December 22, 2006, President Gord Hulburt of the River City Bingo Association said that they want to get people excited about the social aspects of Bingo again. The Bingo Association has done away with mixing people who smoke with those who don't and instead constructed special rooms that have filters so that the smoke will go outdoors immediately while the non-smoking patrons play in a separate room as well. Nothing is more exciting than when someone calls out, "BINGO!". Community organizations and businesses are encouraged to join the fun at the Bingo hall.
According to Hulburt, the Powell River Lions Club reserved a table for all its members and guests for one Bingo night. Hulburt added that it was extremely enjoyable and it showed a lot of people that Bingo can be fun. The profit aspect of Bingo is more than fun. About 60% of the revenues that are generated each night are given to the players. The remaining 40% is determined by the BC Lottery Corporation which decides how much of the money remains in Powell River. About $400,000 was donated to the community each year thanks to the bingo games.
Members of the hall include the Knight of Columbus, Powell River Figure Skating Club, Model Community, Lions Club, Bruce Denniston Society, St. John Ambulance, Kiwanis Club, Kings Hockey Club, Kiwanis Club of Westview, Moose Lodge, Powell River Academy of Music, Special Olympics, Navy League, Alano Club, Powell River Senior Citizens Association, Royal Canadian Legion, Air Cadets, Oceanview Secondary School Parent Advisory Committee, Rotary Club of Powell River, Townsite Heritage Society, as well as the Powell River Track and Field Club. Association Past President, Romi Low, said that many groups rely on Bingo in order to survive. Ms. Low is also the local representative of the provincial organization that oversees Bingo hall operations in BC.
About 8 people work at the Bingo hall and Mo Lepitre of the Willow Hollow Bakery runs the food and baked goods at the snack bar. The Townsite Heritage Society, represented by Ann Nelson, assists both with marketing and promotion. Businesses that seek a night out for their employees are invited to reserve a table for an evening of Bingo. It only costs around $10 per reservation so it is relatively cheap. Businesses can also assist charities with this practice at the same time.
Sunday, January 14, 2007