Category Archives: Football

Spreading Holiday Cheer with the Liver Life Challenge and Alzheimer's Association

In addition to giving gifts to friends and family, this time of year is an excellent reminder about the importance of giving back to the community.

Thanks to avid Cleveland blog reader Lindsay Meggas and HungryinCLE for the heads up about these two opportunities:

Blondes vs. Brunettes benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland

In Spring 2012, the Cleveland Area Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association is bringing the first annual Blondes vs. Brunettes flag football game to Cleveland. 

Other cities have hosted these Blondes vs. Brunettes games before and raised a lot of awareness and money for Alzheimer’s research. Most recently, Washington DC’s 7th annual game raised $123,000.

Blondes vs. Brunettes is a women’s powder puff flag football game where both women and men can join the fight to end Alzheimer’s. Not a blonde or brunette? Then, you’re a free agent and can choose your team.

The Cleveland chapter of the  Alzheimer’s Association is recruiting women and men in their 20s and 30s to not just play, but also help with practices and coaching, event planning, sponsorships, marketing, recruitment and more.

Even though the game’s not until the Spring, Blondes vs. Brunettes involves a season of events leading up to the big day, including a draft party and happy hours.

First up: The BvB Kickoff Party next Wednesday, Dec. 14.

Join the Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter at Around the Corner in Lakewood.  The party starts at 6:00PM and costs $20 at the door for 2 hours of unlimited food and drinks. There will also be information about how to get involved.

RSVP here.  And contact Sheryl at or 216-231-1466 with any questions.

Sponsor HungryinCLE in the Liver Life Challenge

When I started running, Stephanie at HungryinCLE was one of my inspirations.

She’s an amazing runner and is participating in my dream running event: the Walt Disney World Marathon to support the Liver Life Challenge.

In addition to running 26.2 miles, she has a fundraising goal of $3400. I could never run a full marathon (maybe a half marathon one day in the distant future, but never a full one), so seeing Stephanie do this is incredible.

All donations will help the American Liver Foundation provide community-based education, research, support, and advocacy related to preventing and treating: 

  • Liver cancer, one of the few primary cancers on the rise in the United States.
  • The approximately 5.4 million Americans chronically infected with hepatitis B or hepatitis C (about 65% and 75% , respectively, are unaware that they are infected).
  • The 25% of the U.S. population who could have Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – a condition that can lead to life-threatening damage.

It’s a cause personally important to me so head over to Stephanie’s fundraising page and sponsor her with a donation. You can also follow her @HungryinCLE to see how her training is going and read a Q&A with her on WhyCLE’s blog to learn more about the Challenge! 

Spread some holiday cheer to others this season by supporting both of these great causes!

Event Recap: Cleveland Foodbank's Taste of the Browns

When it comes to Cleveland sports, the Browns always seem to get a bad rap. But while I can’t comment about them on the field (I’ll let someone like Waiting for Next Year or Bitter Orange & Brown wax much more philosophic on the subject than I ever could), I will say I have a new, huge respect for the team after this week’s Taste of the Browns.

Since running the giveaway last month, I’d been looking forward to my first time attending Taste of the Browns.  A roving tasting event, it’s one of the Cleveland Foodbank‘s largest fundraisers. I had also heard a lot of great things about it from Bite Buff, who used to plan the event when she worked at the Foodbank.

I have to confess, Monday’s Taste of the Browns was my first time in Browns Stadium (I’m a horrible Clevelander and haven’t been to a game yet). I see it every day as I drive to and from work, but have never been up close. There is something so impressively massive about the Browns stadium when you’re walking up to it.

Standing beneath the entrance, I definitely had a quiet moment of awe, as one of the area’s high school marching bands played in the background. This awe continued as I took the escalators to the second floor and walked into the event. Not only were there restaurants set up farther than I could even see, the open space was accented by a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall window looking onto a magnificent view of downtown Cleveland.

After getting my bearings, it was time to taste. I started with a braised veal on bruchetta with truffles and asiago from Johnny’s Bar on Fulton. It was incredibly rich and tender, melting in my mouth. Definitely a good starter as I continued to make my way throughout the rooms.

I wouldn’t be able to tell you if I stopped at all of the 25+ food stations, because I was in a continual daze of food bliss throughout the evening. Some of the highlights for me included Light Bistro’s lamb kebob and the trifecta of AMP 150’s corn soup with pickled ramps, Bar Cento’s truffles chicken liver mousse with Ohio peach gastrique, and Blue Point’s raw oyster bar in one corner.

Hudson, Ohio’s One Red Door was also there. I’ve never been so I had been looking forward to stopping by their station. They offered a roasted date stuffed with manchego, chorizo and bacon wrapped along with a smoked tomato sauce. This was ridiculous and I need to now make the trip to Hudson to eat there.    

My favorite of the evening, though, was Melange. They’re another reason I miss living on the East Side because I would be there much more often if I did.

At Taste of the Browns, they served a watermelon gazpacho soup with a poached shrimp. After an evening full of delicious but rich foods, this was a simply perfect change in pace. It was fresh with a little bit of spicyness to it. And although the weather has turned cool in Cleveland, it was nice to have that last taste of summer with the watermelon. It was an incredible way to conclude the evening’s food. 

After filling myself, I had to walk it off so I explored the room a bit more. There were auctions and raffles galore and for all the Cleveland sports fans in attendance, a multitude of Browns players and alumni.  In addition to left tackle Joe Thomas who co-chaired the event, Joshua Cribbs, Seneca Wallace, Steve Vallos, Brian Schaefering, Mike Adams, Reggie Hodges and Browns president Mike Holmgren were there to meet fans, sign autographs and enjoy the food with the rest of us.

The player or alumni who really stood out, though, was former defensive linemen and the man behind Bubba’s Q’s bbq smoker — Al “Bubba” Baker. As the other co-chair and unofficial emcee for the event, he brought the Browns players up to the stage to introduce and thank them. Just like what you’ll find at Bubba’s Q in Avon, he was gregarious, bubbly, and warm.

He also donated a double-tailgater for the raffle. The lucky winner won four slabs of baby back ribs, four slabs of St. Louis ribs, four four-pound chickens, a half-gallon of Cole slaw, a half-gallon of baked beans, a half-gallon of macaroni and cheese or a large, double order of fries, 32 muffins and plenty of sauce.

While my raffle tickets may not have been chosen, I wasn’t too upset since the funds raised by the raffle, auctions and tickets went towards the Cleveland Foodbank. Last year’s event raised $120,000. This year, Taste of the Brown was expected to exceed $140,000 with every dollar providing 4 meals to the hungry in our six-county area.

As I looked down on the Browns’ football field towards the end of the evening and reflected on this event’s huge impact, it was that number that impressed me most of all.

Of course, don’t just take my word for it. I reached out to Kate, the winner of my ticket giveaway, to see if she and her guest enjoyed their evening. Here’s what she wrote:

My boyfriend, Justin, and I were thrilled with the Taste of the Browns. We had a blast getting all “dolled up” for the event and were impressed with the stadium, the view and especially the food. Some of our favorites included the sushi by Sushi Rock, the mole tacos by Momocho and the to-die-for cupcakes by Cream-n-Sugar Bakery. The ice sculpture near the bar was a cool touch (pun intended) and the auction prizes were plentiful and impressive. All in all it was a wonderful event for a great cause and we feel very lucky to have been able to attend.”

If you didn’t get a chance to attend Taste of the Browns, there are plenty of other ways to give back to the Cleveland Foodbank. In addition to their year-round need for volunteers and donations, they currently are running the Can of Nothing campaign and will be at this weekend’s IngenuityFest.

And for all of you yoga and Cleveland Foodbank fans out there, The Studio Cleveland is holding an open level class on September 30. As part of National Yoga Month, the Connect Globally, Give Locally event is donation based with all proceeds going to the Cleveland Foodbank. More information can be found on their Facebook event page

Cleveland Foodbank 411:

As was previously disclosed, I was provided one media pass to Taste of the Browns. My thoughts – as always – are 100% my own.

Taste of the Browns Winner and a Special Ticket Discount

Taste of the Browns 2011 is Sept. 12 - read on to learn who the giveaway winner is and how you can save $25 on tickets


UPDATE: If you want to purchase discounted tickets using the Promo Code ClueN2Cleve, please use this site to purchase the tickets.

It’s time to announce the winner of the Taste of the Browns giveaway!

I was really excited to host a giveaway for 2 tickets to the Cleveland Foodbank’s tasty fundraiser and loved the responses from everyone.  After placing all of the entries into an Excel document to separate out non-entries and blog post pingbacks…

…and then using to pick our winner:

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I am happy to announce that entry 41– Kate has won two tickets to this event on September 12! Please email me by Sept. 2 at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to redeem your prize.

If you didn’t win tickets, don’t worry! You can still get discounted tickets for Taste of the Browns by using the discount code ClueN2Cleve through September 5.

The ClueN2Cleve code will save you $25 on each ticket. So, the general admission price of $150 will cost you only $125.

Purchase tickets here to get the discount

With every ticket, you’ll get access to the Cleveland Foodbank’s “Party with a Purpose.” In addition to sampling 25 of Cleveland’s finest restaurants in Cleveland Browns stadium, you’ll also be able to meet the Browns alumni and current players that will be in attendance, enjoy the silent auctions and — most importantly — help raise money for Northeast Ohio’s hungry.   Last year’s event raised $120,000, which made almost half a million meals possible in the region.

You can check out photos from last year’s Taste of the Browns below.  This year is my first time going and I hope you can join me there!




(Photos provided by Mark Malafarina of the Cleveland Foodbank)

Taste of the Browns Ticket Giveaway

Cleveland Browns Stadium hosts the Cleveland Foodbank Taste of the Browns, Sept. 12

UPDATE: Congratulations to Kate for being randomly selected as the winner of the giveaway.  Kate — Please email me at clueintocleveland (at) gmail (dot) com to redeem your tickets by 9/2. Thanks to everyone for entering and check out this new blog post on how you can save $25 on tickets through Clue Into Cleveland:!


One of my favorite Ohio Blogging meetups was volunteering at the Cleveland Foodbank in March.  It was the first time I had been there and I was absolutely blown away by the staff and the facilities.

From its LEED-certified, 130,000 sq. ft. distribution center, the Foodbank provides 84% of the food that local pantries use to feed the hungry in Northeast Ohio. Donations of funds and food as well as volunteers are needed throughout the year so that the Foodbank can continue its mission.

One way to support them is through their annual Cleveland Foodbank Taste of the Browns event.

Taking place on Monday, September 12 at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Taste of the Browns is the “Party with a Purpose.” In addition to sampling 25 of Cleveland’s finest restaurants, attendees will be raising funds that will provide food to more than 600 hunger programs in six counties. Last year’s event raised $120,000, which made almost half a million meals possible in Northeast Ohio.

The Cleveland Foodbank serves more than 223,700 different people annually in its six-county area

Sports fans will also enjoy the event as Browns alumni and current players will be in attendance, mingling with guests.  And one of the raffle packages for the evening includes a tailgate party for 30 people catered by former Browns player Al “Bubba” Baker. Baker will personally deliver food from his Bubba’s Q restaurant to the winner.  With Bubba’s Q being right down the street from me, I can say — for the food alone — this prize is definitely worth it!

Taste of the Browns takes place from 6 to 9pm on September 12 in the AT&T City View Club Lounge of Cleveland Browns Stadium. Tickets are $150 and all proceeds benefit the Foodbank.  With $1 = 4 meals served at a local hunger center, one ticket alone can provide 600 meals to the hungry!

Purchase tickets here or by calling 216.738.2126, or enter to win a pair of tickets through the below giveaway!

There are 4 Ways to Enter The Giveaway
**You must leave a separate comment on this post for each entry**

1) Mandatory first entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me which Taste of the Browns restaurant you haven’t been to before that you’d like to try.

2) Twitter users can get an extra entry each day for tweeting: “Check out @ADHicken’s giveaway for #TasteoftheBrowns tickets:”.  Each day you do this, you must leave a new comment.

3) Follow @ADHicken on Twitter.

4) Like Clue Into Cleveland on Facebook.

(Although not part of the entries, while you’re on Twitter and Facebook, follow @CleveFoodbank and like Cleveland Foodbank to stay up to speed on what they’re doing!)

You have until Monday, August 29  at 11:59PM to enter.  On August 30, I will select a winner using and will announce the winner of the 2 General Admission tickets on my blog.  Remember to leave a separate comment for each entry – Good Luck!

Disclosure: I was provided one media pass to Taste of the Browns in exchange for this post. As always, though, my thoughts and the choice of events I share are 100% my own.