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Small-town Medford displays enormous support on Day 1

More than 1,400 attend first tailgate party


The tour's first party, which saw more than 1,400 fans in attendance, was an enthusiastic success in support of Black River Industries. The nonprofit has served people with disabilities in Taylor County for more than 40 years.

Its mission: In partnership with the community, to provide people with disabilities opportunities to achieve the highest level of independence. BRI provides a variety of programs including Sheltered Employment (Work Services), Supported Employment, Supported Apartment, Supportive Home Care, Day Services/Community Integration, and Transportation.

The center's director, Amber Fallos, was more than pleased with the event.

"Unbelievable," she stated with sincere appreciation. "The community has come together in support of it. The Packers were great."

Aaron Ripkowski's first day was an eye-opening experience.

"It was pretty good, but overwhelming," he said. "My autograph was getting a little wavy toward the end."

Even away from Lambeau Field, the fans appeared to be just as fervent to Ripkowski.

"The fans are diehard, pretty much no matter where you meet them."

Any surprises for the fullback? "Besides prom question, no," he said, in reference to the proposal to Jake Ryan.

As for Ryan, he had a favorable impression of Day 1 as well.

"Great. Lot more people than thought I was be," he said. "I was asked a few weird things, like the prom date. Great first day, though."

Wednesday will see the motor coach head north, with a few stops on the way to Ashland, Wis.

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