Giving Back: FirstEnergy
Illuminating The Dream
December 2016

​The Renegades football program started in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1986 to give youth (ages eight to 14) a safe zone to support and achieve their goals, on and off the field.

Recognizing the importance of this program to the community, FirstEnergy joined the city of Cleveland, the Cleveland Browns, and the National Football League to renovate the program’s football field.

Browder Field, which is named after Dwayne Browder, a long-time Cleveland MUNY Football League coach and a community leader, was revitalized with synthetic turf and lights to ensure youth can play at all times—no matter the season or the time of day.

The lights were donated by The Illuminating Company, a FirstEnergy company. About 20 company employees donated their time to install four giant light poles.

The Field is more than just a place to play football. “We are helping young men who have no hope. We are showing them there is a better way. This is something you dream about—having night games—and somewhere the kids can go to play no matter if it’s raining or snowing. It means a lot to us,” said Mike Mason, the program’s current coach.

The public-private partnership involved many city planning meetings, work by construction crews, and re-sodding efforts, which can be seen in FirstEnergy’s documentation of the effort: Shining Lights: The Renegades Football Story.

“Helping to rebuild Browder field is a great source of pride for Cleveland,” Mark Durbin, a FirstEnergy spokesperson, told ESPN Cleveland. “This is a great source of pride in the community.”

Community involvement is a top priority at FirstEnergy, and the Browder Field renovation project is just one example of employees joining together to give back. Learn more about FirstEnergy’s charitable contributions and community initiatives.