By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
Bingo players by the hundreds poured into Holy Redeemer’s Healy Hall on Friday night, daubers at the ready, eager to win their portion of over $1,700 in prize money. The annual event, hosted by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), is a highly anticipated night of fun.
“Being an ongoing event [this was the Posts’ fifth year hosting bingo night], people are expecting it,” said the American Legion First Vice Commander Darren Azarian. “It’s a tremendous amount of work but our community really seems to enjoy it.”
In addition to the prize money, raffle tickets were sold for a variety of donated items. Little did ticket purchasers realize, though, that they were buying an opportunity for more than the items on display.
Enter Gordon Walker, a veteran visiting from Australia. A businessman with Reverse Alert, an after-market safety device for automobiles, RVs and other types of vehicles, Walker stopped by Healy Hall to visit the bingo game hosted by the American Legion and VFW. What he saw impressed him.
“I’ve never seen a gathering like that before, supporting veterans,” Walker said. “When I saw the event, I asked myself, ‘How can I get involved with this?’”
What he saw made him turn on his heels and head to the bank where he withdrew $1,000 to fund two $500 “second chance” drawings for raffle ticket holders to the surprise of all in Healy Hall.
In total more than $2,100 was given away to lucky winners on Friday night in addition to the raffle prizes.
Proceeds from the bingo game will fund the Posts’ many philanthropic outreach projects that benefit local youth and veterans.