A morning drizzle couldn't dampen the spirits of the Packers Tailgate Tour participants as the group boarded the bus for its departure. This year's team, which includes Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Brett Hundley, Aaron Ripkowski and Jake Ryan, and Packers alumni Robert Ferguson, Ahman Green and Ryan Longwell, will make stops in Medford (April 4), Ashland (April 5), Houghton, Mich. (April 6), Rhinelander (April 7) and Iron Mountain, Mich. (April 8), with tailgate parties held in each city to support a local nonprofit organization.
More than $2 million has been raised for charity during the tour's previous 11 years. What can't be measured, though, is the fun fans have had connecting with current and past Packers at various stops.
This year's tour will be sure to deliver more.
A prom proposal at Wittenberg-Birnamwood High School
Jake Ryan is used to reacting quickly. His job requires it. But a prom proposal is not something he has prepared for recently. So when Victoria Donbeck, a junior at Wittenberg-Birnamwood high school, asked him to the April 22 dance, he was caught off guard momentarily.
The 2017 Packers Tailgate Tour made its first stop at Wittenberg Birnamwood High School. The Packers spoke to the students and presented a $2,000 Play 60 donation. Photos by Matt Haberkamp and Aaron Popkey, packers.com.
"I didn't know what to say," Ryan said of the pause. "I was definitely flustered."
He respectfully declined, though, with the offseason program underway by then and occupying his time.
Donbeck and her fellow students in the auditorium understood and simply enjoyed the moment, which included Ryan giving the student a hug.
The members of the tour spoke to the students about setting goals and working hard to achieve them. They also heard from both Ahman Green and Aaron Ripkowski on how important it is to have mentors to help guide you and set examples.
The tour moves on to Wausau.