Tailgate Tour goes camping

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Monticello, Iowa. Probably not the first city that comes to mind when thinking of a Packers hotbed, but don’t say that to the fans that were present at Camp Courageous for the Tailgate Tour’s Tuesday evening party.

The Packers Tailgate Tour held a party to benefit Camp Courageous, a year-round camp just outside of Monticello, Iowa that serves thousands of individuals with special needs every year. Photos by Evan Siegle, packers.com

Camp Courageous is a year-round respite care and recreational facility for individuals of all ages with disabilities. It serves 8,000 campers annually on its 300 acres, giving a wonderful camp experience to anyone with a disability.

The players entered the party area on the camp’s miniature train. Such an entrance was a first for the Tailgate Tour in 13 years.

“That was cool,” said Freeman. “I had a fan sitting with me. A fun way to roll into a party.”

Packers fan Susan Costello was all smiles as she watched the players and fans interact. She and her extended family made the trip from nearby Marion, Iowa, to attend. In addition to being Packers fans, the family has an uncle who attends Camp Courageous each year, so the trip had a double benefit for them.

“When we heard the Packers were coming, we were all in,” Costello said. “We knew we had to come.

“With my uncle coming each year, and the amazing experience he has, combining that with the Packers is a win-win.”

Costello’s experience was a perfect example of what Camp Courageous hoped to accomplish this evening, according to executive director Charlie Becker.

“Packers fans were all together,” he explained. “They really wanted to be here with each other and they really care about the camp. The beauty of tonight also is that we’re serving hundreds of campers who are here.”

Freeman enjoyed the benefit the tour brings.

“The impact we have is amazing,” he said. “We show up and all this happens.”

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