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Program to mark Lombardi visit

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Gazette staff
July 7, 2011
— A two-hour commemorative program to honor the late Vince Lombardi’s visit to Janesville is set for Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Janesville Performing Arts Center.

The National Football League and Green Bay Packers legendary former coach and general manager was a guest of the Town Hall Series on Feb. 26, 1969, at the Marshall Junior High School auditorium—now the JPAC site.


Bob Rhodes, former Janesville Gazette managing editor, coaxed his friend into making the Janesville appearance.


Lombardi’s Town Hall speech was his last public appearance in Wisconsin. Lombardi left Janesville for Washington, D.C., as coach and general manager of the Redskins.


A citizens’ committee designed a bronze plaque that summarizes Lombardi’s achievements. Lombardi’s daughter, Susan Lombardi, will unveil the plaque in the JPAC lobby.


The committee also directed last October’s appearance here by legendary Packer quarterback Bart Starr, during which a plaque was dedicated to commemorate his first professional touchdown pass at Monterey Stadium.


Lombardi impersonator John Pinero, who has given glimpses of Lombardi as a coach and his philosophy for the past 14 years, highlights from the acclaimed HBO documentary “Lombardi,” and John O’Neill—Saint Vince—are also on the Sept. 28 program. Al Fagerli, sports director of radio station WCLO, will be the master of ceremonies.


Tickets are available at www.janesvillepac.org/tickets or by calling JPAC at 758-0297. CD copies of Lombardi’s speech will be sold at JPAC and other Janesville locations.

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