BINGO FUNDRAISER

In the mid-80’s Royce Tong suggested that we start a Bingo program.  This was not greeted with enthusiasm by the members.  People remembered the old-fashioned Jaycee bingo tickets and the numbers called nightly on the old Rediffusion boxes in the 70’s.  But eventually Royce won the day and a new, updated Bingo was born.  We purchased machines, tickets and a big board for the numbers called.  The committee was chaired by PP Tony Thomas and avidly supported by his wife and Partner in Service, Hazel.

The first venue was the Dover Convention Centre, now a condominium development.  Bruce Hill and his staff organised the transport to and fro on the nights of Bingo.  Security was provided by PP Wally Johnson, Carl Bourne and Clarence Hill. Celebrities were asked to appear and call the numbers and increase the number of patrons who embraced this new Bingo.   Other organizations took note of this new avenue of fund raising and requested the loan of the equipment.  This cut into the revenue generation, so we moved to a bigger, better location – Sherbourne Centre.  Bingo was now a “big time” ticket with three Bingo nights a year.   New modern equipment was brought in such as new digital screeners to avoid any misconception as to the winners’ cards, together with new ball machines.

The Christmas Bingo had always been the most successful of the thrice yearly Bingo fundraisers as evidenced by the attendance of nearly 600 people in December 2001. PP Peter Downes had been the driving force for many years and we thank him and the Rotarians who sell cards and raffle tickets. 

The committee is presently chaired by PP Farid Mansour and our annual Bingo fundraiser is now held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center (LESC).  People in Barbados definitely have an affinity for our Bingo, especially senior citizens, as this affords them the opportunity to have a night out, with food, snacks and drinks easily accessible.  As long as this enthusiastic response is maintained, we will fill the needs and wishes of our loyal clientele.