By Father Michael Barth
After many years of successful fundraising through the Bingo, the effort has come to be one which the parish can no longer sustain. Therefore, based upon the recommendation of the Parish Finance Council and the vote of the school community via their level of participative support, I have decided, with concern and regret, to discontinue the Tuesday Night Weekly Bingo at St. Paul Parish.
I want to take this time to thank all those who have dedicated themselves to making our Bingo a good fundraiser for so many years. Without our dedicated volunteers and patrons, the Bingo would never have been successful. Our last Bingo took place December 18, 2018. Thank you all once again.
Many might ask, in the midst of financial struggle, why would the Bingo be discontinued. I tried to address that in a brief way in the first paragraph above. There are many things that went into the decision to discontinue our Bingo. The Bingo has been in steady decline as to the funds that it raises. The expanded opportunities for gambling, such as “the boats,” account for some of the decline in interest for Bingo. The reality about the Bingo shows there have been weeks in which the parish actually lost money at the Bingo and other weeks with low profits, as low as less than one dollar. The real money maker at the Bingo has been the bankers. Without the volunteer staff to sell the bankers, the Bingo, as a fundraiser, fails. Dedicated persons, such as Dave Bennett and Julie Keyser, have often filled numerous jobs on any given Tuesday night Bingo in order for the it to take place. Their dedication was way above the call of duty. But, even with such generosity and dedication, the Bingo was no longer succeeding at being a fundraiser for the parish. Staff members, such as Linda Fryman and Judine Hooker, also gave tirelessly of themselves and their time to try to salvage Bingo. The Bingo, at its high point, made more than $100,000 in a given year. That level of return has not been seen in a long time. The return dwindled to approximately $60,000, then to $30,000 and, for the current academic year, it appeared that the return would be around $15,000. Taking all these things into account and, based upon the recommendation of the Parish Finance Council and the vote of the school community via their level of participative support, I decided, with concern and regret, to discontinue the Tuesday night weekly Bingo at St. Paul Parish.
I would like to once again take this opportunity to thank all those who have, over the years, made our Bingo fun and successful. In particular, at this moment, I want to thank all the patrons who have supported our Bingo over the past year and our Bingo Captain, Dave Bennett, and our Bingo Coordinator, Julie Keyser, for their incomparable support and efforts.
The parish continues to have financial needs. Various committees and councils are taking under consideration a number of suggestions on what other fundraising activities the parish could use to help offset its expenses. However, as always, the majority of the support for our parish comes from our regular parishioners, who believing in the work and apostolates of the parish, give generously to the Sunday collection to make this parish a reality. Thank you all.