BUTLER COUNTY — A Ross Twp. resident, who is an area businessman, and his wife are using what may be the Cincinnati Bengals’ second consecutive Super Bowl run this season to raise charity money through raffling off game tickets and a trip package.
Among the causes they hope to support with the Super Bowl raffle is Ross High School athletics.
Phil Amrein and his wife, Shelley, have lived in the Ross school community for more than three decades.
Amrein has been chosen as the Cincinnati Bengals “Fan of the Year” by the team’s ownership but then found himself with more Super Bowl tickets — and trip/hotel package — than the couple needed.
“We came up with this idea after the (Titans) game. We called the Bengals and they agreed to sell us two tickets,” said Amrein.
“We set the price at $20 so more could afford hoping that those that would by $100 ticket would buy more than one. We are just regular people and we want others to have same opportunity,” said Amrein.
The fund-raising goal is to garner $100,000 for various local causes by Jan. 15.
He told Journal-News’ media partner WCPO: “We’re the luckiest people in the world. So if we can help people, that’s what we want to do.”
Every year, the Amreins are diehard fans with faith that the Bengals will get to the Super Bowl. So much so that, for the past 20 out of 21 years, they’ve secured plane tickets and lodging in the Super Bowl city.
In fact, they’ve already got a condo in Phoenix reserved and plane tickets from CVG, reported WCPO-TV.
But here’s the problem — if you can call it that: The Bengals “Fan of the Year” gets airfare, lodging and two tickets to the Super Bowl when their title is announced. So Amrein doesn’t need the airfare and lodge he already secured.
That’s when he and his wife decided to raffle off the package and donate the proceeds to charity.
Amrein worked out all the detail with the Bengals, who agreed to allow him to buy two tickets to the Super Bowl and package combining that with his already-booked four-night stay in the condo and plane tickets.
Raffle tickets are $20 each. Amrein is hoping to sell 5,000 tickets in order to raise $100,000, which he plans to donate to several different local organizations in the Greater Cincinnati area: The Ken Anderson Alliance, Sam Hubbard Foundation, Elder High School, Ross High School, Evans Scholar Foundation, Anthony Munoz Foundation and ‘Be Concerned’ Food Pantry.
Amrein said Thursday “we have raised $18,000 in the first seven days. We would really like to impact the (benefitting) organizations in a big way.”
Raffle tickets can be purchased - with cash or check - from Amrein Diamond’s store at 9632 Colerain Ave. or via Venmo @Phil-SBTrip.
Journal-News media partner WCPO contributed to this story.
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