Bingo-Palooza Around the Community

From the red carpet to games called by a drag queen, there’s plenty of fun to be had – and non-profit funds raised

– at local bingo games.

File photo
Kaipo Chock reads the winning bingo numbers on the card of player Lisa Foster.

By Sabrina SHELTON

The Crescenta Valley and surrounding neighborhoods are about to be taken over. People will be heard shouting and laughing and walking away with the spoils of their victories; it’s time for some bingo fundraisers.

The first chance for people to try their luck will be on Friday, Feb. 21 at the La Crescenta Woman’s Club. It’s the USC Verdugo Hills Hospital Women’s Council’s third annual drag queen bingo. The event will be hosted by Bingo Boy and a drag queen friend who will enhance the mood and festivities of this Mardi Gras-themed party. Payment of $65 will get players 10 bingo cards, hors d’oeuvres, and two drink tickets.

USC-VHH Women’s Council Publicity Chair Ruth McNevin is hopeful about the amount of funds that will be raised at the event, earmarked for a new piece of tech for the hospital.

Lisa Foster enjoys her good fortune after winning one of the Prom Plus bingo games.

“[Interventional Radiology Catheter Laboratory] will have a machine that can X-ray arteries to find blockages in people who have had heart attacks,” McNevin explained. It’s a revolutionary piece of equipment that can help save many people’s lives and make diagnoses and follow-up easier.

Although this is only the Women’s Council’s third year of bingo fundraising, it’s already proven to be a community favorite.

“We’ll need a bigger space next year,” laughed McNevin. “It’s a great way to have fun, raise funds and support the community.”

The Mardi Gras bingo is Friday, Feb. 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the La Crescenta Woman’s Club, 4004 La Crescenta Ave., La Crescenta. For more info, email or call (818) 952-2226.

If bingo enthusiasts crave more glamour than what a Mardi Gras drag queen can provide, the Glendale Kiwanis Club’s annual bingo night will satisfy. The Glendale Elks Lodge will become a high-class red carpet event, complete with a real red carpet and props and posters from actual movie studios to set the stage.

“No bingo experience is necessary. Come play and have fun,” said Event Chairperson Miryam Finkelberg. The Red Carpet bingo night is truly fun for a cause. Funds from the event are dedicated to numerous non-profits in the area, including the YMCA and GUSD programs. Finkelberg stated that the bingo night is also a book drive in addition to being a fundraiser. All players who donate a new children’s book will be given a bonus “big chip.” These chips are part of a raffle that occurs several times throughout the evening.

As for the atmosphere, organizers are very serious about the night’s theme.

“I’m looking forward to the [red carpet] theme,” said Finkelberg. “We encourage people to dress up because we’ll have paparazzi volunteers.”

The Glendale Kiwanis Club’s Red Carpet bingo is Saturday, Feb. 22 at 5 p.m. Bingo starts at 6 p.m. and admission is $20, which includes 10 bingo game cards. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Glendale Elks Lodge, 120 E. Colorado St. in Glendale. For tickets and info, contact Miryam Finkelberg at (213) 863-4086.

The last bingo night opportunity in February will be Prom Plus’ Leap Year Bingo. Held on Feb. 29, this event will give bingo fans one extra day of fun. This is an annual event for Prom Plus, which holds several fundraisers throughout the year to benefit the after-prom organization.

“Prom Plus is excited to host this annual fundraiser,” said Prom Plus President Robin Goldsworthy. “It’s a wonderful way to bring together members of the community who are eager to support this 25-plus year old organization. Since 1994 Prom Plus has kept Crescenta Valley High School seniors safe – one prom at a time.”

Prom Plus bingo player Denise Napiwocki found that bingo was not a pain in her neck when she won the blackout game and took home $300 in prize money.

In addition to bingo games, raffle prizes will be available for a lucky few. Every $20 ticket provides 10 bingo game cards. And, if bingo players are looking for longer lasting fun, Prom Plus is always accepting new volunteers to help plan and run the yearly after-prom party.

Prom Plus’ Leap Year Bingo is on Saturday, Feb. 29. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., with bingo starting at 5:30 p.m. It will be held at the American Legion Hall, 4011 La Crescenta Ave. in La Crescenta. For tickets and info about becoming a volunteer, contact Robin Goldsworthy at (818) 601-2432.