With one more chance to greet fans in Rhinelander, the tour participants enjoyed their time at Ministry Saint Mary’s Hospital, visiting children, adults and families in the facility.
The tour members were supportive of those they visited, whether it was for the birth of a child or for more of a challenging health situation.
On the birthing floor, players were able to congratulate two families on their new family members, with Ahman Green even holding the newborn girl.
“High and tight,” said a fellow tour member to Ahman as a reminder of how to properly hold a football…er…baby.
An expectant first-time mother, Bethany Abadeer, enjoyed the surprise visit even though she was in the midst of early stages of labor.
“This is too weird,” she said of the guys coming into her room, but then added with a laugh, “we stopped pushing so you could visit.”
After talking about upcoming family life briefly, the players wished her well and made their way out of the room.
“R-Y-A-N,” spelled Ryan Longwell as a suggestion for the son’s name.
On the road again, the motor coach made its way through Crandon, Wis., which of course necessitated a lunch stop at Tricia’s Treasures & Bistro. The quaint restaurant previously hosted a Tailgate Tour lunch stop in 2010.
Upon arrival in Iron Mountain, Mich., the tour members were afforded the unique opportunity to meet the men and women who served their country at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center. They greeted patients and families, taking photos and thanking those at the facility for their service.
Among the veterans was Will Swanson, a World War II veteran from nearby Norway, Mich., who fought in the battle of Iwo Jima. Members of the tour thanked him for his service and presented him with a Packers challenge coin.
“We just played a game of football. You’re the real hero. Thank you for your service,” Longwell said.
With what the group later found out was a typical, humble response, Swanson simply said, “We’re all Americans, is the way I see it. Nothing more than that.”
The Tailgate Tour’s final party is next up to benefit Northwoods Airlifeline.