Citing the organization's long-time commitment to help those with disabilities, ASPIRO, Inc., recently recognized the Green Bay Packers with its Community Partnership Award.
ASPIRO, formerly the Brown County Association for Retarded Citizens, is a non-profit organization that operates 11 different community programs benefiting several thousand Brown County residents.
"We feel the Packers have touched us in many different ways through our fundraising, through our programs and through the opportunities they've given us to be a partner with them," said Linda Darmody, ASPIRO's director of membership/community relations.
Over the years, the Packers have teamed with ASPIRO in a variety of ways. Through the collaboration, ASPIRO has been able to aid with Fan Assistance and distribute handouts at games in addition to selling rosters at the team's Family Night.
And, through its community employment program, two ASPIRO clients were employed in the Packers mailroom.
"They are no longer there, but it worked out for a nice period of time," Darmody said. "Things changed in (the employees') lives where they needed to move on, but it was a very good opportunity for them."
Darmody said the Packers have also provided several items for ASPIRO fundraising events and participated in the Clancy Caper Golf Outing while supporting the group's Citizen Advocacy program, which aims to foster long-term relationships between people with disabilities and community volunteers.
Mark Schiefelbein, the Packers director of administrative affairs, serves on the Citizen Advocacy Advisory Committee, as well as ASPIRO's Board of Directors, and is a participant in the program. Pro Bowl receiver Donald Driver also contributed to the program by filming a public service announcement in December 2002.
"We are very honored that ASPIRO would recognize the Packers," said John Jones, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the award. "We enjoy helping because giving back to our community is one of the most important missions of the Packers organization."
The Packers received the Community Partnership Award at a banquet held March 19 at the Comfort Suites in Green Bay. Director of Ticket Operations Mark Wagner accepted the honor on the Packers' behalf.