Celebrating 18 years of tackling hunger for Northeast Ohio families, Taste of the Browns returns to FirstEnergy Stadium on Monday, September 19. The event is the major annual fundraiser for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, the region's largest hunger relief organization. With the more than $224,000 raised at the 2015 event, the Food Bank was able to distribute more than 896,000 meals to agencies in six counties. The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is also a proud partner of the Browns First and Ten movement, inspiring fans to volunteer and give back in their communities.
The Cleveland Browns and Northeast Ohio's most talented and well-known chefs will work together to raise awareness and funds for hungry families, all while celebrating Cleveland's unique and acclaimed culinary talents.
"Taste of the Browns is an event that really highlights the generosity of our community and continues to grow every year," said Kristin Warzocha, president and CEO of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. "We're excited to be partnering again with the Cleveland Browns and some of the great culinary talent in the region to raise money to provide hundreds of thousands of meals to hungry Northeast Ohioans."
This year's fundraiser will feature more than 25 of the region's finest restaurants and chefs, such as Michael Symon (B Spot Burgers, Lola Bistro, Lolita, Mabel's BBQ); Jim Blevins (Butcher and the Brewer); Dan Deagan (Deagan's Kitchen and Bar and Humble Wine Bar); Michael Thompson and Odell Boone (Pickwick & Frolic); Eric Williams (Momocho and El Carnicero); and more. Honorary event co-chairs are Cleveland Browns Tight End Gary Barnidge; former Browns Linebacker and current Judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, Dick Ambrose; and Chef Rocco Whalen of Fahrenheit, Rosie and Rocco's.
In addition to sampling the city's best cuisines and mingling with Cleveland Browns alumni and current players, attendees can bid on silent auction items to benefit the Food Bank. A few highlights of this year's auction items include:
–Gary Barnidge "favorite things" gift basket
–Autographed Josh Cribbs jersey
–Dinner with Cleveland Browns Christian Kirksey and Jordan Poyer at the Oak Barrel
–Two roundtrip vouchers for JetBlue Airways
–Four Park Hopper passes for Walt Disney World
–Framed photograph taken from a helicopter of the Cavaliers' Championship Parade by Emily Roggenburk Photography
In addition to the silent auction, guests can participate in a wine pull throughout the duration of the event. For $20 attendees can purchase a wine cork which can be exchanged for a bottle of wine. Value, brands and type of wine will vary. Selections will be random.
The event will be held in the Club Lounge at FirstEnergy Stadium. General admission tickets are available for $175 ($75.00 of which is tax-deductible) or VIP tickets are available for $250 ($150 of which is tax-deductible). All proceeds benefit the Greater Cleveland Food Bank. Access to the VIP Lounge will include exclusive tastings, access to Cleveland Browns celebrities and a personalized listing in the scrolling Thank You video played during the event.
For more information or to order tickets, call (216) 738-2046 or visit www.GreaterClevelandFoodBank.org/Taste. A full list of participating restaurants can be found here.
About Cleveland Browns First and Ten movement:
The Browns are dedicated to #give10 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. Since its inception, Browns fans have committed to volunteering more than 1 million hours to impact their communities by pledging to #give10. 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.
About the Greater Cleveland Food Bank
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank is the largest hunger relief organization in Northeast Ohio, providing 47.8 million meals in 2015 to hungry people in Cuyahoga, Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Ashland and Richland counties. Our mission is to ensure that everyone in our communities has the nutritious food they need every day. We do this through both food distribution and SNAP outreach efforts. The best and easiest way to help is to go online: visit us at www.GreaterClevelandFoodBank.org. The general public can help by making a monetary donation. For every dollar donated, the Food Bank can provide enough food for four nutritious meals.
About Taste of the NFL
Taste of the NFL is a national charity event that occurs each year on the eve of the Super Bowl in the Super Bowl host city. Created by Minneapolis-based restaurateur Wayne Kostroski at the 1992 Super Bowl, the national Taste of the NFL has raised more than $22 million for hunger relief organizations throughout the United States. Kostroski hopes that every NFL city hosts a similar event to raise awareness and more dollars for hunger relief.
Cleveland hosted its first local Taste of the NFL in 1999, coinciding with the return of the Cleveland Browns. In addition to Cleveland, at least seven other NFL teams and the Pro Football Hall of Fame host their own local Taste of the NFL. The event name was modified in 2010 among participating NFL teams in 2010 to reflect respective clubs and cities.
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