BEREA, Ohio -- The Cleveland Browns will celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month throughout October during the fifth consecutive year of the NFL’s and NFL Players Association’s “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives” campaign, in partnership with the American Cancer Society, the team announced.
The Browns will host the NFL’s first official breast-cancer awareness game of 2013 under a national spotlight on Thursday, when Cleveland hosts the Buffalo Bills at FirstEnergy Stadium, broadcast across the country on the NFL Network and WKYC-TV locally. The game is presented by Cleveland Clinic.
During pregame ceremonies, the Browns will recognize five breast-cancer survivors, who will serve as honorary coin-toss captains, along with Pro Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown. Honorees were selected through an open-nomination process on www.ClevelandBrowns.com/community. The Browns will also welcome approximately 80 additional breast-cancer survivors and loved ones from Cleveland Clinic and local hospitals as they unfurl a symbolic pink-ribbon flag on the field before the game.
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The Browns will continue to advocate breast-cancer awareness month with a Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Oct. 12 at FirstEnergy Stadium.
“We are proud to partner with the American Cancer Society and raise awareness for fans, cancer patients, cancer survivors and their families,” said Cleveland Browns director of community relations Jenner Tekancic. “While it may be most visible in October, we and the NFL are committed to this important initiative throughout the year, encouraging women to get screened and access the resources that are available to them. Cancer can touch anybody’s life at any moment, and this campaign can help save a loved one’s life.”
Prior to this Thursday’s contest, Browns personnel and members of Zeta Tau Alpha alumnae and collegiate members will also distribute 25,000 pink ribbons.
Beginning with the Browns-Bills game through Week 7, NFL breast-cancer awareness games will feature game balls with pink ribbon decals used for every down and pink kicking tees; pink equipment for players including: cleats, wristbands, gloves, sideline caps, helmet decals, captains’ patches, chin straps, shoe laces, skull caps, sideline towels, eye shield decals and quarterback towels; pink coins used for the coin toss; pink sideline caps for coaches and sideline personnel and pink ribbon pins for coaches and team executives; special caps, and pink wristbands, whistles and pins for game officials; on-field pink ribbon stencils and A Crucial Catch wall banners; and pink goal post padding in end zones.
Select game-used items will be available on NFL Auction throughout the month, with all net proceeds from the sale of breast-cancer related items benefiting the American Cancer Society. Special pink merchandise, including Browns gear, is also available at www.NFLshop.com.
In collaboration with the American Cancer Society, the initiative, called “A Crucial Catch: Annual Screening Saves Lives,” is a breast-cancer screening initiative, reminding women 40 and older about the importance of having an annual mammogram, and fundraising campaign.
Since 2009, the NFL’s work has raised approximately $4.5 million for the American Cancer Society, with the majority of the contribution coming from the sale of Breast Cancer Awareness-identified pink merchandise at retail and via the NFL Auction website. The NFL does not profit from the sale or auction of pink merchandise. For more information, visit www.NFL.com/pink.
Money raised through A Crucial Catch supports the American Cancer Society’s Community Health Advocates implementing National Grants for Empowerment (CHANGE) program. This program provides outreach and breast-cancer screenings to women who need them. In the first year of the program, nearly 10,000 screenings were provided to women at low or no cost in 17 cities nationwide, including Cleveland through Touchdown for Breast Cancer with One Health Ohio – Youngstown.
In 2013, the program will extend to seven additional cities. The cities are recommended by the American Cancer Society, based on screening and mortality rates and are all within 100 miles of a NFL team.
Fans can visit www.ClevelandBrowns.com/community or www.NFL.com/pink to learn more about the campaign, the youth and high school football initiative, as well as important breast cancer detection information, prevention tips and how to participate in their local American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® walk.
ABOUT AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 20 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks to its progress, nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. As the Society marks its 100th birthday in 2013, it is determined to finish the fight against cancer. It is finding cures as the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.