2014 Club of the Year: Browns Backers of Pinellas

by Alex Salamon | Feb 03, 2015

The following clubs were nominated to receive the 2014 Club of the Year award: the Southeast Michigan Browns Backers, the Dallas Area Browns Backers and the Browns Backers of Pinellas. 
The Browns Backers Worldwide community voted and we are proud to announce the 2014 Browns Backer Club of the Year...

Congratulations to the 
Browns Backers of Pinellas!
President: Kristin Rippel
Location: Clearwater, FL

Below is an overview of what the Browns Backers of Pinellas did in 2014 to earn this award. 

2014 Club Obstacles

"A huge obstacle we face each year is maintaining and building membership in a popular, yet transient, tourist destination.  At the season’s start our numbers are down as vacationers do not return to the area.  In order to fill that gap, we use social media, business card distribution, and host pre-season get-togethers. We host year-round events, sometimes meeting up to 3 times monthly during the off-season through socials, fundraisers, happy hours and more for existing and potential members.  With a year-end membership of 332 and standing-room-only with spikes of over 400 fans at games, we turned this obstacle into a huge success."

2014 Charity Involvement

Dawgs Helping Dawgs
 – Weekly Pennies for Puppies, Penny Jar Competition, and Harry London Candy Bar Sale raised 900 lbs. of dog food and $1,150 for the Pinellas County Dog Shelter.

Mammography Voucher Program
Weekly raffles, individual mammogram sponsorships and donations raised $2,000 for the Pinellas County MVP, enabling under-insured and uninsured women to receive free mammograms and medical care if needed. Over the past 13 years the Browns Backers of Pinellas has donated over $35,000 to this cause. 

Cleveland Browns Foundation – We are proud to support the Cleveland Browns Foundation, and the team that brings our 332 members together as a Browns family each week, with our $500 donation.

Thanksgiving Food Drive
– We collected 362 lbs. of food & turkeys for 100+ families, a $3,500 value. 

Angel Tree
– Members shopped for clothing, shoes and toys for 80 needy children, a $800 value. 

Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation
Browns Backers of Pinellas held a Silent Auction with over 50 items featuring Browns autographs, home goods, and memorabilia. $2,500 was given to help educational outreach, youth programs, exotic animal rescue, and supply food and housing.

Favorite 2014 Club Memory
"In December, Browns Backers of Pinellas members participated in the Pinellas Park Christmas Parade.  We spent two months designing and decorating a 40 foot, Cleveland Browns themed float.  We walked alongside our creation, waving to judges, TV cameras, and on-lookers while throwing out orange and brown beads. We spread Christmas cheer and represented the Cleveland Browns and the Browns Backers of Pinellas with great pride, much enthusiasm and received great, positive support from the crowd." 

Why should your club be named Club of the Year for 2014?

The Brown Backers Worldwide is an organization built to actively support and positively promote the Cleveland Browns.  That also describes the Browns Backers of Pinellas, who go above and beyond to carry out our goals of: 

– Browns Backers of Pinellas actively recruits new members and maintains a loyal, inviting family atmosphere for existing members. We welcomed over 700 visiting Browns fans as guests this year. 

Outreach – Our food, clothing, and toy drives assisted the community.  Our fundraisers helped shelters for domestic and exotic animals and aided men and women in need in our community.  This year we donated over $10,000 in money, food, clothing, and other goods to charitable organizations. 

– Our website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and weekly newsletters keep our members and the community informed about Browns Backers Worldwide and Browns Backers of Pinellas activities and events.

– Browns Backers of Pinellas uses social media, area events, and even flea markets to promote the Browns with banners, t-shirts, and business cards.

"Our motto has always been “We cannot control what happens with our team on the field, but we can control what our club does in our community.”  That motto is something our club takes to heart and acts out each week. Browns Backers of Pinellas strives to promote and support a team for which we all share a love and loyalty. We are loyal to our team and cheer for them week in and week out. We are also loyal to our charities and try our best to help as many people as possible to the best of our ability.  We have corporate sponsors, individual charities, families and a community who all have learned of the pride, kindness, generosity, and tradition of the Browns Backers of Pinellas and the Cleveland Browns."