Around Bosco: Bosco “Car Hop” Bingo Cruises Back in Style
by Miles Bondoc
Prior to state and local COVID-19 protocols and guidelines, Bingo served as a major fundraising event at St. John Bosco. Bosco Bingo temporarily shut down following the closure of the campus in March, but returned to campus in new form last month, bringing back the funds and the fun.
Bingo returned amidst the COVID-19 chaos safely, introducing “car hop” bingo in partnership with BingoMeNow. Now, like back in the “old normal,” Bosco hosts bingo each week – albeit in the parking lot – from 5:00-8:00 PM. Participants can reserve their spots now via the Bosco website.
The BingoMeNow app allows users to buy in and participate in car hop bingo. Bingo Manager Steve Waller oversaw the reopening process and wrote the school’s plan in accordance with state and local COVID-19 protocols and guidelines for similar events. Prior to the return of bingo at Bosco, other bingo programs reopened, but many of them promptly shut down due to their lack of sufficient precaution.
After identifying the main issues that caused the closure of these events, Waller and the Bosco Bingo management created their own guidelines to prevent a shutdown of car hop bingo. COVID-19 precautions, such as health screening forms, are required in order to make bingo a safe event for all participants and volunteers.
“[Bingo] has been a hugely successful format and fundraiser for the school. With this change with COVID-19, we had to change everything to make sure that we’re safe,” Waller said.
The return of bingo means a lot for the Bosco community, especially in light of the recent pandemic and subsequent suspension of most school activities. Bosco bingo provides some more financial support for Bosco staff, students and community at-large. The return of bingo gives an opportunity for members of the Bosco family to support their school and community during the troubling times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The closure of Bosco’s campus has resulted in a major loss of over $250,000 in fundraising money. Previously Bingo brought usually about 200-225 players together in the Bosco MPR and was one of the largest fundraising events at Bosco. Prior to the closure, these funds came primarily from Bosco’s weekly Bingo as well as the Braves Gala. Bingo’s return is certainly a huge help in light of the financial struggle that Bosco has undergone as a result of the campus’ closure and the effects of the virus on the Bosco community.
The return of Bosco Bingo in a completely new way is certainly an uplifting development for the community and its members.
Bingo’s return is not only a financial boost, but also is an indication of some return to normalcy at Bosco. After months of time physically distant from campus and the rest of the Bosco community, we now have an opportunity to be able to get back into the swing of things. Bingo provides an opportunity for parents, teachers and even students to reconnect with the Bosco campus and community in a safe and fun way.