GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) Many fans in Northeast Wisconsin may be disappointed Jordy Nelson won't be suiting up for the green and gold next year, but there is sadness from many organizations and non-profits that witnessed the impact he made off the field.
"Jordy and Emily, yes we'll miss them on the field, but I think we're going to miss them in our community more because of all they've done," says Green Bay Community Church Pastor Troy Murphy.
"They don't come any better than Jordy Nelson. He's just a special person," says Packers President Mark Murphy. "He and his wife, Emily have made a big difference in the community as well."
That involves everything from churches to schools to non-profit organizations.
"I just messaged them to say, we love you and we're praying for you guys, and they said we'll help you take care of Young Life, and I was like you don't even have to think of us! We want to think of you!" says Heather Faulkner, area director for Young Life Green Bay. "That just shows how giving and caring they are."
And that might be why there's such sadness to see Jordy Nelson leave a community his family has embraced for a decade.
"He was a substitute teacher at our kids' school. He's willing to be just the hands and feet of Christ really, so it's been amazing to watch that and that impacts our students to see that somebody who does have a lot of fame and fortune would care about them," says Faulkner.
"Honestly I think their greatest impact is they are friends with a lot of what I'd call 'us regular people' in real life," says Pastor Murphy.
As their pastor, Murphy has witnessed not just Jordy, but his entire family, grow more involved and invested in Northeast Wisconsin.
"(She's) Jordy's secret weapon. Nobody knows it. Emily is so strong for them as a family and a unit," he says. "They both, since they've been here, have dove in not simply with a checkbook, but with time, and they were really relationally connected with almost everything they've done."
As a team, Jordy and Emily Nelson have given financially and raised tens of thousands of dollars through their annual charity softball game, but they might be even more known for their impact on youth. They're not only positive role models for many fans and kids, they're also mentors for a high school student through the faith-based organization Young Life Green Bay.
"They would go to his football games as a family or have him over for family dinner or do bible study or pray together or whatever it may be," says Faulkner. "Pouring three and a half years into a student can make a huge difference, and it has."
As for what's next for the Jordy Nelson Charity Softball game, Lammi Sports Management released this statement to Action 2 News:
"The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Lammi Sports are working through a process on the softball game, and we plan to have updated announcements soon. The charity softball game will definitely take place on June 2! Tickets have been on sale and we are confident that fans will have a wonderful experience watching top players raise money for charity again this year."