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Dialing up support at Michigan Tech tailgate party

Crisis intervention center gets boost from Tailgate Tour


The U.P.'s Keweenaw Peninsula is well north of Green Bay, but you wouldn't have known it Thursday night as an energetic tailgate party with nearly 600 fans was held at Michigan Tech to support Dial Help, an accredited crisis intervention center.

Its many programs strengthen residents, families and communities of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Dial Help also works to prevent sexual assault and substance abuse by educating children about protective factors that build self-esteem and positive decision-making skills.

"The event really brought a lot of people together," said Rebecca Crane, the center's director. "It means everything to us. We've never had more people together. Not only here, too. Our website views are up. Our information booths are busy. We have many new supporters."

The Q&A featured many familiar topics, but also presented some firsts for the tour, including a discussion of Ahman Green's movie career.

"I haven't had a lot of speaking roles, so you have to watch closely for my appearances," he said.

On the football side, the details of a Hail Mary play received a fair amount of discussion, with a questioner wondering how many yards were needed for it to be considered a Hail Mary. Mark Murphy and Brett Hundley both thought 50 yards was a good number, but also said it really depends upon the situation.

The Packers Tailgate Tour stopped in Houghton, MI Thursday night for a tailgate party to benefit Dial Help. Photos by Matt Haberkamp and Aaron Popkey,

Fans were excited about the free-agent additions of tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks.

"I think our offense will be set to do a lot of great things," Murphy said.

Jake Ryan gave Aaron Ripkowski a bit of a hard time for the three questions he was asked, a new high watermark for the fullback.

In the autograph line, Ryan Longwell was surprised to sign two jerseys of that other team he played with, the one that cannot be named.

"That was a first," he said. "Two of those and two Packers jerseys."

It was suggested he just needed the Seahawks and 49ers to round out his teams.

"The 49er jersey would really be a surprise," he observed.

Also at the table was Michigan Tech's mascot, Blizzard T. Husky, right next to Murphy.

"That was another first," he said. "Haven't had the opportunity to sign next to a mascot."

And, since the team was in Michigan, a unique request was made to sign a Detroit Lions tie. After receiving the Packers' autographs, the tie was auctioned off for more than $100.

"Hey, it's for a good cause," said Longwell.

Day 4 of the tour will see the motor coach head south again with the ultimate stop in Rhinelander.

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