Patriots Punt on Middle School Milk Party, Dairy Council Apologizes

The students were expecting a player from the New England Patriots to walk into their middle school, but they were greatly disappointed when a dietician and an intern arrived instead.

Student at Lebanon Middle School were gathered at a school assembly, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the “celebrity coaches” from the Patriots organization they'd been told were en route, but when the school assembly began, there was no Tom Brady, no Bill Belichick. Not even Pat the Patriot or a cheerleader.

The misunderstanding began when Alyssa Fabry, a health teacher, entered her students into the NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 winner contest, which is also sponsored by the New England Dairy Council.

More than half the student body signed up, took a pledge to eat healthy and stay active, and participated in activities and online challenges.

After all their hard work, the email finally came, congratulating the school for being the state’s winning participant. And to the victors would go the spoils: A special event at which“All activities are led by celebrity coaches," the email said.

Fabry and her students were eager for the reveal. They expected players, cheerleaders or a mascot and were shocked when none of the above showed up.

“They were disappointed,” Fabry said. “They told me after the assembly.”

NBC Connecticut contacted a spokesman for the New England Patriots, who said all communication was between the New England Dairy Council and the school. The Dairy Council says it will be more careful in the future.

“This miscommunication is not the Patriots fault, it’s our fault. We are so embarrassed and feel awful about this misunderstanding and apologize to the kids and school,” a statement from the Dairy Council says.

The Council said the celebrity coaches referred to in the email were always meant to be presented on a video shown to the children.

Fabry says she hopes the New England Dairy Council makes good on its promise. 

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