Kathy Lazzaro of Milwaukee was named the eighth member of the Green Bay Packers FAN Hall of Fame Friday.
Lazzaro was nominated by Joseph M. Fasi II of Brookfield, Wis., who met her earlier this year when he joined her for a drive to Green Bay for the home opener, Sept. 18, vs. Cleveland.
In his nomination letter, Fasi said, "I have in the past read about the ultimate fan and thought I knew some. However, when I met Kathy Lazzaro this year, I finally found the living definition of the ULTIMATE FAN.
"Kathy Lazzaro is a wonderful, soft-spoken woman about 60 years old. She has been a widow for the last 5 years. She NEVER misses a home game, driving up to Green Bay with her son Joseph. My daughter and I shared a ride to Green Bay with Kathy and her son to the Browns game. As we drove to Green Bay, I found out that her home is a Packers shrine set up in a room with green and gold and icons to honor her beloved Packers past and present. She never leaves the TV during a game.
"She did not miss a game when her husband, Joseph, died 5 years ago. She knew that he would have wanted her at the games, since that was her second lover after her husband. There are many fans dressed in team colors, who attend the games or have a room decorated for the Pack. What sets Kathy apart and makes her an exceptional candidate for the Green Bay Packers Fan Hall of Fame is her spirit.
"A fan is one who always believes in the team and sticks with them no matter whether they are winning or losing. Kathy is that fan. She loves HER Packers and will not leave them at any time, in any weather, despite the record or score on the board. She will not leave the game early and will not speak ill of her team. That goes beyond the colors, clothing, jewelry, photos and pennants. That is the spirit and living definition of a fan. I was in awe of what I saw and heard when I met her and I encourage you to meet her as well. She is for real. These pages cannot adequately capture or contain the spirit and essence of this SUPER FAN. One meeting would convince you as it did for me."
Lazzaro will receive four club seats to the Jan. 1 Packers-Seahawks game, at which she will be recognized on the Lambeau Field TundraVision video boards, a $500 Packers Pro Shop gift certificate and a road trip for two to a 2006 Packers away game, including game ticket, air fare and hotel accommodation. She also will be introduced during the Packers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet next July and have her name permanently displayed in a place of honor in the Packers Hall of Fame.
Balloting for the FAN Hall of Fame, international in scope, yielded thousands of votes from throughout the United States and countries around the world.
This year's finalists, in addition to Lazzaro, included Rudy Carmenaty, Massapequa Park, N.Y.; Caroline B. Comella, Appleton, Wis.; Bob Esch, Caledonia, Minn.; Jeff Kahlow, Fond du Lac, Wis.; Patrick Finkler, Reading, Mass.; Thomas P. Hay, Sun Prairie, Wis.; Frank Parks, Newfield, N.J.; Ray Schrader, Wabeno, Wis. and April Skony, Jupiter, Fla.
The Green Bay Packers, the first professional football team to have its own hall of fame, enhanced that distinction in 1998 by establishing a Packers FAN Hall of Fame for the purpose of annually honoring a devout and longtime Packers fan.
The seven prior inductees include Mel Knoke, Appleton, Wis.; Louis Gardipee, Black River Falls, Wis.; Ed Jablonski, Wausau, Wis.; Paul Mazzoleni, Green Bay; Wanda Boggs, Brookfield, Wis.; Sister Isaac Jogues Rousseau, Milwaukee; and Dorothy Hanke, Milwaukee.
FAN Hall of Fame sponsors are ShopKo, Stein Gardens and Gifts, Best Buy and Time Warner Cable.