Mike Pettine stepped out of his office Tuesday and was taken aback by the hustle and bustle of the 2015 Cleveland Browns Foundation Radiothon.
Where was he?
"It's like the floor of the stock exchange," Pettine said. "A lot of phone calls being made and a lot of people working to get it done."
And in the end, the hard work paid off in a big way for a great cause.
Through online and on-air bidding, the Cleveland Browns Foundation raised $135,736 over a 28-hour stretch of continuous radio broadcasting. With Tuesday's announcement that Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam would match the funds dollar for dollar with a donation of their own, the grand total raised is $271,472. All proceeds will benefit the Cleveland Browns Foundation in its mission to promote education and youth development across the Greater Cleveland area.
"Let's face it: The future of our country is our youth and any and everything we can do to help our youth is going to make the city of Cleveland, Northeast Ohio and our country a better place to live and work," Jimmy Haslam said. "Dee and I have believed for a long time -- have spent a lot of time and effort in Tennessee and are now looking forward to doing it in Northeast Ohio -- that the best way to help young people is through education and that's why we devoted ourselves so heavily to that area in Northeast Ohio and plan to continue to do so."
The eight premium auction items that were only available to listeners who called to place a bid were among the most popular. A fishing trip for four with Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas brought in more than $7,000 while a trip for two to Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco went for more than $12,000. Because two fans were so committed to winning a trip on the team's charter flight to Seattle for the Browns' Dec. 20 showdown with the Seahawks, both were able to come away winners when each were rewarded the prize for $4,600 apiece.
More than 100 items were put up for auction, including a number autographed, special edition Browns camouflage practice jerseys. More than 50 interviews with players, Pettine, the Haslams, president Alec Scheiner and others from around the community were conducted throughout the 28-hour session.
The donations and man hours worked to put the Radiothon together came from all parts of the Cleveland Browns organization, including the FirstEnergy Stadium grounds crew.
"We've had tremendous support from the Dawg Pound, to whom we owe the biggest thanks," Dee Haslam said. "Also our staff, our players, our coaches, everybody has gotten involved to make this such a huge success."