Christian Kirksey and Duke Johnson helped dedicate the new synthetic field at John Adams High School, the last of 5 fields installed through a gift from the Cleveland Browns.
CLEVELAND — As Browns owner Dee Haslam approached the new turf field at John Adams High School, she took a moment to reflect on a two-year project that saw the club fund the installation of state-of-the-art turf at five sites across the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.
"Walking up to the field today, it's just stunningly beautiful," Haslam said, "and we can envision what difference it makes it in the students' lives."
Haslam and linebacker Christian Kirksey helped host field dedication ceremony at the school Friday, marking the completion of a project aimed at giving back to Northeast Ohio in more ways than one.
Made possible by Dee and Jimmy Haslam, the Browns have restored fields at five CMSD high schools. John Adams and John Marshall High School were finished this fall while Roye Kidd Stadium, James F. Rhodes Stadium and Bump Taylor Stadium were renovated last year.
"When you have an organization and owners like Dee and Jimmy Haslam doing something big like that, I always want to be involved," Kirksey said. "When I first heard about today, I was all for it. I just really feel honored to be part of this organization. We not only care about winning but we care about the community."
The goal of the project is to support education, athletics and youth football and unify local communities that will have access the fields. The Browns also donated new 25-foot scoreboards for each school.
"If you're involved in a sport, you're more likely to go to class and have good attendance and that'll help you graduate," Haslam said, "so it means everything to us. We can envision how much the community will use it and how much the players will use it."
The Cleveland Browns are committed to assisting the development, safety and growth of youth and high school football throughout Northeast Ohio with year-round programming for players, coaches, officials and parents. Through camps, clinics and other initiatives, the Browns' goal is to promote healthy, social, emotional, intellectual and physical development of youth by enhancing opportunities for youth football participation and education.
Through Browns Give Back, the Cleveland Browns are dedicated to through the team's First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team's community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual's city across the globe, as well as the franchise's local community. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team's website and by sharing their stories with #give10.