As if Donald Driver could get any more popular around here, the beloved former Packers wide receiver, as part of his "Thank You Fans" tour, will help make cream puffs at Wisconsin State Fair on Aug. 11.
The tour, believed to be the first of its kind for a professional athlete to travel around and formally recognize his supporters, will help benefit the Donald Driver Foundation and also give fans an opportunity to interact with the charismatic and ever-active retired player, who still looks as fit as he was in his playing days.
"I am excited to make some cream puffs at the Wisconsin State Fair, and maybe eat a few too," Donald Driver said in a statement. "A great Wisconsin tradition, plus I get to share a treat with some awesome fans."
Kathleen O’Leary, Wisconsin State Fair Park CEO, said cream puffs and Donald Driver, both cherished and smile-inducing, are a natural local pairing.
"As iconic as Original Cream Puffs are to the Wisconsin State Fair, and Donald Driver is to the Green Bay Packers, we are excited to bring them together," O’Leary said.
Click here to watch a video of Driver talking about the upcoming tour stop.
Also on Wednesday, it was announced that Driver will attend the Miracle League of the Lakeshore’s All-Star Game in Manitowoc on the evening of Aug. 11. He will participate as a coach, and might even put on a glove and play too. The annual Donald Driver Softball Game in Appleton will be held on Aug. 13.
These stops, as well as others yet to be announced, are part of Driver’s much-anticipated Aug. 10-13 tour through Wisconsin. Driver, who was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame on July 22, retired from the NFL in 2012, following a 14-year career and as the franchise’s all-time leader in receiving yards.
"I have wanted to do this tour since I first announced my retirement from the Packers, and now is a perfect time to say thank you for all of the support," Driver said. "My wife Betina and I raised three beautiful children here, and we remain ingrained in our support for the state of Wisconsin, because of the incredible, lifelong friendships and relationships that have been built over 20 years."
Driver’s adversity-overcoming story from homeless kid in Houston to seventh-round draft pick in Green Bay to four-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl champion, "Dancing with the Stars" winner and New York Times bestselling author is well-documented and inspiring. Inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016, he has returned to the state many times for charity events and public appearances. He spoke to OnMilwaukee in February on a range of topics, including his extensive post-career work, love of Green Bay fans and Aaron Rodgers vs. Brett Favre.
On Aug. 11 at the State Fair, you won’t want to miss a chance to see Driver and perhaps even eat a cream puff prepared by the Packers legend.
Born in Milwaukee but a product of Shorewood High School (go ‘Hounds!) and Northwestern University (go ‘Cats!), Jimmy never knew the schoolboy bliss of cheering for a winning football, basketball or baseball team. So he ditched being a fan in order to cover sports professionally - occasionally objectively, always passionately. He's lived in Chicago, New York and Dallas, but now resides again in his beloved Brew City and is an ardent attacker of the notorious Milwaukee Inferiority Complex.
After interning at print publications like Birds and Blooms (official motto: "America's #1 backyard birding and gardening magazine!"), Sports Illustrated (unofficial motto: "Subscribe and save up to 90% off the cover price!") and The Dallas Morning News (a newspaper!), Jimmy worked for web outlets like CBSSports.com, where he was a Packers beat reporter, and FOX Sports Wisconsin, where he managed digital content. He's a proponent and frequent user of em dashes, parenthetical asides, descriptive appositives and, really, anything that makes his sentences longer and more needlessly complex.
Jimmy appreciates references to late '90s Brewers and Bucks players and is the curator of the unofficial John Jaha Hall of Fame. He also enjoys running, biking and soccer, but isn't too annoying about them. He writes about sports - both mainstream and unconventional - and non-sports, including history, music, food, art and even golf (just kidding!), and welcomes reader suggestions for off-the-beaten-path story ideas.