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Packers from Super Bowl 31 gather for "Others Luncheon" to benefit Salvation Army

The first ever "Others Luncheon" will be October 23rd at the Wisconsin Club to benefit Salvation Army.

It will feature a panel discussion with three former Green Bay Packers who played on the team that won Super Bowl XXXI.

Green Bay Packers Hall of Famers Gilbert Brown and Leroy Butler, and George Koonce, will highlight how each had the assistance of other people in their lives that allowed them to become not only professional athletes, but also successful business people and community supporters.

Brown, nicknamed “The Gravedigger,” played with the Packers as a nose tackle from 1993 to 1999, and from 2001 to 2003. He was a major contributor on strong defenses during the mid-1990s, and he was inducted into the Packers’ Hall of Fame in 2008.

Brown grew up in Detroit, Michigan and was educated at the University of Kansas in 1989-1993. Today, he focuses on The Gilbert Brown Foundation, which was inspired by his mother, Ann Brown. The Foundation supports more than 100 charities that help children, along with a variety of partners, including the Raw Hide Boys Ranch, Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, and summer football camps throughout Wisconsin.

Brown also has developed an anti-bullying program that is delivered at schools.

Butler, who played his entire career as a member of the Packers, spent his childhood in Jacksonville, Florida, challenged by physical problems that forced him to wear leg braces and use a wheelchair at times while undergoing therapy.

An outstanding player for Robert E. Lee High School, he attended Florida State University, where he was a three-year starter, collecting 194 tackles and nine interceptions. The Packers selected Butler in the second round of the 1990 NFL draft. He played in 181 games, was named an All-Pro five times, and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times.

He was named to the 1990s NFL All Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and was later inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 2007. During his 12 seasons with the Packers, he recorded 953 tackles, 38 interceptions, 553 return yards, 12 fumble recoveries, 3 defensive touchdowns, and 20 1⁄2 sacks.

He led or tied for the team lead in interceptions in five different seasons. He was the first defensive back in NFL history to gain entrance in the 20 Sack/20 Interception Club. In 1993, Butler scored a touchdown at Lambeau Field and leaped into the arms of fans in the first row of the end zone seats - a tradition for players that continues today.

Koonce played professional football for a decade, and he was with the Packers from 1992-99. Since his playing career ended, he served as Director of Player Development for the Packers, Senior Associate Athletic Director and Director of Development at Marquette University, and Athletic Director at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Koonce received his PhD. from Marquette with his doctoral dissertation focusing on “Role Transition of National Football League Players: Using the Grounded Theory.” His guest column on the same topic on the NFL blog received national notice and raised awareness for the problems faced by retired NFL players.

He is a member of the NFL Player Engagement Advisory Board and has recently co-authored a book titled, “Is There Life After Football.” Currently, Dr. Koonce serves as the Senior Vice President of University Relations at Marian University where he provides leadership and strategic direction. He is also responsible for growing awareness and increasing philanthropic support for Marian University through community and alumni engagement.

For the Salvation Army, the others theme resonates from the organization’s Founder, General William Booth. On Christmas Eve 1910, Booth was looking to send a message to communicate to the organization’s supporters. With funds limited and telegraphs charging by the word, Booth decided to send a one-word message.

Searching his mind and reviewing his years of ministry, he sought the one word that summarized his life and the mission of the Army. The message he sent to all the Officers around the world was "OTHERS."

The 2017 special honoree will be Bader Philanthropies, Inc., with the organization to be recognized for the assistance it offers to people and communities in Milwaukee, across Wisconsin, and in places throughout the world. Bader Philanthropies supports projects, facilities, and institutions that represent Helen Bader’s lifelong passion for lifting others up through knowledge, creativity, and compassion.

Chief Mark Rohlfing of the City of Milwaukee Fire Department is one of the chairpersons of the event.

Lunch will be served at noon, and the panel discussion will begin at 12:45 p.m.

Tickets for the luncheon are $90, while a table of eight, which includes pre-event and on-site recognition, is available for $900. Proceeds to benefit Salvation Army's Children's Programs. Call the Salvation Army at 414-302-4300 x2248 .

 



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