Bengals legend to hold annual fundraiser in West Chester next week

Hall of Famer football player and former Bengal lineman Anthony Munoz continues to support struggling members of the Greater Cincinnati community. He'll host a fundraiser for his Anthony Munoz Foundation at TopGolf next month. GREG LYNCH/FILE
Caption
Hall of Famer football player and former Bengal lineman Anthony Munoz continues to support struggling members of the Greater Cincinnati community. He'll host a fundraiser for his Anthony Munoz Foundation at TopGolf next month. GREG LYNCH/FILE

Munoz throwing Topgolf Tailgate event Sept. 9, with proceeds going to foundation.

There are many possible ways to spend the NFL’s opening night. Host a party with lots of friends or go to your favorite bar hangout. Or, you could spend it playing golf with Anthony Munoz and other past Bengal stars.

Munoz, as president/chairman of the Anthony Munoz Foundation, has continued to support struggling members of the Greater Cincinnati community long after his Hall of Fame playing days concluded. Among other things, the foundation issues scholarships, holds character camps, youth leadership seminars, and tutoring programs for thousands of at-risk kids.

On Sept. 9, Munoz will be throwing Topgolf Tailgate, an annual fundraiser for the foundation at West Chester’s Topgolf. Thanks to local sponsors, all proceeds will go right back into the foundation.

“We do our (fundraiser) golf tournament, but people who don’t play a lot of golf won’t do that,” Munoz said. “Topgolf is nice because it attracts people who aren’t everyday golfers. It’s more social, people are closer together. We sell it out every year.”

TopGolf in West Chester Twp. is one of many entertainment destinations around Butler County. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF
Caption
TopGolf in West Chester Twp. is one of many entertainment destinations around Butler County. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Topgolf Tailgate will open with a meet-and-greet with Munoz and other former Bengal stars. Previous meet-and-greets have featured 1980s-era players such as Max Montoya and Barney Bussey. Munoz said he’s still negotiating which Bengals will be present this year, but is hoping to have players that fit a certain theme.

“This year is the 40th anniversary of the Super Bowl XI team,” he said. “There are still eight or nine guys from that team still in town, and I’m hoping to get those.”

There are three ticket packages available: dinner and drinks for $75 (unlimited food and drinks), dinner and drinks + golf for $175 (unlimited food and drink and an assigned bay; groups of less than six will be paired off with other groups), and dinner, drinks + golf for a bay for $1,000 (unlimited food and drinks and a private bay on the upper deck). The meet-and-greet is accessible to all, regardless of what ticket package you buy, though Munoz said the $1,000 package is the most popular.

“People like to come in a group,” he said. “We rarely have individuals. It’s casual but still competitive. People will bring their spouses but still stack their teams so they win.”

Munoz said he himself typically spends the event either relaxing or making the rounds.

“I’ll hang back for awhile,” he said. “Then I’ll go to a bay because someone usually wants me to hit a few balls. Then I go up and down and say ‘hi’ and hang out with everyone who’s there.”

Since the occasion is the opening of the 2021 football season, Munoz gave his assessment of the 2021 Bengals so far.

“As always, I’m cautiously optimistic,” he said. “I like what I’ve seen in practice, though it’s hard to tell because practice is practice. But when you see that level of intensity in practice, it usually means good things will happen. The secondary is really impressive, Joe (Burrow) is moving around and throwing the ball well. I know people question the offensive line, and I’m excited (offensive line coach) Frank Pollack is back. There are some young guys in the middle I think he can develop. We got Riley Rieff and if Jonah (Williams) can stay healthy, it’s trending upward everywhere. But I’m a wait-and-see guy.”

All told, Munoz expects to raise over $20,000 for the foundation.

“That’s pretty good for a couple of hours,” he said.

HOT TO GO

What: Topgolf Tailgate

When: 4 p.m., Sept. 9

Where: Topgolf, 9568 Water Front Drive, West Chester Twp.

Cost: $75-$1,000

More Info: 513-772-4900 or www.munozfoundation.org