Pro quarterback hands off to ARP

Football great leads off annual community banquet.

by Jodene Setera –

Captain Darren Stratton, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Captain Courtney Stratton at the Chico Corps Annual Community Banquet [Photo by Tiffany Ridenour]

The George Walker Adult Rehabilitation Center, in Chico, Calif., was teeming with activity the morning of Friday, March 12, 2010. Program beneficiaries and staff, advisory board members, Salvation Army officers and local media awaited the arrival of Aaron Rodgers, quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.

Rodgers was the man of the hour at the VIP reception preceding the Chico Corps Annual Community Banquet. Speaking to a full house—including 55 male and female beneficiaries of the six-month residential Adult Rehabilitation Program (ARP)—he focused on the importance of mentorship.

“Not only was it an honor to meet with professional quarterback Aaron Rodgers, but it was an equally great honor to meet with so many men and women responsible for the well-being of the ARP…I was humbled and grateful to be part of such a wonderful event,” Spencer Herron, current program member, said.

At the luncheon, Butte Creek Country Club reached its capacity with 300 seats—at $50 per plate—filled. Although Rodgers was well known, honor was fittingly given to the local Army corps and its influence in the Chico community. Major Douglas Riley, divisional commander, presented the “Others” award to Doris Arbuckle for her 40-plus years of service to the advisory board and her civic accomplishments. Captain Darren Stratton, corps officer, presented advisory board life members with a plaque recognizing their 15-plus years of service to the board.

While the event highlighted the accomplishments of many, it had a sobering edge, reminding all that the work of The Salvation Army is never done; it takes effort on everyone’s part to accomplish the mission.

Stratton shared his reactions: “I am humbled by the overwhelming support of the Chico community. To have those present understand and embrace the work of the Army is important…Aaron Rogers’ attendance…was welcomed and appreciated as he shared from his faith and life experience. This event served as a testament of the Army’s good work in Chico.”

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