Corey Nelson, Will Parks, two Denver Broncos Cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot spent Friday in Cortez, where they joined a junior football camp and a city celebration at Parque de Vida. (Photos by Aric DiLalla)
TRINIDAD, Colo. —For the third and final time, Corey Nelson took the mic at a Salute to Fans Tour city celebration and took the energy level up a notch.
"Trin-i-daaaaad! Make some noise!"
After the cheers subsided, Nelson presented Trinidad's mayor with a banner that proclaimed the town as part of Broncos Country – and that wasn't just a gesture. Hundreds of fans poured into a city park to see Nelson, Will Parks, two Denver Broncos Cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot.
The city celebration in Trinidad was just one event over the course of three days – in three different cities – that helped kick off the fifth-annual Salute to Fans Tour presented by El Pomar Foundation, LazyDays RV and U.S. Bank.
Will Parks, Corey Nelson, two Denver Broncos Cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot spent Saturday in Del Norte, where they joined a junior football camp and a city celebration. (Photos by Aric DiLalla)
The Broncos' group began the trip Friday in Cortez before traveling to Del Norte on Saturday and finishing the swing in Trinidad on Sunday.
Through the entire trip, Nelson and Co. found out just how far the support for the Broncos stretches through Colorado and the extended region.
"It just shows that Broncos Country is really Broncos Country," Nelson said. "People come from all over to see us, to get autographs from us or to support us.
"The fans, they're die-hard fans. They love the Broncos, and that support system, that foundation that the Broncos organization has created is mind-blowing. To be able to see those people come out there and support us the way they do is phenomenal."
Each morning, the traveling party assisted with a junior training camp for young children. Dozens of kids attended each of the camps that featured football drills led by Nelson, Parks and the cheerleaders.
Theo Gregory, senior vice president of outreach at El Pomar Foundation, found these training camps to be wildly successful in their first year.
Corey Nelson, Will Parks, two Denver Broncos Cheerleaders and Miles the Mascot wrapped up this leg of the tour in Trinidad, where they joined a junior football camp and a city celebration. (Photos by Aric DiLalla)
"I really enjoy the interaction with the parents that I see in the morning with the junior training camps," Gregory said, "and [then] listening to the kids when they come back in the afternoon, [I see] how much they enjoyed El Pomar's focus on getting … involved in something positive with the Broncos."
That message was echoed by Roxanne Velasquez, a fan who met the Broncos at the Del Norte city celebration on Saturday.
"Oh my gosh, it was awesome," Velasquez said. "It was very cool. This community needs this kind of thing. I mean, it's nice to get face time. They are diehards here. … It brings the community together."
As she left the event, Velasquez said she was on her way to buy a Nelson or Parks jersey after seeing the way they interacted with the fans in southwest Colorado.
Yet while Nelson and Parks would certainly appreciate another fan wearing their jersey in the stands or back at home, that's not why they set off on the four-day trip to the corner of the state.
"I always like to give," Nelson said. "That's what I feel like I'm in this position for: to bless others with what I've been blessed with. I decided, what better opportunity than now to do it with the Salute to Fans Tour."