Wisconsin Park Hosted 3 Green Bay Packers
Former Green Bay Packers star defensive lineman Gilbert Brown stays pretty busy these days.
And he does so for a good cause.
The popular former Packer teamed up with former teammates George Koonce and Doug Evans to host Gilbert Brown’s Mini Football Camp Saturday (June 8) at O’Neil Creek Campground near Chippewa Falls, Wis., to benefit the Gilbert Brown Foundation (GBF), the Chippewa Herald reported.
Brown’s foundation provides goods, services and support to more than 144 different Wisconsin charities, most of which benefit children.
“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to get to meet us and some of the Packers players they let me bring with,” Brown said. “And it’s all for a great cause.”
The camp was one event in a Packers-themed weekend at the campground, with all donations and proceeds benefitting the GBF.
“It’s a great job and we have fun doing it,” Brown said. “It’s all about having fun and giving back and that’s what my foundation does.”
For an hour-and-a-half, Brown, Koonce and Evans worked with their young campers, showing them proper ways to stretch and practice with football drills while also teaching them about life.
“We try to sneak in a little discipline in there because football is serious, but we just try to make it fun, as well,” Brown said. “Not just a crazy yell session.”
They also signed autographs and participated in a game of Deal Or No Deal.
O’Neil Creek Campground owners Geri and Joe Walter were linked to Brown and his foundation through the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO). They were also drawn to the man, affectionately known to Packers fans as “The Gravedigger,” because of the work he does with children, giving the Walters the chance to combine two big parts of Wisconsin — the outdoors and the Green Bay Packers.
“I think it’s a great movement,” Geri Walter said of Brown’s work.
Brown zig-zags across the state throughout the summer, getting the chance to raise money for his foundation and meet many of his fans up close.
“You can go anywhere and there’s a Packer fan,” Brown said. “Any state, any place. But it’s great in Wisconsin because where but Green Bay could you be in line buying bread next to Aaron Rodgers? That’ll never happen in New York, that’ll never happen in Cleveland or any places like that and that’s what a special part about it is — that we are so connected with our fans. It’s just a great, great opportunity.”
All three former Packers greats were key members of a stellar defense in the 1990s that helped the Packers earn a Super Bowl victory.
Brown played for the Packers for 10 years in the 1990s and early 2000s. Koonce played for the Packers from 1992-1999 and registered over 650 tackles in his career. Evans played for four teams including the Packers from 1993-1997 and had 28 career interceptions.
The appearance by the former Packers trio is one of many events the family-owned-and-operated campground hosts throughout the year.
“We’ve done a lot of new activities to really raise a community sense and family-oriented mission,” Geri Walter said.