Patriots linebacker greets local fans

Fin Minkel, 8, of Oakland, left, and Sean Achorn, 8, of Oakland, had the opportunity to meet with New England Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich on April 12

by Mark Huard

Hammond Lumber Company hosted an Employee and Contractor Appreciation event on April 12, featuring Rob Ninkovich, linebacker for the New England Patriots and two-time Super Bowl champion. Close to 3,000 Patriots’ fans waited patiently to have their picture taken with Rob and shake his hand. Some even had the privilege of trying on his Super Bowl championship ring. The event was a perfect opportunity for Maine fans to celebrate the Patriots’ LI Super Bowl victory and commemorate Ninkovich’s first trip to Maine.

Ninkovich with Hammond Lumber Co. founder Skip Hammond.

It was an especially memorable event for all the children in attendance. Their pride and excitement was apparent as they got to meet the 6-foot 2-inch linebacker in person. Ninkovich’s obliging personality and easy manner certainly made it a dream come true for many. Mark Huard from Central Maine Photography was on hand to capture each special moment.

Travis Brunette, right, 18, of Pittsfield, compares his 2016 Class D state championship ring, which he earned as a member of the Maine Central Institute Huskies football team, of Pittsfield, last fall, with Ninkovich’s Super Bowl ring.

“Rob Ninkovich is a true gentleman and exemplifies the high standard for excellence put forth by the Patriots’ organization. He was as kind and gracious to the last person in line as he was to the first fan who made it to the stage six hours later,” Mike Hammond, President of Hammond Lumber Company, shared. “The entire day exceeded my expectations and I was gratified to see the positive impact it had on our employees, contractors, vendors, neighbors, and friends,” he added.

All photos by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography
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