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Browns visit Cleveland Clinic Children's

Posted Oct 29, 2013

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns spent Tuesday morning sharing the Halloween spirit with patients at Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

CLEVELAND -- The Cleveland Browns and members of the Browns Women’s Organization teamed up with Party City to give more than 75 children at Cleveland Clinic Children’s a “Spook-tacular” Halloween Party on Tuesday.

Defensive linemen Ahtyba Rubin and John Hughes joined offensive linemen John Greco, Jason Pinkston and Shawn Lauvao, punter Spencer Lanning, long-snapper Christian Yount, linebacker Craig Robertson and practice-squad defensive back Jamoris Slaughter in leading students from the Lerner School of Autism and those receiving medical and rehabilitation treatments on a Halloween parade in costumes and going door-to-door trick-or-treating through the first floor of the facility.

“It means a lot to just come out here and support these kids, show them that we care for them,” Pinkston said. “They cheer for us and we want to be there and show up for them.”

Yount added, “A lot of kids don’t get out for Halloween and all of the festivities and stuff. We just thought we’d come in and help give them a fun day. A lot of times, they’re in rough situations and they need it, so it’s awesome that we can have the opportunity to come out here and do this.”

Sheila Chudzinski, who leads the Browns Women’s Organization, attended the pre-event meetings and was excited to see the smiles on the faces of the children.

“Kids are just awesome, and that’s what the holidays are all about, especially Halloween with costumes,” Chudzinski said. “For us to come in, it’s so neat to see their little faces looking at the big players and the awe they show.”

The visit was especially meaningful for Pinkston, who spent part of the 2012 season in the hospital while receiving treatments for and recovering from blood clots.

“These kids are going through a lot,” Pinkston said. “I was in the hospital last year and I’m 25 years old and it was hard on me. I can only imagine what it is like for a five or six-year-old boy who’s going through a lot. It means a lot to see them smile, to put that smile on their faces for the day, get their minds off things, and hopefully, they’re having some fun.”

In addition to going on the Halloween parade, the players helped the children color, make hand prints on a banner and pose for pictures at a photo booth.

“The smiles on the kids’ faces just lights up your day,” said Jenner Tekancic, director of community relations for the Browns. “It’s important for us to be here because there are a lot of kids who can’t go out and trick-or-treat with their friends or family and we can help change that.  The Browns were able to bring a Halloween party here during a time of year when it’s exciting to get dressed up and have fun, and together, as a team with the Clinic, we made a new Halloween memory for all.”

Dr. Tom Frazier, Director of the Lerner School of Autism added, “It’s fantastic. What it means to us as providers is all of the hard work that they do, we get to see how it pays off when they’re not doing the work. We get to see how they’re enjoying life, how they’re back in the saddle again being kids, enjoying themselves, enjoying their friends, enjoying the Browns. It’s really a lot of fun.”