Harry Sydney, Chris Jacke, Cathy Dworak honored at inaugural PFRPA Champion Luncheon

Jun 13, 2024


GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The first-ever Pro Football Retired Players Association Champion Luncheon came to Green Bay on Wednesday, which was highlighted by several local community members being honored for their work.

PFRPA is designed to develop programs and benefits for the betterment of retired NFL players. It created the Champion Awards to recognize those who have made a contribution to retired players.

Former Packers running back Harry Sydney was honored for founding and continuing his work with his nonprofit, My Brother’s Keeper, 21 years ago to mentor young men, especially recent fathers.

“Every decision we make, there’s collateral damage. And if you’re a father with kids, you don’t want them paying the price for a mistake that you make,” Sydney said. “I want them to realize that they’re part of the big picture, and the big picture starts with them.”

Former Green Bay Packers kicker Chris Jacke received the award for his work with Player Alumni Resources to keep the camaraderie of fans and retired players alive.

“Just a way to keep the fans connected with alumni that I played with or even some of the guys I didn’t play with,” Jacke said.

Green Bay Packers director of community outreach and player alumni relations Cathy Dworak was celebrated for her efforts in keeping active and retired players involved with fans and the community.

“It’s just nice to be able to give back to them now that they have left the game and to be able to give them opportunities to help them better their lives as well,” Dworak said.

Darrell Thompson, Former Green Bay Packers running back and PFRPA chair, explained that the event is not only designed to celebrate those doing good for retired veterans but also to help the organization and the organizations that the honorees work with gain more support.

“We’re excited about growing the opportunity, growing the organization, recognizing these folks, and hopefully growing their organizations as well,” Thompson said. “So we’re trying to have a win-win-win situation for everyone.”

Former Chicago Bears linebacker Mike Singletary says that mental health and financial literacy are two of the most crucial issues players faced when he started playing and continue to face today.

“Primarily mental health. When you get out of the game, there are a lot of things players face that people don’t necessarily think about,” he said, especially losing the locker room as an outlet for support. “[And financial literacy], you know, a lot of guys start coming into the league and really think they’re making a couple thousand dollars, thinking that’s a lot of money, without realizing that doesn’t go very far.”

Dave Robinson, a former Green Bay Packers linebacker, says that while players’ struggles certainly continue to exist, financial literacy issues and salary have improved slightly.

“Nothing for the retired players, nothing like today,” Robinson said. “The retired players couldn’t take care of themselves, really, because we didn’t have the resources or anything else. [Green Bay] was a town of 60,000 and had 40 ball players and half of them needed jobs in the offseason.”

PFRPA leadership says that it plans to continue the event in the future, traveling around to different cities.

“Every time you learn something new about what the players are going through, and what some of the players have been through. So it’s a nice thing to be a part of and hopefully make a difference.”

Read the original article on Local 5 News (CBS).


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