By Matt Florjancic
The Cleveland Browns have a long-standing tradition of supporting the United States military and continued that support with a $10,000 donation from the team’s second-annual motorcycle rally to the Greater Cleveland Fisher House.
The Browns presented the donation to the Greater Cleveland Fisher House at the Nov. 4 game against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Greater Cleveland Fisher House is raising funds to build veterans and their families a home where they can stay at no cost while their loved ones are undergoing treatment at the Louis B. Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Patients at the Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center are treated for physical and psychological wounds sustained in defense of the country.
The goal of the Greater Cleveland Fisher House is the raise the necessary funds to break ground in 2013.
“The Greater Cleveland Fisher House is the equivalent of a Ronald McDonald House for military families,” said Renee Harvey, vice president of community outreach for the Browns. “It allows military families to stay in a location near their loved ones who have been injured. They’re going to build one on the VA hospital residential area here and that’s the third-largest VA hospital in the whole country. We’re very proud to be able to assist them with their efforts to raise $3.3 million.”
After the team’s first full-squad practice of training camp back in July, Browns president Mike Holmgren headed to South East Harley-Davidson on Aurora Road in Cleveland and led the motorcycle rally participants to the Berea training facility. Following the ride, the 325 riders enjoyed dinner and were given the exclusive opportunity to watch the afternoon walk-through.
Browns alumni Tom Cousineau, Hanford Dixon, Frank Stams and Al “Bubba” Baker were in Berea to welcome the riders and sign autographs.
Since returning to the National Football League in 1999, the Browns have had a long tradition of serving those who wear the country’s greatest uniform, that of the United States military.
Through the Browns’ signature Hats Off to Our Heroes program, the team continues to recognize and support military-based efforts, including the Honor Row game day tribute each home game.
With their Pro vs. G.I. Joe events, which unite military members overseas with Browns players in video game competitions, as well as visits to the USO processing center to prepare care packages for the troops and to the Cleveland M.E.P.S. (Military Entrance Processing Station) for the oath of enlistment before recruits get shipped off to boot camp, the Browns have supported various efforts involving the military.
The team also has been recognized by the Three Deuce Five Marine Foundation for its efforts to support and help with the rehabilitation of the members of the 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, whose headquarters is in nearby Brook Park.
By the end of their 2005 deployment to Al-Anbar Province, which geographically is the largest in Iraq, the 3/25 lost 48 Marines and Sailors and had another 150 wounded out of a complement of 1,350 Marines.
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