George Oudhuis of Rolling Prairie, Indiana, was named the 23rd member of the Green Bay Packers FAN Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
Oudhuis was selected by fans from 10 finalists during a voting period that ran from Jan. 1-31 on packers.com. More than 71,800 votes were cast from throughout the United States and countries around the world.
An Indiana native, Oudhuis became a fan of the Packers at age 9, and has spent his life collecting Packers memorabilia, including gifts from family and friends for birthdays and Father's Days, as well as childhood keepsakes like his first Ray Nitschke jersey. His collection is housed in his basement, and he shares the special place in his home with visitors, friends and loved ones to tell the story of the Packers and encourage the next generation of fans.
His dedication to the team is further exemplified by his key to the City of Green Bay, with which Oudhuis was presented when he helped unveil the street sign honoring Donald Driver Way in 2013.
Numerous friends and loved ones have nominated Oudhuis every year for more than a decade, including his friend Jim Brandt, who used his nomination essay this year to share how Oudhuis works to convert his fellow community members and fans of other teams to support the Packers. This year marks the fourth time Oudhuis has been a finalist for the FAN Hall of Fame.
An excerpt of the nomination from Brandt also mentions how Oudhuis's basement reflects his special relationship with the Packers: "As he showed me around, I realized it wasn't just a typical collection, it was like seeing the story of his life told through Packers memorabilia…he's so proud of his collection and relishes in the memory associated with every item…George is a genuine guy, dedicated to his family, community and his team. He has spent almost his entire life supporting and promoting the Green Bay Packers."
Regarding his nomination, Oudhuis said: "I am very honored because the Packers have an amazing fan base that stretches worldwide. It makes me very excited to think that my family's name would be associated with some of the all-time Packers greats I idolized even as a child."
This year's other finalists included: Jane Rietmann from Merrimac, Wis., Fred Ihlenfeldt Sr. from Kewaunee, Wis., Jeff Padon from Severn, Md., Ken Trinkner from De Pere, Wis., Leo DeGroot from West Bend, Wis., Patrick (Pat) Suplicki from Stevens Point, Wis., Bob Parker from Green Bay, Gene C. Lasch from Shawano, Wis., and Jeanne Beardsley from Ellsworth, Wis.
In honor of his selection, Oudhuis will receive four club seats to a 2021 Packers home game; a $500 Packers Pro Shop gift certificate; a road trip for two to a 2021 Packers away game, including game tickets, air fare and hotel accommodations; and a one-year subscription to Packer Plus.
Oudhuis also will have his name permanently displayed in a place of honor in the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.
The Green Bay Packers established the Packers FAN Hall of Fame in 1998 for the purpose of annually honoring a devout and longtime Packers fan. The 22 prior honorees include Mel Knoke, Appleton; Louis Gardipee, Black River Falls; Ed Jablonski, Wausau; Paul Mazzoleni, Green Bay; Wanda Boggs, Brookfield; Sister Isaac Jogues Rousseau, Milwaukee; Dorothy Hanke, Milwaukee; Kathy Lazzaro, Milwaukee; Rich Barbera, River Vale, New Jersey; Richard 'Ike' Eisenhauer, Wauwatosa; Allan Hale, Green Bay; Jim Becker, Racine; Tom Little, Mount Sterling, Illinois; Rick Steele, Greensburg, Pennsylvania; Edward Fritsch, Sheboygan; Vivian Scherf-Laabs, Cedarburg; Steve Schumer, Gillette, New Jersey, Pat Nevala, Menomonie; Frank Lamping, Union Grove; Marguerite "Mugs" Bachhuber, Green Bay; Amy Nelson, Fence, Wis; Kari Bernier, Dyersburg, Tenn.
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