Homelessness is a growing problem in the Green Bay area. Chances are someone you know is just a paycheck or two away from being out on the streets. Packers wide receiver James Jones has been there and is now using his celebrity status to change lives.
"My childhood growing up in the homeless shelter was lonely at times," said Jones.
Long before he won a Super Bowl, Packers player James Jones lived in a homeless shelter in California.
"It was difficult. It was hard. If you're not mentally tough, you can easily go the wrong direction," he said.
"He feels like God put him in that situation and made him deal with being homeless, because he knew that he could handle it," added Jones' wife, Tamika.
Now, James and Tamika are making difference in Brown County.
"Freedom House became near and dear to our hearts because when James went there, he noticed how they focused on keeping the families together. Some homeless shelters just focus on the parents, and the kids get lost in the shuffle," explained Tamika.
"To see him interacting with the parents and interacting with the children is just very powerful, and then they think to themselves, 'You know what? Maybe there's hope for me,'" said Freedom House President Robyn Davis.
64 families are currently on Freedom House's waiting list. 129 of those people are children.
"The loss of income whether it's from the loss of employment or divorce or abandonment of the bread winner, those things are still happening in our community," explained Davis.
"I truly believe a lot of people don't truly understand how serious homelessness is here in Green Bay and back home in California. It's just getting worse," said Jones.
That's why James is sharing his painful story at "Toast 2 Success." The 4th annual event will raise funds for Freedom House to continue offering food, shelter, training and support.
"When someone like James Jones is involved, it really helps people to see that homelessness is different than what they expected. It's not the stereotype," said Davis.
Davis appreciates the Packer player's courage to speak out and his compassion to help the shelter serve more families.
"The biggest thing with events like this, you want to raise money. You want to raise awareness to be able to help those homeless families," James said.
"I just ask that people come out, support and lets really help end homelessness together," added Tamika.
Part of the proceeds from Toast 2 Success will also benefit the "Love Jones for Kids" foundation which offers programs to help disadvantaged children. The event is coming up on Friday, May 17th at the Green Bay Distillery in Ashwaubenon.
May 8, 2013
Milwaukee's MVP right fielder Ryan Braun and other Brewer teammates joined Habitat for Humanity Tuesday for 'Blitz Build' week, a new initiative the Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity recently launched. 100 volunteers showed up Tuesday to build homes while making a positive impact in the community.
"I am grateful that I can make a difference in the Milwaukee community by helping Habitat reach more families this year, giving them the opportunity to build not just houses, but also a better future for themselves," said Braun.
The Brewers Community Foundation was the presenting sponsor of the event for the second year in a row lending support through a $50,000 donation and volunteer efforts.
April 26, 2013
Green Bay Packers all-time leading receiver and Dancing with the Stars champion Donald Driver will attend the 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, to be held Saturday, April 27, as a guest of CBN News. Accompanying Donald at the event will be his wife, Betina.
“It’s an honor to attend this amazing event,” Driver said. “I hope now that I’m retired, President Obama will forgive me for beating the Bears so many times.”
Additional Guests of CBN News at this year’s dinner will include:
-Willie and Korie Robertson of the hit television program, “Duck Dynasty”
-Patrick and Gina Neely, hosts of Food Network’s “Down Home with the Neelys”
Previous CBN guests have included Governor Bob McDonnell, Chinese Ambassador to the US Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, “American Idol” finalists’ Colton Dixon, Mandisa and Chris Sligh, television personality Sherri Shepherd and Olympic Gold Medal speed skater Chad Hedrick.
Proceeds from the annual event go toward scholarships and awards that recognize aspiring and accomplished journalists. Portions of the event will be broadcast on MSNBC and C-SPAN.
April 25, 2013
Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Inside the Huddle Draft Special hosted by Green Bay Super Star Jordy Nelson (2nd Round, 2008) and Drew Smith (Free Agent 1999). Jordy talks all about his NFL Draft experience plus never-seen-before Exclusive Interviews with 7th Round Sensation Donald Driver, 1st Rounders Bryan Bulaga and Nick Perry, 3rd Round Steal James Jones and John Kuhn tells us how to go from Undrafted Free Agent to Super Bowl Champion.
Check out our statewide broadcasting schedule to see when the Inside the Huddle Draft Special airs on a TV near you:
Green Bay – WLUK – 9:30pm, Saturday
Milwaukee – WISN – 10:30pm, Saturday
Madison – WKOW – 11:35pm, Saturday
Green Bay – WLUK – 6:30am, Sunday
La Crosse – WLAX – 11:00am, Sunday
Eau Claire – WEUX – 11:00am, Sunday
Wausau – WJFW – Noon, Sunday
Wausau – WJFW – 11:30pm, Sunday
April 24, 2013
Brewers reliever John Axford joins Kramp & Adler every Wednesday morning at 7:30am talking Brewers, Music and much more.
Click here to access the WLUM vault and listen to John's weekly interview with Kramp & Adler.
April 16, 2013
Green Bay Packers' all-time leading wide receiver, Super Bowl Champion and "Dancing with the Stars" winner Donald Driver received the 2013 AMVETS National Ladies Humanitarian Award earlier in the month at the AMVETS Silver Helmet Awards Banquet in Washington D.C.
"I am truly honored to stand here today and to be honored for what I have done to give back to the community," Driver stated during his acceptance speech.
Driver was recognized for his work with the Donald Driver Foundation through which he has helped homeless families get on their feet and underprivileged children succeed in the classroom. In addition to the work he does with his own foundation, Driver currently sponsors several hundred children through Blessings in a Backpack, an organization that helps ensure impoverished elementary school children are fed on the weekends by sending them
home with a backpack full of food every Friday throughout the school year.
April 3, 2013
2011 NL MVP and Milwaukee Brewers All-Star outfielder Ryan Braun sat down with WISN's Dan Needles yesterday for his first One on One interview of the 2013 season. Braun spoke with Needles about the upcoming MLB season, his experiences with Team USA during the World Baseball Classic and on the addition of starting pitcher Kyle Lohse.
Braun will continue to provide an inside look at the Brewers season with his exclusive news feature "One on One with Ryan Braun" for the fourth consecutive season. Ryan teams up with top newscasts across Wisconsin to talk Brewers baseball all season long across Lammi Sports Management's statewide news network.
April 3, 2013
James Jones and his wife Tamika are excited to announce that tickets to the 4th Annual Toast to Success are on sale now through the Love Jones 4 Kids official website.
This year's event will take place on May 17th at the Green Bay Distillery from 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Love Jones 4 Kids Foundation which aims to help children in need and Freedom House Ministries who's goal is to help families in need by providing short-term needs of homeless families.
Purchase your tickets today to help support a great event for an even greater cause!
March 26, 2013
Green Bay's Super Bowl Champion tight end and exclusive Lammi Sports client Jermichael Finley will return to Green Bay in 2013. "Ecstatic to be back with the Packers, best place on earth. Thank you to my agents and family, I appreciate all that you do," Finley tweeted Monday afternoon.
Finley set a Packers franchise record for receptions by a tight end with 61 in 2012 along with 676 yards. The 6th year tight end out of Texas will look for a breakout season in 2013 while contributing to a fierce foursome which includes wide receivers James Jones, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb.
March 25, 2013
March 20, 2013
Green Bay's all-time leading receiver, Super Bowl Champion and "Dancing with the Stars" winner Donald Driver is scheduled to appear on two ESPN shows on Thursday.
Driver will be in Bristol, Conn., to be a guest on "SportsCenter" at 10 a.m. and on "NFL Live" at 3 p.m. Joining him on "NFL Live" will be host Trey Wingo, along with analysts Jerry Rice and Herm Edwards.
March 19, 2013
NFL.com's Alex Gelhar recently ranked all of the NFL Dancing with Stars contestants.
Last night, Baltimore Ravens star and Super Bowl XLVII hero Jacoby Jones became the eleventh NFL player to appear on the show. He danced the Cha Cha Cha with his partner Karina Smirnoff and earned a respectable score 20 out of 30 from the judges.
NFL players have thrice taken the DWTS crown and Alex Gelhar considers Donald Driver to be the best DWTS contestant from the NFL. "Driver improved as the season went along, and rocked in the final round," Gelhar said. "It doesn't hurt that he's ultra-likeable, in phenomenal shape, and has a smile that makes dentists' hearts flutter.
You can view Gelhar's Top 10 NFL DWTS Contestants Here.
February 19, 2013
February 18, 2013
Lammi Sports Management Founder and CEO, Brian Lammi, was recently featured in the Business Journal's feature on the 40 under 40 Class of 2002.
Lammi was asked what his most meaningful accomplishment has been, the biggest lesson he has learned in his business career, what the most pressing issue facing Milwaukee area is and he offered advice for today's Milwaukee-area young professionals.
Take a look at the Business Journal's Class of 2002 40 under 40: Where are they now feature here.
February 12, 2013
February 11, 2013
James Jones was just entering his teen years when he received another harsh reminder about how difficult life can be.
This time, he and his mother were being evicted from their San Jose apartment because his mother couldn't afford the rent.
Jones headed to a homeless shelter, not for the first time, either; bringing with him only a basketball and a backpack. Today, wide receiver Jones is a rising star for the Green Bay Packers and no longer worried about where his next meal is coming from.
"San Jose proud," Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of Jones, a graduate of Gunderson High School and San Jose State. "James has done a great job. It's just a real credit to him. He has a great work ethic. He has always put in his time and has always been ready for the opportunities. And now he has been given the last year the opportunity and he is taking full advantage of it.
Indeed. Jones caught 64 passes for 784 yards and a league-high 14 touchdowns this season. All three totals represented career-highs.
On Saturday night, Jones returns to the Bay Area as a key member of the Packers' high-octane passing attack for an NFC divisional playoff game against the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has no shortage of options each time he drops back to pass, be it Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, Jermichael Finley, Greg Jennings or Jones, among others.
In fact, Rodgers set an NFL-playoff record against the Minnesota Vikings last Saturday by completing passes to 10 receivers. Jones, 6-foot-1 and 208 pounds, caught four for 51 yards in the Packers 24-10 victory.
Seven times this season, Jones has caught at least five passes in a game. He played particularly well the latter part of the season.
So, why the breakout season? Rodgers has a theory.
"After he and his wife had their first child, I've just noticed a guy who's been more focused at work and a little more dialed in," Rodgers said in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Read the entire Mercury News article on James Jones here.
February 7, 2013
Donald Driver announced his retirement in front of thousands of fans yesterday, at a historic and unprecedented public retirement at Lambeau Field.
Donald Driver, the Green Bay Packers’ all-time leading receiver in receptions and yards and a member of the Super Bowl XLV championship team, will formally announce his retirement on Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 11 a.m., at a public event in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
“I played my entire career in Green Bay and have always enjoyed a special bond with the fans,” said Driver. “I can think of no better way to retire than to celebrate with them and the Packers organization.”
In addition to Driver, Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, General Manager Ted Thompson and Head Coach Mike McCarthy will be in attendance. All three will speak about Driver, his career and his legacy.
Another member of the Packers family who isn’t able to be in attendance, five-time NFL champion and Hall of Famer Bart Starr, offered his praise of Driver: “It’s been a great pleasure getting to know Donald over these years. His contribution to the history of the Green Bay Packers has been extraordinary. I am honored to congratulate him on all of his achievements on and off the field.”
Fans are invited to the announcement. A limited number of tickets, free of charge, will be available on a first-come, first-served basis in person at the Packers’ ticket office, beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 1. Distribution will be limited to four tickets per person.
January 23, 2013
Packer Nation united in support of Green Bay's All-Time leading receiver Donald Driver earlier in the post season. Activate Donald Driver was launched on Facebook with a mission to get the fan favorite on the field. As you can see, the response from Packers fans was huge:
January 21, 2013
Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley is helping Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin replenish its stock this month through the first ever Defeat Hunger Bowl.
The month long food drive at Walmart locations will feature donation barrels throughout the month. The organization requests nonperishable items, especially peanut butter, tuna and pasta. More than 330,000 people rely on food from Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin annually, and the need for food has increased 33 percent over the last two years.
Spokesman Jermichael Finley made appearances at Milwaukee and Green Bay Walmart stores last week to promote the food drive. "Grab a bag. Fill something with it, and then just throw it in. And you are doing it for a great cause, and it's kind of helping you out too, you know what I mean. It's a heartwarming feeling, said Finley.
Visit your local Walmart to donate and support Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. The food drive runs through February 10th.
January 8, 2013
Milwaukee's MVP left fielder Ryan Braun is looking to add yet another achievement to his magnificent career: making the cover of MLB13 The Show.
Vote early and often and send your 5-time All Star to the cover of MLB13 The Show!
January 3, 2013
From January 1st through February 10th, Wisconsinites will have the opportunity to participate in a much different type of “bowl game.” In an effort to bring attention to the issue of hunger in Wisconsin, Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finley and his wife Courtney are teaming up with Walmart and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin to launch the first annual Defeat Hunger Bowl.
Non-perishable food items will be accepted at donation bins placed inside over 50 Walmart locations throughout eastern and central Wisconsin, with all donations benefitting Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
Additional corporate partners involved in presenting the Defeat Hunger Bowl include Kraft, ConAgra, Coca Cola and Campbell’s Chunky Soup. $5 food donation bags with products from each manufacturer will be available for purchase at all participating locations.
“Hunger is a growing problem in Wisconsin that affects everyone from little kids to the elderly,” said Jermichael Finley. “We tend to focus on the issue more around the holidays, but hunger is a year-round problem. As my teammates and I gear up to make a run at a big bowl game of our own, I hope everyone in Wisconsin does what they can to take down hunger in the Defeat Hunger Bowl!”
Finley will be doing his part to promote the drive by making appearances at Walmart locations in Green Bay and Milwaukee Tuesday, January 8th. In Milwaukee, Finley will appear at Walmart’s Timmerman Plaza location. In Green Bay, Finley will appear at the Walmart Supercenter on West Mason Street.
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is the state’s largest food bank, distributing more than 18 million pounds of food each year to 1,000 programs in 36 counties.