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Friends of Outreach Host Weekly Bingo Game to Help Seniors

by

Friends of Outreach Bingo Volunteers

Every Tuesday afternoon, dozens of eager players gather at the Lakeview Senior Center in the hopes of being the one to shout out “Bingo!” and earn a prize. The Bingo games are hosted by Friends of Outreach, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Irvine that operates entirely with volunteers and donations. The charity focuses on supporting the City of Irvine’s senior outreach programs by hosting fundraisers, community service projects, and weekly social events.

While Friends of Outreach has various fundraiser sources, the proceeds from Bingo are the main source of revenue. 25% of the profits from the game sales go straight to the Homebound Senior Outreach program.

With these donations, the Friends of Outreach group is able to finance emergency response devices, in-home services such as housekeeping or personal care, and taxi services to and from the senior centers, medical appointments, and City events. Since its launch in the 1990s, the Homebound Senior Outreach program has received over $200,000 in donations.

“Friends of Outreach’s aim is to keep seniors in their homes as long as possible,” says Vice President Maria Yousef. “Our goal is to help seniors who can’t get out and socialize.”

More than just a fundraiser, the Bingo games primarily serve as a social function where seniors can enjoy some coffee while chatting with old friends and making new friends.

Although these games are held in the Lakeview Senior Center and focus on senior services, Friends of Outreach encourages all members of the public to come play — you only need to be 18 years or older to join in the fun.

Games are held every Tuesday from 12:45pm until 3:15pm and no registration is required.

The doors open at 12 noon, buy-ins begin at 12:15, and the Early Bird Game starts at 12:45. An $8 donation gets you a 10-game pack, while the Powerball opportunity, Pull-Tab games, and Double Action sheets are an extra $1 each. The prizes are determined by how many buy-ins there are, but the typical game can have a payout of anywhere from $48 to $55. The Powerball Jackpot can even get you a prize of up to $300!

Bingo team member Penny Collura says it best: “If you’re looking to spend an afternoon with fun people, win some money, and know you’re helping homebound seniors get out of the house, then come to Bingo!”

Sabrina Pannier

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