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Bingo for the win

Sunday afternoons at Farmville Moose Lodge 968 are an exciting place to be. The doors open at 4:30 p.m. and a steady stream of Bingo players young and old line up to purchase Bingo packets — each hopeful that they have winning scorecards inside.

To view more photos of the event, click here.

The talk is friendly and laughter plentiful as players find a seat and layout their Bingo scorecards. Many have come prepared with specially designed bags made with pockets to hold different colored ink stamping pads (shaped like a baby bottle, filled with colored ink and a stamp pad on top) along with tape for players to hold multiple Bingo scorecards together. If you are new to Bingo or have forgotten your supplies — no worries as they are available for purchase along with snacks, light food items and drinks.

The official caller for this particular evening is Clifford Fillhart and he takes his seat on the stage next to the Bingo balls which have a letter and number on them. The excitement builds in the room as the clock ticks forward to 6 p.m. and the start of the first game. As Fillhart begins calling out Bingo balls the crowd quiets down as they are listening intently and stamping their scorecards as appropriate. It doesn’t take long before the first BINGO is shouted out and the winner collects their prize. Words of congratulations along with looks of envy are evident but it’s all in good fun and the crowd quickly quiets down as the next balls are called out by Fillhart — and a new chance to win is in play.

You might be asking yourself why would members of the Moose Lodge give up every Sunday evening to host Bingo? The answer for this 138 member group is along with the friendship, giving back to the community is important. According to Bingo Chairman Donnie Simmons 10 percent of the proceeds go to benefit local charities such as rescue squads and to help folks who have suffered a house fire or other major loss.

The big winner of the evening was Cumberland County resident and Prince Edward County School teacher Kim Thurston-Foster who won a whopping $1,000! Not a bad way to start off the new school year.