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Browns host 15th annual 'Taste of the Browns'

Posted Sep 10, 2013

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns hosted their 15th annual "Taste of the Browns" event to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank Monday.

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns hosted the 15th annual “Taste of the Browns” event Monday night to benefit the Cleveland Foodbank at the City View Club inside FirstEnergy Stadium.

With every dollar raised from the event and the silent and live auctions, the Cleveland Foodbank will be able to serve four nutritious meals to the hungry in the Foodbank’s area of Ashtabula, Ashland, Cuyahoga, Lake, Geauga, and Richland counties.

Dee Haslam, President of The Cleveland Browns Foundation, pointed out that the Cleveland Foodbank last year served more than 33 million meals throughout the community.

“It’s just a tremendous organization,” she said. “If you look around, it’s one of the best in our community and serves every age group. It’s a tremendous gift and a great connection with the Browns. We’re so excited to be here and have this event.

“It’s really important to be involved in the community. It’s something (Jimmy and I) have always done. We’ve volunteered, given back as much as we can, and that’s important for us to be a part of the Browns and that tradition of giving. We plan on keeping that going for the Browns.”

Six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas again served as the co-chair for the Taste of the Browns, an event he has taken part in since he was a rookie in 2007.

“It’s always a special event, being able to come to the ‘Taste of the Browns’ and support the Cleveland Foodbank,” Thomas said. “It’s a great feeling because it’s a great cause. The fight against hunger in Cleveland is an ongoing fight and I’m proud to be a part of that battle.

“I’ve been co-chair for a number of years, and I always love coming out here and mingling with the fans and getting as much support as we possibly can for the Cleveland Foodbank.”

Thomas was joined at the event by several teammates, including John Greco, Tank Carder, Alex Mack, Shawn Lauvao, Greg Little, Chris Ogbonnaya and Jason Pinkston. Browns alumni co-chair Al ‘Bubba’ Baker, Judge Dick Ambrose, Tom Beutler, Don Cockroft, Bill Duff, Dan Fike, Jim Houston, Al Jenkins, Jim Kanicki, Kevin Mack, Cleo Miller, Rich Mostardi, Sam Palumbo, Greg Pruitt, Jamel White, Frank Stams, John Thierry, Sam Tidmore, Felix Wright, Hanford Dixon and Steve Zahursky were also on hand to help the Cleveland Foodbank.

“It’s a great feeling that we’ve got a lot of guys on this team that want to give back to this community,” Thomas said. “It’s apparent that the Cleveland community and supporting local charities is important to them, and I think it’s a great thing to be connected and give back to your community.”

The Cleveland Foodbank will be able to distribute enough food for 680,000 meals to the Cleveland community as a result of the event.

“One of the things that’s so spectacular about this event is the donated resources,” said Anne Goodman, President and CEO of the Foodbank. “The Browns make so much possible just by making this available and helping us advertise and inviting their alumni and players that are here. It’s phenomenal, and that’s what makes this event successful. What the Browns have done is extraordinary. I can’t even say enough about it.”

Jenner Tekancic, director of community relations for the Browns, added, “It’s amazing to think that we’re celebrating 15 years of supporting the Cleveland Foodbank through the ‘Taste of the Browns.’ What you find here is that there is a tremendous amount of support because the Foodbank is acutely aware of the needs of our community as they evolve with programming to serve a range of individuals and Browns fans, from kids to the senior citizens. We are proud to help others and provide the avenue of goodwill through this event here at FirstEnergy Stadium.”

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