In the wake of the global COVID-19 crisis, several Browns Backer chapters across the United States banded together to donate funds raised through a virtual tip jar to employees of where their respective chapter meets weekly during the NFL season. Funds raised benefitted employees from servers to bartenders to cooks and security personnel.
"This is just another testament of how great our Browns Backer chapters truly are. Not only are they avid supporters during the season, they are also phenomenal ambassadors during the offseason. This initiative was 100 percent organic and led by some outstanding chapter presidents" said Corey Kinder, manager of the Browns Backers program.
Funds raised from nine different chapters that stretch from Ohio to Florida, Pennsylvania to Illinois to North Carolina totaling over $13,000 were distributed back to their respective viewing location staff. Some chapters hosted a virtual NFL Draft Party to raise the funds while others opted for a GoFundMe account.
The staff members at The Blind Pig, based in North Carolina, received a $1,400 donation from the Carolina Browns Backers and, in return, workers from the establishment created a gratitude video.
"The Chi-Town Dawg Pound is a close-knit club, and that extends to the staff at the former John Barleycorn, our home bar for the last four years," said Jake Wilkoff, president of the Chi-Town Dawg Pound. "So many of them work Saturday nights until 3am and are right back at it for a noon kickoff the next day; some of them even come in and watch the games with us on their days off! When the pandemic shut down bars in Chicago, many of our chapter members asked our officers how we could raise funds for the laid-off Barleycorn staff. The management helped us get in touch with kitchen staff, servers, hosts and bouncers and a wonderful server helped us with translating for the non-English speakers. We raised $6,800 for everyone who requested assistance, thanks to the generosity of over 45 chapter members and their families."