Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption, Packers Team Up To Kick Off 2004

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Monday night's preseason opener against Seattle will mark the kickoff of the Packers' 84th season in the National Football League. The game will also be the 44th annual Bishop's Charities Game, a charitable venture begun by Vince Lombardi in 1961.

In 2003, the game took on a successful and rewarding relationship with the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption as they joined the Bishop's Charities in presenting the contest.

Launched in 1992, the Foundation is a non-profit public charity dedicated to increasing the adoptions of the more than 150,000 children in North America's public foster care system. The late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy's International and an adopted child himself, created the foundation in support of the vision that every child deserves a permanent home and a loving family.

For the second year in a row, the Ohio-based national foundation will team up with the Packers to present their message to everyone who will pass through the gates at Lambeau Field Monday evening.

There will be tables with information about the foundation at the gates, and also information about adoption resources in Wisconsin. Within the game, a public service announcement from the foundation will be airing on the stadium scoreboard.

Rita Soronen, the foundation's executive director, is extremely excited to continue the foundation's relationship with the Packers and the community of Green Bay.

"We're a national organization, but we want to create awareness and have an impact on the local level," Soronen said. "The value of something like this with a brand like the Packers is very much a national brand, but we also want to focus on the state of Wisconsin. In Wisconsin now, about 700 children are waiting to be adopted, so it allowed us to work with the Adoption Resources Department in the state and interact with the folks on the local level."

She feels that the beneficiaries of this partnership will be children in foster care who are longing for a permanent home.

"What this event does is give us another venue to raise awareness for our particular passion, which is children in foster care who are waiting for adoptive families," Soronen continued. "This allows us to use a very public venue. People are already excited about the Packers, and I think this gives us a wonderful place to help us raise that awareness."

Monday brings the start of a new season of football to Green Bay. We can all hope that a continued season of caring comes along with it.

To learn more about the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, visit them on the internet at www.davethomasfoundationforadoption.org.

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