#NFLGoodGuys: The Packers give back through 12th Tailgate Tour

By Marcela Vargas @ethne88

From April 4-8, the Green Bay Packers gave back to the Wisconsin and Northern Michigan communities with their yearly Tailgate Tour.

Saturday April 8th saw the end of the Green Bay Packers’ 12th annual Tailgate Tour. From April 4th through 8th, a group of Packers (both current and former) players embarked on this on-the-road charity event that raised funds for six different non-profit organizations. The players involved visited towns in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan to connect with their fans in person and give back to the community. The lucky cities to receive the Tailgate Tour were Medford, Ashland, Houghton, Rhinelander, and Iron Mountain.

This year, the Packers Tailgate Tour included current players Brett Hundley, Aaron Ripkowski and Jake Ryan; former players Robert Ferguson, Ahman Green and Ryan Longwell; as well as Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy.

With surprise stops that allow the Packers to reach out to a wider part of their fans in hospitals, schools, and community centers, the tour gives everyone a chance to enjoy a good time with their idols while helping out local charities. Over 2.3 million dollars have been raised for local nonprofits in the 12 years duration of the Tailgate Tour.

The Tailgate parties help fans connect with the Packers through Q&A sessions and autograph signing. However, according to the players themselves, this is a unique chance for them to both get to know their fanbase better and thank them for the constant support.

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Devin and Jason McCourty Tackle Sickle Cell

By Kristen Parker @nepatsgirl87

Twin brothers, Devin and Jason McCourty began a campaign to tackle sickle cell in 2013.  They started this foundation to aspire to teach the public about this disease, increase blood donations and raise money and awareness to fight the disease. 

Sickle cell disease is a group of red blood cell disorders passed down from parent to child.  This group of diseases affects nearly 100,000 people in the United States.  Red blood cells contain a protein that carries oxygen in the blood to all parts of the body.  Normal red blood cells are round and flexible, which allow them to travel around and get oxygen to your body.  Sickle cell disease causes the red blood cells to form a sickle shape, which break apart simply, clump together more easily and only live 10 to 20 days instead of the normal 120 days. 

According to Devin, “sickle cell disease affected us at a young age because my father carried the trait.  I remember we took blood tests at 5 years old to see if we carried the trait as well and it was a relief when we learned we didn’t.  That didn’t end the journey with Sickle Cell because both our aunt and uncle had the disease.” 

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