A Never Ending Stream Of Unusual Bingo Themes for Charity

By Ben Hamill - September 22 2015

Football Commentator Bingo

There are so many ways people use our wonderful kids' game! Some of these ways raise money for excellent causes as for instance musical bingo to raise money for local hospitals. Bingo can also be used to simply have fun at the expense of people who are usually protected from being laughed at by normal, everyday people. Here I mean politicians. So, we now have Republican Debate Bingo! I hope the candidates get a chance to see themselves in a more human light instead of in the light of, ta da, presidential candidates with very expensive clothes and doting staffs and fawning news media and not a whole lot to say that might enhance our lives. And all this is owed to bingo!

Other News...Selling Charity Lottery Tickets Online in Canada

Here are a few of the many other ways bingo is being used for good causes or just to poke fun at ourselves or the self-righteous.

  • From Belleville Illinois in the U.S. we hear that the Highland Band Parents Association is sponsoring Cow Pie Bingo. This is an annual event in the land of the cow pie. The idea is that small squares are set aside on a field. Between 400 and 600 tickets are sold for $10 each. A cow is allowed to roam through the field. The big winner is the "owner" of the square where the cow deposits its first cow pie! The prize is $1000 or only $750 if the owner of the square isn't present when the cow pie flies!
  • A food pantry in Seneca County, Ohio sponsors an annual basket bingo fundraiser. Basket Bingo is like regular bingo but the prizes are baskets which may contain food or clothing donated by local businesses.
  • Also in Ohio and many other locales they're playing Back to School Bingo.
  • A little closer to home, in Coldwater, MI they play Purse Bingo every year to raise money for their Community Health Center. Winners receive a purse. Inside one of the purses is a special prize. Purse Bingo has become fairly common. In some cases the purses awarded are quite fancy and of high quality. The ticket prizes reflect such costs but also leave a goodly sum for the charity.
  • The Toronto (our Toronto!) International Film Festival is running a Celebrity Bingo game during the festival. They call it #TIFF 15 Bingo. The "numbers" are celebrities or just people in various "activities". Here are a few that I found especially funny: A non-Canadian actor says the second "t" in Toronto; a foreign actor says how much they "love" Canada; and a foreign actor calls Toronto "The 6".
  • Good news out of Essex in Ontario. The annual Corn Bingo fundraiser at the Harrow Fair went off as planned after Essex removed their threat to charge more than the usual $80 for a license to run the charitable bingo event. Corn Bingo is just regular bingo but players use corn kernels instead of daubers. It's a bit hit in Essex.
  • From Washington we hear about "Restaurant Week Hell" Bingo. The card has hellish moments in the life of a restaurant or restaurant workers. As a former restaurant worker I sympathize completely with the scourge of low tippers, tables that don't order any alcohol, people who send everything back at least once, people who add up the bill, then divide the bill to the penny, then expect us to keep the money straight. Worse is a large party that asks for individual checks! Aargh! Would that the "Restaurant Week Hell" Bingo players see themselves in the "numbers" and cease and desist their untoward restaurant habits!
  • From Grafton, Australia, a Music Bingo night raised money for the local school.
  • In Asheboro, North Carolina they raise money for the Randall Cancer Center by playing Health Themed Bingo. Prizes include restaurant gift cards, zoo tickets, and movie tickets. The bingo game will emphasize breast cancer awareness. Many women don't detect their breast cancer until it has passed the first stage. The United States is such a big country that in 2015 alone the American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 230,000 new breast cancer diagnoses.
  • WELCA stands for Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. The branch in Stark, Minnesota is having a Quilt Bingo night. The prizes are quilts. The Do Day women stich together between 150 and 200 quilts every year which they donate to Lutheran World Relief, The Northern Lights Men's Homeless Shelter, The Trinity House of Hope Women's Shelter, Francis Lauer Youth Services, and other excellent charities.
  • Atlantic City is running Miss America Bingo during the competition. It doesn't seem to be run for charity but it certainly should be. If anything is perfectly suited for being laughed at it's the Miss America Pageant! One of the "numbers" is group hug; another is holding hands; a third is tears on. What could possibly be a better theme for a charitable bingo event?!

The Causes are Great and the Possibilities are Endless

If they can make a bingo game out of the Miss America contest they can make a bingo game out of anything. How about Blue Jays Fans Bingo? You could have "gets drunk by the third inning" or "has no idea what the infield fly rule is". You see the idea: find a theme and use it to raise money for a good cause.

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