Butler County fundraiser restarts for 25th outing after COVID-19 shutdown

The 25th Frozen Open benefitting the Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty will be held on March 28 at Topgolf in West Chester.

“This is an event I started in 1994 to benefit a wide variety of charities in southwestern Ohio,” said Art Mathews, event founder and producer of the Frozen Open.

Since 1994, more than 2,000 golfers have participated, and more than $139,000 has been distributed back into the community through various groups.

“I’ve been doing a lot of looking back on the event, and the 25th anniversary is pretty spectacular. I would guess that there’s probably not very many golf outings in southwestern Ohio, or maybe even in the state of Ohio that have existed for 25 years, or that are going to be celebrating their 25th annual event, so I look at that with a great deal of pride,” Mathews said.

Some people involved were at the very first committee meeting in 1993.

“One of the original committee members has played every year, and been involved every year,” Mathews said.

The inaugural event was held at Royal Oak Country Club and it benefited the American Lung Association.

The proceeds of this year’s event will go to the Rotary Club of West Chester/Liberty, which will distribute grants.

“The greatest pride has been the fact that the Frozen Open has lasted for 25 years, and the continued support the event has received, along with the relationships and friendships that have been built. The support from the community has just been so amazing. It pretty much started when my wife and family moved to West Chester. That’s when we began the event,” said Mathews.

This year, the event will return after a two-year hiatus. In 2018, there were 72 golfers that participated. In 2014, there were 52 golfers. Up to 100 golfers have participated in the annual event with the average number of golfer’s being about 64.

Winners will have their names inscribed on the “Chunk of Ice” trophy.

“This is an opportunity to come out and have fun and enjoy an afternoon of golf, knowing that you’re going to be safe in that environment. Get together with some of your friends and come out and have fun and support the community. You don’t have to be a golfer to come out and have fun at Topgolf,” Mathews said.

For the first 10 years, the event was held in February, which led to the name Frozen Open. Mathews said weather can be a factor, which may impact event participation.

“It’s never sunny and 72 degrees in March,” he said.

For the past 15 years, the event has been held in March. The deadline to register is March 17. F

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