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Former Packers visit Marshfield Children's Hospital
MARSHFIELD - Packers and bears don't usually belong together, but several former Green Bay Packers were happy to show up with teddy bears for the kids.

"Just seeing those young faces, it brightens your day," former linebacker Nick Barnett said. "And you know, they're so optimistic."

Six Green Bay Packers came to Marshfield Children's Hospital to sign autographs, hand out mementos and interact with sick children in the hospital.

"It fills my soul and my heart to be able to come to a place like this and at least make, if not the kids, their parents' day for just that little time," former offensive lineman Earl Dotson said.

This visit is part of the Packers' annual statewide Tailgate Tour, which allows fans across Wisconsin to get a glimpse of the Green and Gold.

Even though all six Packers are retired, people still think highly of them.

"They take you in as family," Dotson said of Packers fans. "You know, I could go the grocery store and everybody knows me. It's not a big deal. They just treat you like everybody else and that's what I really like about it."

Some, like former defensive end Aaron Kampman, have kids of their own and new perspective on what it means to bond with a child.

"It's a pretty special deal," Kampman said. "There's a bond that develops that's like none other. It's pretty rewarding to be able to come and just share that with them."

The kids in the clinic inspired every Packers player in attendance, whether they were fathers or not.

"For us, you know, to think that we have that much impact on their lives just to come and say hi to make them smile, it's pretty awesome," Barnett said.

The Packers Tailgate Tour will be in Antigo on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. to benefit Habitat for Humanity.

Story By: Andrew Goldstein

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