and the Mill Pond Parent Group (MPPG) hosted a Family Bingo Night last night, and the event was an instant success. Tickets sold out days earlier and the cafeteria was filled to a capacity of nearly 500 people.
“This exceeded all of our expectations,” said principal Reene Hatherley.
Hatherley said the idea is new to the school and came from fourth grade teacher Joan Sanders, who had attended a successful Bingo night in another town.
Organizers of the event were MPPG members Courtney Sams and Marian Kotopoulos. They said that the event is expected to yield $7,000 when all the income and expenses are tallied.
Families were treated to Papa Gino’s pizza, desserts, snacks and drinks. Tables filled with people of all ages. Classic Bingo games including Picture Frame, 4 Corners, Letter M, Letter X and Fill the Card were played in addition to the traditional game. Winners chose prizes from an assortment of goodies on a table.
The evening was emceed by fifth grade teacher Christopher Gildea, who livened the night by having winners sing “B-I-N-G-O” instead of shouting out, “Bingo!” By the end of the night, the crowd clapped and joined in singing when a winner was announced.
Pennies lined the tables and were used for game tokens. The pennies were donated as part of a school-wide penny drive leading up to the event. Classrooms competed to see who could raise the most pennies. In the end, Gildea announced, 1,094 pounds of pennies were raised by the students. He said that equates to about $1,700. The winning classroom was Mrs. Golden’s. The fifth graders of her class raised 134 pounds of pennies and earned an ice cream party for the effort.
In addition to Bingo, the night featured an assortment of raffle items and games. A 50-50 raffle brought in $1,400, and one lucky student went home with the prize of $700.
Money raised from the event will be used to fund school enrichment programs which are not covered by the school budget.