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Green Bay Community thanks Harlan at tribute

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by PWT36, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. PWT36

    PWT36 Cheesehead

    Apr 15, 2005
    Community thanks Harlan at tribute
    Former Packers CEO credited for recent success

    By Tony Walter • twalter@greenbaypressgazette.com • June 13, 2008

    Bob Harlan said Thursday that he'll have to disappear pretty soon, that the series of farewell events is reaching the point where "it has gone far enough."

    But a community tribute at the Lambeau Field Atrium that doubled as a fundraiser for the Brown County United Way, gave Harlan's admirers one more chance to salute the man credited with launching one of the most successful eras in the history of the Green Bay Packers.

    His 37 years with the Packers, 19 of them as chairman of the board and president, became secondary to the series of comments — live and on video — that described a man whose values and class helped define the image of a football franchise for more than a generation.

    "The entire NFL is grateful," said league Commissioner Roger Goodell in one of several videos shown to the 330 people who turned out to honor Harlan, who retired earlier this year.

    Gov. Jim Doyle attended the event and proclaimed Thursday Bob Harlan Day in Wisconsin. Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt gave Harlan a key to the city.

    There were video tributes from Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, former Packers General Manager Ron Wolf, former Packers coach Mike Holmgren and former Packers quarterback and coach Bart Starr.

    And there was a one-minute video of recently retired quarterback Brett Favre.

    Harlan said he felt bashful from all the attention but accepted United Way's invitation "because it's a wonderful cause." But Harlan plans to spend Father's Day weekend in Door County with his family.

    Thursday's event, at which 33 of the 37 tables were purchased for the corporate rate of $1,000 each, included a raffle that featured such things as Harlan's recently published book, a football autographed by coach Mike McCarthy, jerseys autographed by Donald Driver, Aaron Kampman and Aaron Rodgers, and several gift certificates.

    Asked to choose his most pleasant memories in his 37-year career with the Packers, Harlan mentioned his 1991 decision to hire Wolf — a move that led to the arrival of Holmgren and Farve to Green Bay — and the renovation of Lambeau Field for $295 million. Harlan said contractors told him that if the renovation were done today, it would cost close to $750 million.

    For that, and for everything else, they came to the House that Harlan Built to say thanks.

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