My vow to “live out loud” keeps taking me to unexpected places to do things I’ve never tried before. Last night was no exception.
I’ll bet you’re thinking sky diving or exotic travel, maybe skiing or some other athletic endeavor.
Last night was the annual Turkey Bingo fundraiser hosted by the Ladies Philoptochos Society at our parish, The Church of the Archangels in Stamford. It is a fun event to help people in need. This year’s beneficiaries were Homes for our Troops Shelter for the Homeless — a Haven of Hope, Saint Joseph Parenting Center, Person-to-Person and the Southwestern CT Agency on Aging.
I’m not sure why, but we’ve never gone before. And I don’t think I’ve ever played bingo before — although maybe my grandmother, a huge bingo aficionado, took me and my sister, Traci, when we were younger. …
Being bingo newbies, we didn’t know what to expect. It was quite an eye-opener.
The place was packed with people of all ages — a true multigenerational activity. And while many of the faces were those of fellow parishioners, there were also unfamiliar folks on hand for the fun. It was clearly a “more-is-merrier” proposition.
It is an understatement to say these people take bingo seriously.
The note from church said pizza would be available for purchase, so we figured we’d just grab a slice. And we did, and it was fine.
But many of the people are clearly regulars, bringing their own bags of chips and pretzels, jars of cocktail mix and hard candies. (It’s important, after all, to keep one’s strength up through the night.) They purchased numerous cards, brought their own daubers and took on expressions of rapt concentration as the calling began.
Thanks to the nice lady next to me, I learned the ropes pretty quickly. Catherine brought a friend and they helped mark the numbers. Basil got so into it, he developed a color-coded system for the chips.
And it was a hoot to hear the little kids yell out as they got the right numbers.
Moreover, you could cut the tension in the room each time it became clear that SOMEONE had to win real soon. One table in particular had a real streak going — winning several rounds over the course of the night (is there such a thing as the luck of the Greeks?).
We didn’t win a turkey, or one of the many terrific raffle baskets, but it didn’t matter. What a wonderful way to support some fabulous causes.
We’ll be back next year. I’m bringing my own snacks.