When An Event Doesn’t Go A Planned…And Turns Out Better Than You Could Have Imagined

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Earlier this year, Capture Marketing partnered with Player Alumni Resources (P.A.R. 13) for their second annual Packers Alumni Charity Fishing Tournament and VIP Event to raise money for Stars and Stripes Honor Flight. The two-day event started with a VIP Reception where guests heard stories from WWII Veterans, Korean War Veterans, and Green Bay Packers Alumni. The event continued the following morning with the fishing tournament where one Green Bay Packers Alumni joined each fishing team of five as they embarked from the Port Washington Marina on a four-hour charter. After the boats returned, fishermen and Green Bay Backers Alumni enjoyed lunch in the park.

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The morning of the fishing tournament, I was talking with Marv Fleming, one of the Green Bay Packers Alumni. Marv asked me if Joe Demler, a 90 year old WWII veteran who spoke the night prior was going to be at the fishing tournament. I said that unfortunately Joe was not going to be in attendance, but said I could check into seeing if he was available. Marv’s eyes immediately lit up and he asked “Could you? I wanted to get a picture with him last night and didn’t get a chance to. If he can’t come today, I’m in town for the next week and will drive across the state if I need to so that I can meet him.” I smiled and said I would check and have an answer for him when he returned from the fishing charter.


I reached out to my contact at Stars and Stripes Honor Flight to see if Joe was available, got a phone number for Joe and quickly called him. Joe answered the phone after a few short rings. He chuckled when I told him that Marv Fleming wanted to have his picture taken with him and said he would happily join us for lunch if someone was able to pick him up.

I talked with my coworker and juggled some tasks around to ensure that lunch was ready when the fishermen returned since I decided to pick Joe up.

Before leaving, I found Marv and told him the good news as soon as I saw the boats come in. To say he was excited was an understatement. He started clapping, jumping up and down, and grinned from ear to ear. “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”, he said.

I then left to pick up Joe, and when we returned to the Marina, Marv had a spot ready and saved for Joe. They talked through lunch, laughed, took many pictures, and exchanged contact information as the event wrapped up.


The following day, I received an email from my contact at Stars and Stripes who saw Joe after having lunch with Marv. She said that Joe was “over the moon” that a former Packer wanted to meet him at lunch. She noted that Joe was a very calm guy and to see him so fired up was amazing!

For me, that unplanned moment of Joe joining Marv for a simple picture, was the highlight of the entire event. Had I not engaged in conversation with Marv and attendees the morning of the fishing tournament, I would not have found out what the event was missing. I would not have found out about the opportunity to make an impactful difference in the lives of two guests. With everything I had on my event planner ‘To-Do’ list for the day, I could have easily said that I wouldn’t be able to pick up Joe and that we would need to try and organize a meeting a different day. But I didn’t. And I’m glad I didn’t. That moment renewed to me that events aren’t just about timelines and details. They are about being flexible. They are about being genuine. They are about listening to what attendees are saying and making changes in the moment to create an even more impactful event.


Capture Marketing is a public relations and events agency experienced in developing creative solutions on behalf of corporations, foundations, professional athletes and other celebrities. We believe that Doing Good is Good Business™ (DGIGB) and partner with our clients to advance their cause marketing initiatives.



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