For those who turn out for Tuesday night bingo at Mike’s Pub, dabber in hand and rock and roll in their hearts, raising money for local charities may not be foremost in their minds.
But so far, since Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo began its reign back in December, organizer Brian Kalbfleisch reports raising over $8,000.
“Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo succeeds in a lot of ways,” says Kalbfleisch. “Most importantly, it engages the community at a business and social level to get behind some important local causes. It’s a fun, generally harmless, and ridiculous way to raise some money, inspire people to help their community and bring to light some of the issues the less fortunate face in our beautiful mountain home.”
Rock ‘n’ Roll bingo recently gave Earth Matters at Nelson CARES a $600 donation. In February, they gave $3,000 to the Salvation Army Food Bank and in January they gave $3,000 to the Nelson Food Cupboard. In December, Nelson Skatepark Society received $1,500. And there’s about another $1,000 ready to go to Nelson CARES as well.
“I know from talking to recipients of the money we’re donating that we are making a difference in the lives of people and the programs these organizations deliver,” Kalbfleisch says.
With only a few weeks left before bingo wraps for the season, there are still some big-ticket prizes up for grabs including a $150 gift certificate at Cymatica Tattoo, a day pass to Red Mountain, one night’s stay for two in a recently renovated 4th floor deluxe suite at the Hume Hotel, 180cm Ullr skis from Boomtown Sports Inc., a Ride Snowboards snowboard jacket, a tour for six of the Nelson Brewery, and 30,000 air-mile points.
“We also have tickets to see K-OS, BC/DC, the Funk Hunters, Alpha Yaya Diallo, and Axe Capoiera, plus loads of gift certificates,” says Kalbfleisch.
The organizer and ball caller extraordinaire bid farewell to co-host Ali Becker and on March 12 was joined by Nelson from Nelson and Rhoneil, two talented local musicians. On March 26 and April 2, the Nelson Killjoys Roller Derby team is slated to join Kalbfleisch. And on April 9, local artist Ursula Twiss will guest host on Rock ‘n’ Roll Bingo’s last night.
“Ali obviously left some pretty big shoes to fill, so I am throwing everything and anyone I can at her empty bingo chair,” sighs Kalbfleisch.
Until the last ball drops, the “cool tunes” and public embarrassment continues as people are forced to read from dirty novels when they make a mistake — it’s always a good time, he says.