Where else can one have fantastic homemade food, play bingo and hang out with your friends? JFCS had it all on Sunday, February 9, at Bagels & Bingo. By our count, 92 people noshed, played bingo, chatted with old and new friends, donated and volunteered. We were glad to invite members of our community to visit and learn about the needs and challenges faced by JFCS clients.
The admission cost was one item for the JFCS Food Pantry, but attendees were much more generous. Most folks brought numerous cans, toilet paper and cleaning products. Brian and Deborah Goldberg donated a huge garbage bag full of paper towels and toilet paper. Chabad House donated hundreds of sewing kits, lotions and bows. The JFCS Food Pantry was overflowing with all kinds of wonderful donations. Our tireless volunteers began putting items away Sunday night and continued to work for half the day on Monday!
Celebrity bingo callers Jerri Passo and Debbie Friedman did a great job calling bingo numbers while Thomas Olges kept everyone straight by beaming numbers onto the overhead screen to aid those who could not hear well. Melissa Olges and Sonny Meyer took a lot of great photos, and JFCS staff and volunteers worked their fingers to the nubs to make this a successful, enjoyable and smooth-running affair.
Many thanks to all who volunteered, came to play and donated, especially Starbucks Holiday Manor for the coffee gifts raffle prize (won by the lucky Jim Fine), AJ gift shop for fine glass items, and Temple Shalom Gift Shop for beautiful wallets and other gifts. Diane Sadle of the JCC kindly donated their first-rate bingo supplies, for which JFCS was very grateful.
Our thanks to all those who helped with food, especially Sheilah Miles for the bagels and Rabbi David for his generous donation that helped to purchase food. Almost the entire Food Pantry committee and many JFCS staff generously donated not only prizes but food and their time to ensure the success of Bagels & Bingo.
Of course, we have to express our extra-special appreciation to Janet Meyer and Carole Goldberg for coming up with the idea for this event. They were instrumental in planning and getting the word out into the community, and we are grateful for all the help they provided throughout the evening.
The buzz of comments and compliments from this year abound and some hope Bingo will become a yearly “friend-raising” event at JFCS. Many thanks to all who contributed!