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How the Browns helped 'Inspire Change' in youth football in 2019

It was another busy year of field renovations, surprise visits and more as the Browns continued their commitment 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.

Throughout the month of January, the NFL is spotlighting how it and its 32 teams have helped Inspire Change. The purpose is to facilitate conversations and actions that move us toward a more equal and just tomorrow. In the month of January, the Inspire Change initiative will showcase how the NFL family is coming together to ensure that access to opportunity is a reality for all and to create progress in police-community relations, criminal justice reform, and education and economic advancement.

Here's how the Browns did it in 2019.

Browns host the East 88th Street Browns Youth Organization as part of 10 Days of Giving

During Day 4 of Browns Give Back's 10 Days of Giving, the Browns hosted the East 88th Street Browns Youth Organization for a tour of the team facility, where then-General Manager John Dorsey presented the group with a special holiday surprise, highlighted by:

  • 100 new Xenith helmets in tribute to the NFL's 100th season.
  • A $10,000 grant made possible through NFL Huddle for 100. As part of NFL100 – the league's celebration of the NFL's 100th season – the "2019 NFL Huddle for 100 Team Program Grant" provides each NFL club with the opportunity to support their special and unique Club Huddles around chosen causes with grants up to $10,000.
  • Two (2) tickets to Super Bowl LIV in Miami, Fla. for League Directors Cynthia and Fred Baker in recognition of their dedication to supporting and developing youth in the community.

The Cleveland Browns hosted an official groundbreaking for a field at Ellet High School. The team will install high-quality synthetic turf at the school, which becomes the ninth multi-sport playing field to be funded since summer 2016 through the Browns' and Dee and Jimmy Haslams' commitment to youth football as part of Browns Give Back.

Myles Garrett helps Ellet High School celebrate a win, homecoming, and a new synthetic turf field

This offseason, the Browns began installing high-quality synthetic turf at Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio and Ellet High School, the eighth and ninth multi-sport playing fields funded since summer 2016 through the Browns' and Dee and Jimmy Haslams' commitment to education and youth football. The new multi-use field will serve as a resource to further engage students throughout the district and will also be available to other youth and groups in the local community.

The Cleveland Browns hosted an official groundbreaking for a 70-yard field at Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio. The team will install high-quality synthetic turf at the center, which becomes the eighth of nine multi-sport playing fields to be funded since summer 2016 through the Browns' and Dee and Jimmy Haslams' commitment to youth football as part of Browns Give Back. The Browns will announce the ninth site selected later this month.

Browns dedicate new turf field at Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio

The Cleveland Browns broke ground on a new field at Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio back in May. They returned late last week to complete the project with a dedication. 

Browns owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam and Browns running back Nick Chubb assisted with the ribbon-cutting ceremony and dedication of the newly minted Haslam Field on Friday in Garfield Heights. The high-quality, synthetic playing surface was installed alongside Boys Hope Girls Hope's recently constructed Rajan Center, and named after the Haslams in special recognition of their support. 

Baker Mayfield, fellow Browns host Unified Sports flag football athletes, reveal new uniforms

Mayfield played the role of emcee for the Browns' inaugural Special Olympics Ohio Unified Sports uniform reveal and Play Football! Clinic at the team's facility in Berea. In a partnership with Special Olympics Ohio, the Browns hosted all seven teams from the Unified Flag Football initiative: Max Hayes, Lincoln West, John Marshall, Lorain, Avon, Rocky River and Avon Lake. 

Recently, Special Olympics Ohio received a $5,000 Browns PLAY! 60 grant toward launching the Unified Flag Football initiative in Northeast Ohio. Through the partnership, athletes and Unified Partners from local high schools will participate in this year's pilot program, which will provide opportunities for students with and without disabilities to play football on the same team.

Odell and a selection of area prep and college football coaches lead a camp of over 650 kids in grades 1-8

Odell Beckham Jr. shows why he's 'a big kid at heart' at youth football camp

Beckham was all smiles as he pranced around the facility for the Odell Beckham Jr. Youth ProCamp, which garnered more than 650 kids in grades 1-8 looking to learn a few moves — both for the gridiron and the dance floor — from the three-time Pro Bowler and 2014 Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Fuel Up To Play 60 Summit at FirstEnergy Stadium on July 18, 2019

NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit concludes at FirstEnergy Stadium

Joel Bitonio, along with several Browns teammates -- including Austin Corbett, Seth DeValve, Larry Ogunjobi, Rashard Higgins, Dontrell Hilliard, Jarvis Landry and Anthony Zettel --were on hand for the conclusion of the 10th annual NFL Fuel Up to Play 60 Student Ambassador Summit, a four-day program bringing together more than 250 students and 100 educators across 45 states to exchange ideas on how to better youth wellness programs across the country.

The Cleveland Browns hosted the seventh and final LEGENDS Clinic at Bump Taylor Field on Tuesday.

Browns wrap up summer's LEGENDS Clinics at Robert "Bump" Taylor Field

Steve Sanders was one of three Browns alumni who instructed youth football players Tuesday at Robert "Bump" Taylor Field in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood as part of the Browns' seventh and final LEGENDS Clinic of the summer. The free youth football clinics were hosted by the Browns on Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Lorain, and Start High School youth football fields throughout the summer and presented by Medical Mutual in association with College Advantage.

Every clinic was held on a field that was part of the Browns' synthetic turf fields project, which contributed five new fields to CMSD schools and a total of nine institutions, with Akron's Ellet High School becoming the latest to receive funding for a new surface.

Browns surprise Berea-Midpark football team with $25,000 in new helmets

Berea-Midpark received $25,000 worth of brand new Xenith helmets to equip its team through the HELMETS program, a collaboration between the Browns, University Hospitals, Xenith and Ohio Lottery in a shared effort to enhance health and safety of young athletes through proper equipment, education and training. The Titans were randomly selected among high schools who registered for the HELMETS program through the Browns' website and were happy to accept approximately 75 new orange satin chrome helmets, delivered to them by Bitonio, Landry and Schobert.

HELMETS encourages and incentivizes local high school football programs throughout Northeast Ohio to strengthen their commitment to player health and safety by enrolling coaches in USA Football's Heads Up Football program. All teams registering for HELMETS must be certified or plan to become certified in USA Football's Heads Up football program.

The Browns hosted over 800 CMSD Special Olympics athletes and coaches for a Browns Play 60 football festival. #give10

Browns host Special Olympics athletes at annual PLAY 60 football festival

The Browns welcomed 750 Cleveland Metropolitan School District Special Olympics athletes, coaches and volunteers to their Berea facility for the Browns PLAY 60 football festival.

Along with learning football skills from Browns players, the athletes and coaches also interacted with team volunteers from neighboring universities, including Baldwin-Wallace, John Carroll and Notre Dame College, as well as University Hospitals staff members. Together, they helped create special memories for Special Olympics guests, who were able to take photos with and receive autographs from Browns players.

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