Germantown — Germantown Kiwanis is hoping to bring community together by honoring a figurehead who has made a positive impact on the lives of countless students who passed through the Germantown School District.
Kiwanis is inviting the community to its annual Tailgate Party on Sept. 8 at Aldo's Pizza & Pub, N11058 Pilgrim Road, to celebrate and pay tribute to Hall of Fame Germantown football coach Phil Datka.
The tailgate party features a 50/50 raffle and an auction that includes a team-signed Packers football and Packers tickets.
From noon to 3 p.m. there will be a tribute to the high school's two WIAA State Division 2 championship teams. A 60-inch TV will be set up in a tent that will show the Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers game starting at 3 p.m. The community is encouraged to attend the tailgate party.
Fun event for all
Larry Kolb with Germantown Kiwanis said the organization's goal is to bring the community together.
"Germantown doesn't have a lot of organized events like this," he said. "This is one of the places where Kiwanis really shines."
The main focus of the tailgate is honoring Datka for his achievements and contributions to the Germantown community. Datka was head coach in 1998 and 2003 when the Warhawks won both state titles. He was inaugurated into the Wisconsin Football Association Hall of Fame in March 1998. Datka retired after the 2010 season and served as assistant coach at Brookfield Central in 2011 and 2012. This year he returned to Germantown to serve as quarterbacks coach for current Warhawks coach Jake Davis.
Datka was more than just a coach to many who went through the Germantown school system. For Don Kurth, 1986 Germantown graduate, Datka had a major influence on his adult life. Kurth was a member of the Germantown football team. After college, Kurth went on to coach and serve as athletic director at Franklin High School. He coached football for 10 years.
"A lot of the things (Datka) taught me, I implemented in my dealings with the kids," Kurth said. "He's an influential guy and a great guy and he had a positive impact on me."
If you ask Kurth, Datka deserves every honor that can be bestowed on him.
"I was be no means a starter and he was fair and made everyone feel as if they counted," Kurth said.
Works behind the scenes
Kolb said Datka helped his son obtain a grant to cover his son's first semester in college.
"He's done this for countless people and one of the reasons he's beloved by people who play for him," Kolb said. "There are so many in the community who have been helped by coach Datka."
During the tailgate, there will also be a tribute to players from both championship teams. Members from both teams have been invited. The Germantown High School band will perform throughout the afternoon.
The Kiwanis Community Tailgate Party is a fundraiser for the organization and will go toward supporting Kiwanis-sponsored events such as the Fourth of July fireworks.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Kiwanis Community Tailgate Party
WHEN: noon Sept. 8
WHERE: Aldo's Pizza & Pub, N11058 Pilgrim Road
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