Bikes, kids and football! American Family celebrates DreamDrive with the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field
The Green Bay Packers and American Family marked the opening day of training camp and DreamDrive July 25, with the long-standing tradition of players riding kids’ bikes to practice.
American Family Insurance is in its sixth year of sponsoring this community event as part of its partnership with Packers.
Kids lined an area leading from the locker room to the practice field with their bikes, some waiting all morning for the chance to be chosen to ride alongside a player.
Returning again to DreamDrive was American Family’s Dream Fleet, five custom bikes representing various aspects of Wisconsin’s culture. The fleet includes the Cheddar Chariot, Tailgate Trailblazer, Farm and Ranch Rider, Dream Driver and Cow Cruiser. The Dream Fleet bikes were ridden by Packers with passengers from the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Green Bay area, who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to participate.
Making Jemma’s dream come true
The Dream Fleet bikes were not the only special bikes being ridden on opening day. American Family provided an adaptive bike for Jemma Blechacz, a 5-year old girl from Fox Point, Wisconsin, born with spina bifida. Jemma has limited use of her legs and needed a custom bike to help her pedal.
Her parents, Phil and Bethany, said Jemma has dreamed for some time of riding a bike alongside her five brothers and sisters. She was adopted by Phil and Bethany as an infant from China, and with her family history unknown, there was a question if she would ever walk, much less ride a bike.
But that never stopped Jemma.
“Jemma knows her limitations and will push right past them,” said Phil. “She is fearless and has a fierceness that propels her through life.”
“We were told by her physical therapist that Jemma could benefit from a bike, and we are so grateful to American Family, Variety and Emery’s Cycle Shop for making that possible,” said Bethany.
Jemma was found through Variety, the Children Charity of Wisconsin, a nonprofit that helps connect children with disabilities to resources. Brent Emery of Emery’s Cycle Shop in Milwaukee custom-created the bike to fit Jemma’s needs.
“The only way that we can make these kind of dreams come true is by partnering with companies like American Family,” said Nancy Major, CEO of Variety. “They are dream-makers.”
Jemma, on her new bike, joined Green Bay Packers kicker Mason Crosby on DreamDrive. Mason rode an adaptive bike he pedaled with his hands. Jemma was thrilled with the experience at DreamDrive, and excited that, going forward, she can join her family on bike rides.
Proud Packer partners
American Family Insurance has been a proud partner of the Packers since 2005 and is designated the official insurance company of the Green Bay Packers. The American Family Insurance Gate on Lambeau Stadium’s east side allows fans easy access to the Atrium, 1919 Kitchen & Tap, the Packers Pro Shop and the Packers Hall of Fame.