Sports stars hit all the right notes to kick off Boys & Girls Clubs expansion plans

Myles Garrett, Darius Garland, Kareem Hunt and Katie Nageotte contribute vocal talents to ‘The Land,’ a fight song for Cleveland

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio today launched its plan to double the number of kids it serves by debuting an original song and video featuring performances by several top local athletes.

Cleveland Browns players Myles Garrett and Kareem Hunt, Cavaliers point guard Darius Garland and Olympic gold medalist Katie Nageotte contributed to ‘The Land,’ a fight song for Cleveland and rallying point for BGCNEO’s efforts to double the number of kids served by 2025. Main vocals are from Chagrin Falls-based rapper Brit Fox and Avon Lake musician Chad Hoffman.

The debut took place at BGCNEO’s Broadway Club in Cleveland.

You can watch the music video here:

BGCNEO CEO Allen Smith said while Clubs provide a safe, fun place for kids to go after school, the organization is currently able to serve fewer than one in 10 youths who need them. There is no cost to join, and a survey showed 54% of Club alumni say the Club saved their lives.

“It is our hope the community will rally in support of our kids,” Smith said. “Our model is proven and effective, but we will need additional funding to reach more kids in more places. We believe doing this will create stronger communities and dent the cycle of poverty. When they send their kids to the Club, working parents have peace of minds knowing they will be safe.”

Studies have shown children are most at risk during the afterschool hours.

The athletes donated their time to the project, and all three major professional sports teams – the Browns, the Cavaliers and the Guardians – were involved in the video production and in the debut event.

“Where else but in Cleveland could we bring together the collective power of music, all our professional sports teams and civic pride to do something so important for the kids and families of our community?” said Geoff Tanner, a BGCNEO board member and Chief Commercial and Marketing Officer for The J.M. Smucker Co., which supported production of the song and the event.

You can donate to the initiative here:!/donation/checkout

Tanner and Smucker’s last year were instrumental in the launch of Opening Track, a Club program that shows kids how music can be integrated into all parts of everyday life, from exercise to academics to relaxation. The program has been a huge success and has helped connect Club kids to such institutions as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Ballet and the Cleveland Orchestra.

That aligns with BGCNEO’s plan to invest in life-changing experiences and programs for youth.

Other speakers at the event included U.S. Rep. Shontel M. Brown, who represents the 11th Congressional District, and Sonya Pryor-Jones, Chief of Youth and Family Success for the city of Cleveland.

The debut had a pep rally-like atmosphere, with appearances by team mascots, including the Guardians’ Slider, Cavs in-game entertainers, Guardians’ hot dogs and DJ Steph Floss. Club kids joined in the fun.


Myles Garrett recently hosted a Taco Bell meal for our kids and made BGCNEO his charity for the NFL’s Cleats for a Cause. Last year, Darius Garland took Club kids holiday gift shopping. Kareem Hunt is a Club alumnus who recently hosted a Fortnite tournament for our Clubs. Katie Nageotte grew up in Olmsted Township. Brit Fox is also a Club alum and a Kent State University graduate. Chad Hoffman is an Oberlin native who lives in Avon Lake.


Boys & Girls Clubs provide safe, fun places for kids ages 6-18 to go after school with a focus on academic success, healthy lifestyles and character development. BGCNEO was formed in 2019 by the merger of Clubs in Cleveland, Akron, Lorain County and Sandusky. It is now one of the largest Boys & Girls Club organizations in the country, with 49 sites in five counties.