Bingo is back, proceeds benefit senior nutrition program

Bingo is back, proceeds benefit senior nutrition program
Bingo proceeds benefit the senior nutrition program. The program provides weekday hot meals and food delivery to homebound seniors. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — Grab your daubers, bingo is back at the El Corazon Senior Center on Mondays with cash prizes for winners. Games are open to everyone age 18 and up.

Eileen Turk, city neighborhood services division manager, said bingo is restarting after the Oceanside Senior Citizens Association took a year hiatus from sponsoring the games to regroup, update state and county paperwork and recruit volunteers.

“We needed a bingo break,” Turk said. “We regrouped with a new set of volunteers to better serve the community.”

All game proceeds go toward supporting the senior nutrition program, which provides weekday low-cost lunches at the Country Club Senior Center and delivers meals to homebound seniors.

Jesse Montanez, city park and recreation supervisor, said there has been a positive response to bingo starting up. He added children and grandchildren enjoy playing with elder family members.

“You don’t have to be senior,” Montanez said. “It’s really cool. Grandkids and kids who are caretakers for their parents play too.

“We’re hoping for a big crowd. All the money raised goes back to help seniors. It’s a great cause.”

The Senior Citizens Association fundraiser has a long history with Oceanside senior centers. Bingo was originally played at the Country Club Senior Center before the El Corazon center opened in 2009.

A percentage of the total game buy-in is paid to winners. The more players, the bigger the cash prize purse.

In the past about 40 players took part in bingo. Turk said the center is hoping for 60 players a week.

“It’s an opportunity to meet new friends, socialize and win (cash) prizes,” Turk said. “We welcome experienced players to come, and people who have not played to try a new experience.”

Games start Jan. 12, and are held every Monday from 12:30 to 4 p.m., at El Corazon Senior Center. The center will be closed on national holidays, including Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Jan. 19.

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