Ruritans raise money with games

Published 11:12 am Friday, January 28, 2011

Newsoms Ruritan Club member John Skeeters calls Bingo at Newsoms Community House.

NEWSOMS—The second time Sedley’s Valerie Pennell went to Bingo at Newsoms Ruritan Club, she went home a $1,192 winner.

“I was excited,” she said.

The grocery manager for Farm Fresh in Franklin, Pennell spent the money on her daughter and granddaughter.

Last week’s big winner, Linda Randall of Yale, had a different plan for her $452 prize.

“I’ve got some money to play Bingo on Saturday night,” she said.

Pennell and Randall weren’t the only winners. When folks play Bingo at 7 p.m. the third Thursday of the month at Newsoms Community House on Main Street, the town’s roughly 1,000 residents benefit.

The Ruritan Club returns the proceeds to the community, said Bingo caller John Skeeters, who is the lieutenant governor for Zone 2 in the Holland District and the club’s former president.

“We award scholarships to local high school seniors, manage and maintain the community building, and help kids in the 4-H program among many other projects,” Skeeters said. “We try and better the quality of life by helping to maintain the community fabric of the Newsoms area.”

The Ruritan Club also partners with others to help sponsor the Newsoms Fourth of July celebration and Christmas festivities.

Bingo is one of three ways the Ruritans raise money, said club secretary Betty Darden. The club’s other fundraisers are its annual steak supper, which will be held 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, and its annual auction, which is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19. Both events are at Newsoms Community House.

The Ruritans charge $10 to play Bingo and give away only cash prizes. The pot for the grand prize grows monthly if no one wins it.

“We have been holding Bingo Night here in Newsoms for the past six years, and we have a great time once a month giving away prizes and cash,” Skeeters said. “We have a dedicated core of regulars who keep coming back because they enjoy the entertainment as well as the cash prizes. Even if they don’t win the biggest prizes, many of our players say they come out just for the camaraderie and a night of good clean entertainment.”