story he enjoyed telling more than once this week.
For Mark Murphy, this event and the tour across Wisconsin are important for the organization in a number of ways.
“It highlights the uniqueness of the organization,” he said. “We’re community owned and viewed as state’s team. For us, giving back is high priority for organization. Fans are so supportive and so loyal, we can’t take them for granted. To get out across the state and thank them, it makes good sense.”
After leaving the beautiful, lakeside resort, the Tailgate Tour motor coach made its way north, with one more surprise stop in store before returning to Green Bay. April 19, 2015 - 8:22 am - Surprise at Suster's
The tour’s practice of making stops in Wisconsin’s small towns continued Saturday as the motor coach made a surprise stop at Suster’s Arcade in Denmark.
While the restaurant’s famous broasted chicken was reason enough to visit, Mark Murphy and the Packers also wanted to recognize the restaurant’s proprietor with Packers ties, Ed Schuster. Schuster served on the team’s board of directors for 54 years (1931-85), the third-longest tenure in club history.
Murphy presented the family a plaque to be hung in honor Schuster, and then the group settled in to enjoy a spread that included chicken, potatoes, slaw and other tasty offerings.
“Now that was some good food,” Gilbert Brown declared.
“I wish I had a hot box. I’d take some with me,” added Antonio Freeman.