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Written by Judith St. Gaudens author of Lilacs For Carrie

GALA NIGHT for Charity Bingo! When I arrived at Nacho Daddy, had I not had a reserved table, I’d have been playing bingo on the street! I’m not kidding! It was almost standing room only.


The final attendance for the evening was 150 generous, children-loving people playing bingo for Canica—Centro de Apoyo a Ninos con Cancer A.C. or Children with Cancer. What an amazing crowd. Wish list items piled up near the stage. Several children comfortably ensconced at a table near the front, avidly waited for the games to begin.

The usual pre-game activities ensued — Tim on cards, Lori on beads (I feared we might run low on beads), Robin BIG raffling, Carole 50/50 raffling, Lina handling the camera duties (Tim gave Oscar the night off) and Charlotte and Tammy running around doing everything else necessary to get us started. The Nacho Daddy staff was spot on. Food and beverages ordered and delivered with their usual precision.

A special treat for the evening was our guest callers — the always lovely, Pamela Thompson! and, wearing an interesting sxxtkickin’ boot — the marvelous Gary Green! Gary started us off with a BIG BINGO RAH, RAH! That’s not been done before. Then, Pam let us know that there would be no joking around. Just bingo calling. She wanted to be finished with the event by 8:30. Then, it was off to the races … and I mean RACES!

The first winner of the evening was none other than Ross Shaping. Way to go, Ross. Then, Joann Cain shouted “BINGO”, winning Game 2. Wheee! Denise Deramee took Game 3 and Connie Kogut wiped us all out, winning Game 4. Dyn-o-mite! Our beautiful children helped to deliver the heavily laden prize bags to the winners.

Suddenly, it was halftime! The children passed out marbles to all the participants — so we will remember them in the future. I’ll keep mine close to my heart, as are these children and all children with cancer — in my heart and in my prayers. I hope I’m not the only one. The children attending this evening’s festivities introduced themselves to the crowd. I believe the youngest was three. I sort of had to keep doodling so I wouldn’t cry. It was an emotional evening at times. It’s interesting to note that the types of cancers that affect children have a very high cure probability at around 70%. Canica arranges transportation to treatment facilities in Guadalajara for the children. The charity provides other important services as well. By participating in the games this month, we are contributing to the health and welfare of these deserving children.

Raffle ticket sales were brisk during halftime, too. Not only that, I spotted author Karen Blomain at a back table. Karen’s novels, “A Trick of Light” and “Season of Lost Children” are must-reads. I highly recommend them. Thank you for playing, Karen. Hmmmm. Oh, yes. The inimitable Bill Kelly also joined us. I’m certain there were other dignitaries and celebrities in the mob. I just couldn’t see them for all the people.

Additional food and beverages delivered yet again, Pam had us off to the races once more. Bev Shaw snagged Game 5. Nice one, Bev. Kurt Lauer and Debbie Burke bagged Game 6. Whooo, hoooo! Bruce Abrahamson won Game 7. Well done, Bruce.

I think it was at this point in the evening where the raffle tickets were pulled and the winners announced. The largest 50/50 raffle pot in Charity Bingo history – $3,100! – was won by Donna Bellwood. Donna told us the story about her son, a child cancer survivor, who will turn 36 years old this month. She generously donated her winnings back to the cause making the total take for the evening — wait for it — a whopping $25,250! Can you believe it? Well, believe it. The BIG Raffle was won by Llora Weismillek. The fabulous prize was a trip to Guadalajara, including transportation and two nights lodging provided by Superior Tours.

A very special shout-out to Pamela Thompson of HealthCare Resources for her efforts to drive folks to Bingo Night. And, I’m not talking by car, either. Emails, postings on Facebook, Twitter, more emails, more postings. The woman is tireless and I believe her endeavors definitely paid off tonight. Wonderful job, Pam. I don’t know where you find the energy but I know the children are grateful as is the rest of the community

We finished up the night with the always-challenging Blackout Bingo. I love this one. It was won by Richard Law and Donna Bellwood! Yippeee!

Congratulations to all our winners! Kudos to the 150 people who made the event a huge success for the children. Thanks as usual to our energetic sponsors – Tim and Lina of PVRPV, Charlotte and Carole of Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates and Lori of Rio Amapas-Private Luxury Residences. Without your hard work, Charity Bingo would not happen. And, what a wonderful list of contributors again for this event. Those prize bags are loaded! Many thanks to all.

By the way, the Bingo event was a done deal by 8:20! A Bingo Marathon! Whew!

Okay, kids. Let’s not forget that we play Bingo once more for this very worthy cause on Tuesday, January 24 at 6:30. Can anyone remember where? Oh, yes. Nacho Daddy! Until then, this is me, signing off.

SPONSORS Cheeky Monkey
Diamonds International Mail Boxes Etc.
Cassandra Shaw Xocodiva Artisan Chocolates
Fishing with Carolina Nacho Daddy
Deja New Consignment El Andariego
Joe Jack’s Fish Shack Apaches Bistro
Bubba Gump The Coffee Cup
JB Dancing Club No Way Jose Restaurant
Hotel Tropicana Cristelex
Curvas Peligrosas Gold’s Gym
The Dog House Los Veranos Canopy Tour
Café DesArtistes Page in the Sun
Canto del Mar Bellisima SPA
Daiquiri Dicks Frida Un Bar
PVRPV Natural Essence
The Palm Cabaret Cooling Ties by Bill Kelly
Socorro Macias Apaches Martini Bar
Flaveur City Sabrina Bar & Grill
Pegaso Tours Bella Napoli
Canopy River Franc Gol
Los Bambinos Los Alcatraces
La Kuh
Old Time Photo Studio
Lola Covarrubias Esther Sanchez