The Tailgate Tour’s first day ended in celebratory fashion with a tailgate party to benefit the Traded Treasures and Community Food Pantry.
From a fire truck-ride entrance that included a marching band welcome to a boisterous crowd of more than 800 in Royal Ridges, the event brought fans together to hear from the players in support of a non-profit dedicated to feeding the hungry and helping those in need by providing groceries and collecting gently-used items from the community for its thrift boutique. Between 100 and 200 households are assisted with groceries each month, in addition to the many other services that are provided to those needing assistance.
Photos: Fire truck transports Packers to Ripon tailgate
During the event’s question-and-answer session, fans heard about the origins of the Lambeau Leap. While it was the second time LeRoy Butler and Robert Brooks discussed their contributions to the fan phenomena, it was the first time for these appreciative fans. They especially liked Brooks’ recital of the first verse of his Lambeau Leap song, Jump in the Stands.
As the subject turned to the Super Bowl, attendees heard Sean Jones relay what he felt like after winning the NFL’s championship.
“It’s like Christmas morning and every present under the tree is yours,” he said.
Amy Pollesch, the organization’s director, was thrilled with the outcome of the evening.
“It was a blessing to be a part of it,” she said. “It was a treat for me to watch the community come together for the event. And we have a heightened awareness for what we do. Many people thought we were only a food pantry, but now they know we have many more programs because of the need.”
The players, all of whom are experiencing their first tour, also felt the event and the day overall were a success.
“It was cool,” said Jones. “Well done, well organized.”
And did he have to prepare to reacquaint himself with Packers fans?
“It’s like riding a bike,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s so easy to immerse yourself. Even though the fan experience is the same, it’s different with the Packers fans.”