UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, formerly known as the MECCA, has been home to many great sporting moments in its illustrious history, so it was only fitting that the Packers Tailgate Tour would add a little football spirit to the building’s karma.
Several hundred Packers fans turned out to greet the Packers and support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, an organization that has helped local kids and teens thrive for 131 years and counting. Today, the organization is the largest youth-serving agency in the city and has grown to be one of the largest Boys & Girls Clubs in the country.
Every day, an average of 5,000 of Milwaukee’s youth stream through their doors and participate in academic and recreational programming. They provide safety and support during critical hours of the day as well as meals, strong role models, organized athletics and access to the arts. At the Clubs, there’s a way for every kid to get involved and learn something new.
Enthusiastic fans were on hand to show their support of the Club and the Packers, especially one woman who greeted Ty Montgomery in a very animated fashion, vigorously shaking his hand in the autograph line.
“She was very excited, that’s for sure,” said Montgomery. “I’m not sure I’ve met a fan in that state.”
On stage, Rob Davis thanked the attendees for their support and encouraged the Club families to take full advantage of their programs, particularly those that enhance the kids’ educational opportunities.
“Education is the secret sauce to success,” he said. “Support these kids and make sure they’re utilizing all the resources. It is a great way to give back to the community.”
Tailgate Tour parties often feature activities for attendees beyond the autographs, and one of this party’s more popular attractions was a magician. He had several of the players mesmerized with his illusions, so much so they were reviewing his tricks on video later to reveal the secrets.
“Those guys didn’t know how he was doing it,” said Antonio Freeman. “Look at them trying to figure it out by watching the video, saying they knew. Come on!”
The tour’s final day awaits.