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Bingo a popular social event for area seniors

Suzanna Jones, right, joins fellow area senior citizens for a game of bingo at the Guy Thompson Community Center in Milton.

The game of Bingo continues to pick up steam amongst the senior citizen community in the City of Milton. According to Joe Paschal, a facility coordinator at the GuyThompsonCommunity Center, the number of participants have more than doubled.

Since it started at the city parks and recreation facility, Paschal said turnouts for the weekly game went from only four or five to between 35 and 45 each Thursday at 1 p.m.

“It’s gotten pretty popular and it’s a great social event,” Paschal said. “They love playing bingo, but more importantly they love socializing with each other.”  

The first bingo card is free along with food and refreshments, Paschal said. Additional bingo cards are a $1 each.

While there are no major cash prizes up for grabs, a selection from grocery item prizes are awarded to bingo winners including cereal, crackers, cookies and fruit.

“We want it to be a fun event, where no one gets real serious (about winning),” Paschal said.

Bingo is more social than competitive allowing area players to meet and learn about the other activities available in the community center and the surrounding areas.

One of the regular attendees and bingo assistants is Suzanna Jones of Pace, 72, who does not describe herself as a dedicated bingo player, but as a fan of the regular gatherings.

“It gives us a reason to be here and plus we have fun,” Jones said. “We get silly and noisy sometimes…we have wonderful prizes.”

In addition to playing bingo, seniors also show for a movie each Tuesday at 1 p.m., Jones said. The community center, with assistance from Second Chance Ministries, also hosted a Christmas Day event for area seniors in which they treated to a holiday meal and a game of white elephant bingo.

Milton resident Pearl Ann Rutherford is also a regular visitor at the community center.

“It gets me out of the house, my husband passed away six years ago,” Rutherford said. “It just gives me chance to be among people and it keeps my mind active.”   

This article originally appeared on Santa Rosa Press Gazette: Bingo a popular social event for area seniors

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