A few weeks ago, Anthony Cosenza and I orchestrated a charity fundraiser on Cincy Jungle’s Orange and Black Insider Bengals podcast. In honor of the Cincinnati Bengals’ inaugural Ring of Honor class, we set out to highlight the foundations run by the first three players to be inducted in this year’s class: Anthony Munoz, Ken Anderson, and the family of Ken Riley.
Thanks to all who donated, we were able to raise $2,250 in just two weeks' time. It was a fantastic success, and we were able to help three organizations fulfill their very worthy causes.
The Bengals have several prominent alumni who have started foundations under their names, as well as programs organized by current players. Here are just a few that deserve your attention and potential support.
The Bengals’ lone Hall of Fame player started his foundation 20 years ago. Based in Cincinnati, the Anthony Munoz Foundation is known for impacting the lives of greater Cincinnati youth through leadership programs and scholarship funds. Munoz’s organization has helped thousands of youths pursue their higher education and become well-rounded individuals.
There’s no better anecdote about Munoz’s work than Devon Cook’s story, which you can read about here.
Cystic fibrosis is a rare disease, but it’s also currently incurable. Boomer Esiason’s son, Gunnar, was diagnosed with CF when he was just two years old, and his dad would soon start a foundation dedicated to fighting the disease.
The Boomer Esiason Foundation’s goal is to raise awareness of CF and money to combat it. They have programs and events every year to do just that.
Breast Cancer is best treatable when detected early, which is why the Cris Collinsworth’s ProScan Fund’s mission is to provide early detection services and free mammograms to the Cincinnati community. Their partnership with the Pink Ribbon organization makes them a true catalyst in the rise of Breast Cancer awareness.
The fund also has multiple chess programs as a way of increasing critical thinking and sportsmanship in children.
Since 2017, Cincinnati’s hometown punter and his wife, Mindi, have been providing resources and support for rescue animals in need. Their goal is to raise awareness and provide resources for sheltered and rescued animals, as well as how to properly care for them.
Thousands of dogs and cats enter Cincinnati shelters every year; the Hubers are working to make sure those numbers decrease.
Made famous via his Heisman-winning speech, the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund directly impacts the Athens County food pantry. Its goal is to aid Ohio’s most food insecure county, and with the COVID pandemic still raging, it needs support now more than ever.
Burrow’s genuine remarks on poverty sparked thousands of donations nearly two years ago. But there is plenty of work to be done in Athens County to eliminate food insecurity.
Adults with special needs can find fulfillment and community with the Ken Anderson Alliance. The legendary quarterback’s foundation offers programs and employment opportunities for adults with mental disabilities.
Last month, Anderson opened Just Brew, a coffee shop in northern Cincinnati that employs over a dozen special needs adults.
Before the late Ken Riley came to Cincinnati, he was just a kid from Bartow, Florida. His foundation now helps financially challenged Central Florida youth in their pursuit of college and technical schools.
The foundation also supports local programs that provide economic stability by way of education for children in need, including the Eastside Positive Action Committee, Inc., and the Union Academy Alumni Association, Inc.
Much like his quarterback’s fund, Hubbard’s foundation also tackles local hunger. The Sam Hubbard Foundation helps Ohioans in need by providing educational, medical, and athletic resources.
Hubbard’s previous work with the Freestore Foodbank during the peak of the pandemic exemplifies his commitment to battling hunger in his community.