Packers Players Raise Spirits At Holiday Party


Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett tries his hand at face painting at the sixth annual "Families of Children with Cancer Holiday Party."

When Green Bay Packers players aren't preparing for their next game or wreaking havoc on the gridiron, many of them take time to give back to the community that gives them so much support, year after year.

The atmosphere was that of a large family at last night's sixth annual "Families of Children with Cancer Holiday Party" at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in De Pere. Players mingled with the children and their families, played games, and enjoyed the spread of pizza and ice cream.

For the children, it was a welcome respite from the health issues that they cope with every day, and the players realized that.

"I've been fortunate to be able to do this for a number of years," defensive end Aaron Kampman said. "It's just a great night to come together to celebrate hope.

"You see some of these kids and you think about the treatments they're going through. You know that there's some real tough kids here that have a lot of spirit and a lot of toughness."

Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett tested his creative skills by painting kids' faces. Pickett came away impressed with the steady resolve exhibited by the children.

"It makes you put your life in perspective," Pickett said. "The things that we deem serious are really not that serious. You have children that are fighting for their lives, and they can still smile. That says a lot about the character of these children."

Players put aside their inhibitions when they sang a variety of carols with the children. For punter Jon Ryan, moments like that are what make these events worthwhile.

"This is a great thing that they're doing here," Ryan said. "Getting out and spending time with these kids is really a good experience and a lot of fun for us, as well."

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