HOPE to have binga fundraiser

Cassie Buchman , City Editor

Participants can play a round of bingo and help raise money for those affected by domestic violence at Housing, Outreach, Prevention and Education of East Central Illinois’s Basket Binga 6 p.m. Thursday at Charleston VFW, 1821 20th St.

The event is called a “binga” instead of “bingo” because the use of the word bingo could be considered gambling instead of fundraising.

Door prizes will also be offered. Camille Gordon, who organized the event, said these prizes include a purple Coach purse that will be raffled off.

“The prizes could be anything from a free meal at a local restaurant to a Longaberger basket,” Gordon said.

This is the fifth binga HOPE has put together

“We have had really good turnout,” Gordon said.

She said 100 to 120 people have attended previous bingas.

In previous years, HOPE has raised anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000.

“It varies from year to year,” Gordon said. “I hope this year it will be a bigger turnout. We’ve had anywhere from pre-teens to any ages on up.”

The attendance can vary depending on different factors.

“It kind of depends on the weather,” she said. “When there’s bad weather, people don’t want to get out of their house.”

All money raised from the binga benefits the HOPE by going to their children’s program.

The children’s program helps support children who have witnessed or been around domestic violence, or been victims of it themselves.

Gordon said the money helps those in charge of the program buy school supplies and take the children on various trips.

“We go in the summer, do activities,” Gordon said. “The money would help with transportations costs; we can take the children to places they may normally not be able to go to because of transportation issues.”

Although the binga officially starts at 6 p.m., an early bird binga will take place at 5:45 p.m. The cost to play is $10 for 10 games.

Prizes can also be won at a silent auction.

People from the community have donated door prizes and other prizes. Donations will still be accepted until 5:30 p.m. or later on the day of the event.

“WEIU TV station donated a kids basket,” Gordon said. “It just ranges.”

Food will also be sold at the binga.

“We will have sloppy Joes, and tacos in a bag,” Gordon said.

Charleston VFW has hosted the binga for the last five years.

“They have supported us in any way they can,” Gordon said.

Anyone who wants to donate can contact Gordon or HOPE to arrange to have their donations picked up or find out where to donate.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].