BEREA, Ohio– Johnny Manziel and his rookie teammates made their first public appearance Wednesday afternoon at Grindstone Elementary School in Berea. Their message to the kids: give back to the community.
One by one, the Browns rookies walked into the school gym. As expected, Manziel mania has stretched into the elementary schools. Some lucky students even got the chance to get a picture and shake hands with the popular Browns quarterback.
“Awesome and it was so fun,” said one student.
“Really cool because I got to meet all these Browns and all these Browns people that play for the Browns,” said another student.
The purpose of the players’ visit was to kick off a new initiative called First and Ten; it’s a program established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world.
“We don’t tell people what to do just volunteer, just give back,” said Browns president, Alec Scheiner. “It feels just as good for us as it does for the people you’re helping out.”
Students from Grindstone Elementary along with the Browns rookies signed a ‘Give 10 Banner,’ a commitment to give 10 hours of community service at some point this year.
“I know for me it wasn’t that long ago that I was sitting in this position,” said Johnny Manziel. “I was a kid in grade school and looking up to the people I looked up to at the time and would love to have a chance to meet those guys.”
“When I was in elementary and some guys in my hometown college came to my school and they talked to us and I remember that to this day and this is something I think they will remember forever,” said Browns first round draft pick Justin Gilbert.
The Browns hope to promote generosity and volunteering throughout their fan base with the goal of compiling 500,000 service hours within the next year. A big step towards making Cleveland a great place to live.