13th annual Tailgate Tour well into Day 1

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The 13th annual Packers Tailgate Tour is well into its first day on the way to Verona. This year’s tour will travel more than 600 miles and also stop in Monticello, Iowa, Janesville, Wis., Milwaukee, and West Bend, Wis.

The Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour surprised 1,880 students at Appleton North High School Tuesday morning. Photos by Evan Siegle, packers.com

The first stop on the tour was Appleton North High School, where the tour participants were able to surprise an enthusiastic group of nearly 2,000 students. The players talked about setting goals high and aiming to reach them, and how the school year is like the football season: you have to finish strong.

Ty Montgomery implored the students to not get complacent, saying it was easy to do with today’s society used to an instantaneous response with social media.

He also urged them to not worry so much about outcomes, saying, “Focus on the process. The outcome will take care of itself.”

Rob Davis advised the students to consider more than themselves as they enter adulthood.

“The journey is about more than you,” he said. “Think about the people and the community around you. Make a positive impact.”

A $2,000 check for the Lightning’s physical education program also was presented before the group left.

The excitement kept rolling down Interstate 41 with a visit with the Wildcats at Oshkosh West, where another $2,000 fitness grant was presented to the students.

In addition to the advice shared with the students, a question-and-answer session featured a special request as student Taylor Leipzig asked if Bubba Franks would ask Madigan Carlson to attend the prom with him.

The Tailgate Tour bus stopped by Oshkosh West High School to surprise 1,650 students and talk to them about inclusion, kindness, respect and acceptance of others. Photos by Evan Siegle, packers.com

“I thought it would be cool,” Leipzig said. “I figured it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Carlson said yes, of course.

“I’m still shaking,” she said, with a smile.

After lunch in Beaver Dam, the tour made a stop a UW-Madison’s Union South and visited with a number of surprised students.

Some downtime was up next prior to the evening’s party at Verona High School to support Badger Prairie Needs Network.

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