Sunday, September 04, 2005
by Jeff Fedotin, Packers.com
The Green Bay Packers may have just defeated the Tennessee Titans 21-17, but long snapper Rob Davis felt a lump in his heart. Worried about the devestation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina, he went through the locker room, looking for volunteers to aid the relief effort.
“We just wanted to make sure we had a presence from the Packers,” Davis said. “We’re trying to help out as best as we can.”
The Packers helped out indeed.
In conjunction with the American Red Cross, several Packers players signed autographs on Sunday from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Bay Park Square Mall in Green Bay, Wis. to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Any monetary contributon entitled patrons to an autograph on one item. For a $100 donation, they could visit each of the three autograph tables. They were also encouraged to donate blood at the Red Cross blood drive in the mall.
By 12:30p.m., Red Cross officials estimated 500 people had already arrived for autographs and the blood drive had a three-hour wait.
“The crowd has blown me away,” said Steve Maricque, executive director of the American Red Cross’ Lakeland chapter. “I’m amazed especially on a Labor Day weekend.”
Scott Wells, Grey Ruegamer, Bubba Franks, Najeh Davenport, Craig Nall, Kenny Peterson, Tony Fisher, Joey Thomas, Paris Lenon, Ben Steele, Chad Clifton, Aaron Rodgers, Mark Roman, Aaron Kampman, Robert Ferguson, Grady Jackson, Mike Hawkins, Terrence Murphy, Marviel Underwood and Davis participated.
For the players, using their fame to raise donations was the next best thing to being in the Gulf Coast.
“This is one way to help out,” Ruegamer said. “People wanted to help out physically, but because of security issues, transportation, gas, food and all the shortages they’re having, we’d just get in the way and be another mouth to feed.”
Mike Seavert of New Berlin, a suburb of Milwaukee, Wis., donated $100 to receive autographs from each table. He arrived at the mall at 9:30 after driving from two hours away and clutched an autographed cheesehead for his efforts.
“It’s important to support the people from the hurricane,” he said. “Plus I’m a huge Packers fan.”
When Davis approached Packers manager of community relations Cathy Dworak regarding his desire to aid Katrina’s victims, she contacted the Red Cross, which already had a blood drive set up for Sunday. The residents of Green Bay and surrounding cities did the rest, coming in droves to receive autographs and donate money and blood.
“I knew the turnout would be like this,” Ferguson said. “It’s a great town, a great city.”
By Alex McGreevy
04 September 2005
SECURITY will be tightened around Sven Goran Eriksson's squad when it lands in Northern Ireland this week - but not because of terrorism fears.
It is understood the FA's security advisors have cited England's crucial World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland as a safe haven for professional autograph hunters, who flog star signatures on the internet.
The international stars will stay at the five-star Culloden Hotel in north Down, the choice location of the German national squad while preparing for the Euro '96 finals in England.
It is there that security will be stepped up and players are being warned to limit autograph signings.
A source said: "The England players have been warned by their sponsors and the FA that they may be taken for a ride in Northern Ireland and five minutes after signing shirts or books, they may be on sale on the internet.
"A lot of children in Northern Ireland will be excited about seeing the real stars of the Premiership, but they are likely to be left upset because these professional scammers are using kids too. The players don't like to say no to kids, but they have been warned about the professional autograph hunters looking to cash in."