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Tuesday, February 01, 2011


"Save Me a Spot" - A Touching Story from a Real Sports Hero, Aaron Rodgers

Appleton is just 30 minutes away from Green Bay, Wisconsin, a.k.a. the Center of the Football Universe. It's a privilege to be in a region with such a great legacy of excellence. As dramatic as the Packers' games can be, some of the most important drama occurs off the field. One touching example was shared by an observant reporter in Milwaukee who attended a charity event that Aaron Rodgers did for the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer). I learned about this story today while attending the downtown Appleton Rotary luncheon (what an amazing group of Rotarians Appleton has, by the way!).

"'Save me a spot': A side of Aaron Rodgers you may not know" by Jen Lada of WITI-TV in Milwaukee gives some great insights into Aaron. I was thrilled to see that Aaron's favorite book is the Bible. Wow. I was also thrilled to see that we share the same favorite movie, The Princess Bride. But I was caught by surprise and a bit of emotion with the dedication that he wrote on a football at the charity event for a father whose daughter passed away from cancer. What he wrote wasn't done for show but was simply a reflection of the mindset and compassion of this real hero. Jen explains:
Rodgers' answers and poise on this night were certainly admirable. And I honestly didn't think I could respect Aaron more than I did when we wrapped our hour-long question and answer segment. But I was wrong.

My friend, the father of that young girl who passed, was there that night - enjoying the opportunity to reconnect with many of his MACC Fund family members and revel in the charity's big night. He was one of several attendees brought up on stage where he caught a football thrown by the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. The evening was already a smashing success for him and his grateful family.

And then he asked Aaron to sign the football he'd caught. He wondered if he'd make it out to his daughter. It isn't shocking that Rodgers obliged. What caught me off guard was the dedication he made. It wasn't until after Aaron left that I first saw the autograph... and the simple yet sweet message that brought tears to this father's eyes: "To Cheri the angel. Save me a spot. - Aaron Rodgers"
Awesome. Go Packers!