Bingo Paves Path to Florida for Football Team

Photos by Vincent PAGE
Junior Varsity Head Coach Mark Samford calls out numbers for one of the mini bingo games, this one sponsored by the JV football team, played during the night.

By Vincent PAGE

The Crescenta Valley High School Falcon football booster club hosted a bingo fundraiser on Saturday night at USC Verdugo Hills Hospital. The event was co-hosted with the American Legion Post 288, the local veterans organization that is focused on community sponsorship and youth mentorship.

The event kicked off at 6 p.m., ending around 9 p.m. Players could buy 10 games of bingo for a $20 donation, and other games were played throughout the night as well.

Proceeds benefitted the varsity football squad, which is preparing to head to Florida for a preseason game against Barron Collier High School in Naples. This is the first time in CVHS history that the team will be making the trip.

With a venture like the Florida trip on the horizon, the booster club had to get creative with fundraising ideas. Though members continued offering their traditional community coupon cards and cookie dough fundraisers, they knew a financial commitment as large as the Florida trip would require an even stronger effort.

Thankfully, with nearly 100 people in attendance, all hoping to win at least $100, the bingo night was a huge success.

The night started with a message from Head Coach Paul Schilling who thanked everyone for their support. There were nine bingo games, supported by a handful of businesses within the community and sponsors. These included CV Weekly, Mike’s Creative Iron and Crescenta Valley Insurance.

The first two games of the night were won by Jeri Gossard, wife of defensive coordinator Dennis Gossard and mother of offensive coordinator Hudson Gossard.

The freshmen, junior and varsity football squads each sponsored smaller bingo games during the night.

The night ended with a game of blackout, in which every number on a player’s  card had to be called in order to win. This game was the most tense of the night, as the payout was $300. With so many numbers needed to win, the game went on for nearly 15 minutes before a winner was crowned.

Before the blackout game, though, was the announcement of raffle winners. Tickets for more than 25 prizes could be bought earlier in the evening. Prizes varied from gift cards donated by local businesses for their establishments to the biggest prize of the night: a package of four tickets to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

One of the most heartwarming moments of the night came when Schilling presented a check for $200 to sponsor a game at the next American Legion bingo night. Saturday was the Falcons’ first time hosting a bingo night, and the American Legion made sure everything ran smoothly. But the organization would not accept the check, requesting that Schilling tear it up and keep the money for the team rather than donate it.

Though not everyone won a bingo game on Saturday, everyone did receive a fun-filled night while helping out the local football team.

CVHS varsity football leaves for Florida in about a week and will move forward into the season defending its Pacific League title, a feat it has only done twice in school history.