The 2020-21 edition of Dryden Rotary’s “Rotary Radio Bingo” broke all previous records. Sales of bingo cards were for all practical purposes sold out for every game the entire season.
As the organizer of the event, Pat Rigey, said: “Our records show only six cards were unsold over the whole season, so I think we can safely say the whole season was a sell-out.”
 
As a result, our lottery licenses brought in $343,000.00. The profit after expenses and prize money were deducted, is nearly $220,000.  
 
When asked how she felt about the success of this year, given the trauma of the pandemic we were living through, Pat replied, “It is a nice windfall, but when the COVID-19 struct in March 2020, we shut down quickly and missed out on three weeks of revenue. This year, I am happy we were able to work with the North Western Health Unit, to get approval to operate something positive from a mental health view, as it provided something entertaining to do each week.”
 
Pat’s comments were echoed by the club president Anna Traini, when she said, “The Bingo was amazingly successful, and it gave something for people to participate in while they were in lockdown.”  
 
Rotary Radio Bingo was founded either eighteen or nineteen years ago by Rotarian John Carlucci. He thinks the profit in that first year was about $50,000.00. It has grown steadily every year since, except for last year's shortened season. 2018-19 saw a profit of $182.000 the previous record.
 
This year with the help of the pandemic we had an increase of 21% over 2018-19.
 
When asked about this year’s result from where we started Carlucci responded, “I’m flabbergasted! I am proud of the club for making it work during this trying year. We give every cent back to the communities, so we all benefit and we think it is well worth our volunteer time each year.”
 
It certainly is.  In 2016 we estimated the number of volunteer hours at 320. Applying that figure to this year’s total take of $343,000 meant each volunteer hour earned $1,072.00.
 
What a year! What a record! What a silver lining to an otherwise terrible year!
 
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