It took a true team effort between Browns players and members throughout the front office to create a memorable day for athletes from the Adapted Football League.
As part of the team's annual Browns Give Back Summer Volunteer Blitz, staff members embarked on a project Tuesday as part of the team's year-round efforts to positively impact Northeast Ohio. "The entire day was about the Browns Give Back platform," said Jenner Tekancic, vice president of community relations.
It started with more than 100 volunteers, who built 100 bicycles for Cleveland Metropolitan School District students as part of the district's 'Get 2 School. You Can Make It!' campaign; 125 rocking chairs to encourage school attendance and reading; and 120 yard signs painted with names to encourage the athletes participating in the Browns' Adapted Football League program this summer.
During this year's Browns Give Back Summer Blitz volunteers built rocking chairs, assembled bikes, decorated yard signs for adapted football athletes and much more. #give10
Bringing the day full circle, the team's rookie class — including top picks quarterback Baker Mayfield and cornerback Denzel Ward — hosted a session inside the team's fieldhouse and passed out the signs made earlier that morning by employees.
"It means a lot, especially for us to get outside of football and focus on somebody else besides ourselves," said Ward, who grew up in nearby Macedonia. "It's just good seeing smiles on their faces."
Established in 2011, the Adapted Football League, proudly supported by Browns Give Back, provides children with disabilities the opportunity to participate in an organized, competitive and developmental sport. It's the first competitive adapted football program in Ohio that enables school-aged children and young adults with physical and/or cognitive disabilities the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to play football competitively.
Of course, the Adapted Football League was just one of several initiatives spotlighted during Tuesday's event as the Browns continue to leave their mark throughout the Greater Cleveland area. In all, 136 staff members and players gave roughly 436 hours of service.
"We had over 100 volunteers step away from their desks, away from their offices and into a transformed parking lot to make rocking chairs, bicycles and several other things powered by Browns Give Back platforms," Tekancic said. "It really shows the Browns staff is committed to giving back, especially in Northeast Ohio."