On May 25th from 5pm to 8:30pm Coach Sam’s Scholars will host their 9th annual Cleveland Legends Event at Cleveland Browns FirstEnergy Stadium. One of the biggest fundraisers of the year for this long-standing charitable organization, founded by legendary Browns coach and lifelong educator Sam Rutigliano, the Cleveland Legends Event aims to honor current Cleveland Legends while raising funds to empower future scholars.

Honorees for this year’s event include Cleveland Browns Legend Clay Matthews Jr. and Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Dr. Eric Gordon. The event was planned and coordinated by VP of Business Development Kerry Rutigliano and her team, to carry on her father’s legacy of helping others. Festivities will include a cocktail hour, dinner, music, speeches from Cleveland Legends and leaders, raffle baskets, elite raffle items, and a live auction. “It’s just going to be a great night. We’re really excited about it,” said Coach Sam’s Scholars Executive Director Maura Shibley.

The Cleveland Legends Event helps Coach Sam’s Scholars with their mission to provide educational and social-emotional support to children through a combination of literacy, personal development, and health and fitness. The organization’s afterschool program, called Aiming Higher, has Cleveland area scholars meeting four times a week for 90-minute after-school sessions to teach the deep-learning reading practices kids need to succeed in fourth grade and beyond.

During a time when 85% of low-income fourth graders lack the reading skills they need for academic success, Cleveland area kids are desperate for the support of programs like Aiming Higher. “Third grade is when kids transition from learning to read to reading to learn,” explains Shibley. “If kids are not reading proficiently by the end of third grade, they will struggle” Time spent out of the classroom during the pandemic further exasperated an already big problem for elementary-age students. “That’s why Coach Sam’s mission is even more important now than ever.” Shibley adds.

The Cleveland Legends Event is open to the public for anyone who’d like to spend a great evening supporting an even greater cause. Tickets are available now at coachsams.org.