The buzzword was BINGO in support of Senior Resources

VERO BEACH — If you don’t think ladies have a competitive side, you’ve never been to the Senior Resource Association’s Box Lunch Bingo fundraiser.  It’s all in good fun though, and the friendly rivalry is always accompanied by a smile.  Approximately 130 women filled the Senior Center for the annual event, each looking forward to an afternoon filled with friendship and laughter. Every year, the event entices long-time bingo aficionados and beginners alike.  Novice Nicki Maslin said she was excited about playing and was looking forward to seeing how she would fare.

“It’s my first time; we’ll have to see how well we do,” said Maslin, as she waited eagerly with Cyn DeLee Dalton for the games to begin.

Event co-chairs Denise Hegener and Betsy Trodglen and their enthusiastic committee were all looking particularly fashionable.  They had each had been made up by Mary Kay makeup artist Cindy Goetz, and were sporting clothing and jewelry fashions from Blondies on Ocean. Trish Hickey-Reid, owner of Blondies will also be donating 15 percent of proceeds from sales through March 25 to the Senior Resource Association.

The only testosterone in the room belonged to Bingo Callers Gerry Thistle of Willis HRH Insurance and Tom Nelson, from Nelson Morgan Wealth Management.  The job was old hat to Thistle, who has volunteered at the event for the past few years, but this was the first time for Nelson.

“It really is a lot of fun,” said Thistle. “It’s great interacting with the crowd.”

The job is obviously a key one.  As random balls pop up, they must call them off and put into their respective slots, which then automatically lights up the number on bingo boards at either end of the room.

“Kay Brown was nice enough to tell me I was doing it,” explained Nelson.

“I figured he could hold his own in a room full of women,” agreed Brown with a smile.  “Not every man can do that.”

Before the Bingo games began, ladies nibbled on their boxed lunches and some cute little bingo- card shortbread cookies, donated by Frostings.  Pud Lawrence then presided over the always popular Purse Game, somewhat reminiscent of Monty Hall’s Let’s Make a Deal.

“If you have the item in your purse, jump up and yell ME, ME, ME,” said Lawrence explaining the rules before calling out items from her list, that ranged from wedding invitations to scotch tape.

With an extra-large Zip-lock bag filled with all sorts of possible items, Trudie Rainone was more than ready for the game.

“I usually come prepared, but not this much,” laughed Rainone, pointing out that she even had a small travel packet of toilet paper.

After the Purse Game, the ladies settled down for the business at hand with bingo daubers at the ready.  Playing the game in earnest, they peered over their bingo cards in quiet concentration.  After each gleeful shout of BINGO, a collective breath was let out, accompanied by groans and laughter, as players waited for the next round.

Proceeds from the Box Lunch Bingo event benefit Senior Resource Association programs including Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Care, Social Entrée Meals, In-Home Services, Senior Center Programs and transportation. {igallery 355}

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