The annual search is on for a new Packers FAN Hall of Fame honoree.
The first professional football team to have its own hall of fame, the Green Bay Packers enhanced that distinction in 1998 by establishing a Packers FAN Hall of Fame. It was founded, in conjunction with the Packers Hall of Fame, for the purpose of annually honoring a devout and longtime Packers fan.
As has been the case each of the past eight years, nominees are being sought for recognition by a selection committee. The late Mel Knoke of Appleton was chosen as the inaugural enshrinee in the FAN Hall of Fame. The 91-year-old Knoke, who died between the time of his election and enshrinement, was honored posthumously at the 1999 Packers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet.
In addition to Knoke, past honorees include:
2000 - Louis Gardipee, Black River Falls, Wis.
2001 - Ed Jablonski, Wausau, Wis.
2002 - Paul Mazzoleni, Green Bay
2003 - Wanda Boggs, Brookfield, Wis.
2004 - Sister Isaac Jogues Rousseau, Milwaukee
2005 - Dorothy Hanke, Milwaukee
2006 - Kathy Lazzaro, Milwaukee
The nomination phase for the ninth honoree, which begins Oct. 13, will continue through Sunday, Nov. 5, 2006. Fans again are being asked to nominate themselves for the honor - or a relative or friend - in an essay of 500 words or less, telling why they should be recognized. Each nomination should be accompanied by a photo.
The 10 finalists who best represent the Packers and the spirit of the Packers Hall of Fame will be chosen in November by the Packers FAN Hall of Fame selection committee, comprised of members of the Packers front office and the Packers Hall of Fame Board of Directors. The winner will be announced Nov. 17, 2006.
Packers fans, in turn, will be asked to vote for one of the 10 finalists whose stories will be profiled. Voting will be conducted online and through participating retail outlets with details announced in November.
Fans can mail their nominations to: Green Bay Packers FAN Hall of Fame, P.O. Box 10628, Green Bay, WI, 54307-0628, or drop them off at the Lambeau Field Atrium (1265 Lombardi Avenue) or at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 333 W. State Street, Milwaukee, WI, 53201.
The fan receiving the most votes will become the ninth honorary fan to be installed in the Packers FAN Hall of Fame.
The honoree's selection will be announced Dec. 15, 2006. He or she will receive four club seats to a Packers home game, at which he or 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 2007 Packers away game, including game ticket, air fare and hotel accommodation.
The honoree also will be introduced during the Packers Hall of Fame Induction Banquet next July and have his or her name permanently displayed in a place of honor in the Packers Hall of Fame.
FAN Hall of Fame sponsors are ShopKo, Stein Gardens and Gifts, Best Buy and Time Warner Cable.