Annual Welcome Back Luncheon Held Tuesday


More than 1,100 fans packed the Lambeau Field Atrium Tuesday for the annual Green Bay Chamber of Commerce Welcome Back Packers Luncheon.

Started by former Packers Coach Vince Lombardi in the 1960s, the event gives fans the opportunity to sit down with a Packers player or coach and enjoy a pleasant lunch together.

The crowd also heard from Packers Head Coach Mike McCarthy and his outlook for the 2007 season.

Another component of the event is the presentation of the community service award, an annual recognition of a player or coach who gives back to the community. It has been awarded annually since 1987.

This year's recipient was linebacker Brady Poppinga. Off the field, the third-year player's work involves his church, where he acts as a youth leader, giving hour-long motivational and moral lessons weekly as well as supporting other youth activities. He also has supported the Boy Scouts of America by producing a public service announcement, for which he recorded both in English and Spanish.

Poppinga also has lent his support to the Green Bay Packers-American Family Insurance Military Cap Campaign, Family Service's Green and Gold Gala, the Howe Resource Center, Green Bay's 'Kids Day,' the Fistula Foundation, the Invisible Kids Foundation, Amnesty International, a memorial of Arnie Wolff, a fallen Green Bay Fire Fighter and the Los Angeles Fire Department, where his brother-in-law is a fire fighter.

This summer he hosted a charity fundraiser football camp in Wyoming for a Children's Hospital. In addition, he has supported his fellow teammates' fundraising efforts through participation in Mark Tauscher's Trifecta Foundation Annual Golf Outing, as well as the Brett Favre Fourward Foundation Annual Celebrity Softball Game.

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