When asked to write my favorite memory of vacationing in Wisconsin I wasn’t sure where to start. Enjoying a successful career with the Green Bay Packers lends itself to a myriad of great memories with my family and friends. My partnership with the Wisconsin Association of Campground Owners (WACO) has also allowed me to bring my passion for football to fans of all ages in every corner of Wisconsin in an effort to raise funds for the Gilbert Brown Foundation (GBF). Getting together with old friends like Santana Dotson, Dorsey Levens, Mark Tauscher, Lynn Dickey, Jerry Kramer, George Koonce, Bill Schroeder and Chris Jacke, while raising money and having fun with the fans, is very special for me. But in all honesty, I feel like my favorite memories are in the making. When I found out in December, that I would be inducted in the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame, I was overwhelmed with a mixture of anticipation, excitement, and a great sense of accomplishment. I also knew I would show Wisconsin that the fans are an integral part of my success by hitting the road.
Leading up to induction, my “Hall of Fame Tour” will be my most valued time in Wisconsin. We start things off in Ettrick, WI at The Graveyard Bar on July 15, by watching Super Bowl XXXI with my good friend Marco Rivera. Marco and I will be offering up what I’m sure will be colorful commentary and talking fans through each key play.
July 16 will be a tour in and of itself as we roll from Neshonoc Lakeside Camp-Resort and West View Inn in West Salem to Great River Harbor in Alma and end things right at The Golden Frog in Fountain City. And if that doesn’t interest you, I’m also offering up a chair massage to the best GBF fundraiser…so let’s go ladies!
Each fall we do a boat ride on Fun in The Sun houseboats. This fall color tour is so amazing all the players want to go on it! You have a chance to meet cancer survivors and their families. It’s an emotional ride with scenery that is unbeatable and a spirit of survival that stays locked in your memory bank forever! Attendees always enjoy “Gilbert’s Games” and we usually have some good laughs at my expense. Marco Rivera and I will be toasting with lucky fans and there are chances to win a commemorative print celebrating our Hall of Fame induction.
Sparking an interest in football for the younger generation and showing kids what being a team player can do for their lives, is why I do what I do with the Gilbert Brown Foundation. July 17 is all about the kids. I would like to thank all the parents who get their kids outdoors and get them to our football camps. It gives me an opportunity to deliver messages that I think are important for today’s youth.
It’s Pink Packer Day at the Historic Opera House in Independence with a football camp, vendor sales, and “Gilbert’s Games.” We end the day at JR’s Sport Bar in Arcadia with Helmet Races…I’m sure that will make the list of “Much Loved Wisconsin Memories.”
As we get into Green Bay on July 22, I’m sure the goosebumps will be popping up on my arms. The Hall of Fame Pre-Parties at Best Western and at Champions Sports Bar are sure to be a good time and will lead up to my favorite memory of Wisconsin.
I want to thank all of my teammates and coaches whose efforts and support aided me in all of my success. Finally, I’d like to give thanks to God, the Packers, GBF and WACO for showing me a little more of what Wisconsin has to offer weekend after weekend. If you’d like to learn more about how you can help the Gilbert Brown Foundation or if you’d like to join the fun on my Hall of Fame Tour this month, visit their website at www.gilbertbrownfoundation.org.
William Henderson is a former fullback for the Green Bay Packers. He played his entire career in a Packer uniform, earning a reputation as a durable and effective player. Named to the Pro Bowl in 2004, he has blocked for six of the top nine individual rushing efforts in team history. Henderson was selected as Green Bay’s ‘Unsung Hero’ in 2001 for his efforts on the field and in the community. On July 23, 2011, Henderson will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.