Celebrating Canmore’s Unsung Bingo Hero

By Ben Hamill - April 21 2020
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Celebrating Canmore’s Unsung Bingo Hero

When unprecedented circumstances forced all of Canmore indoors for the better part of every day and night, local Bingo caller Randi Lynn Rinaldi stepped up to the challenge of trying out for an entirely new title: that of local hero. What used to be Friday nights calling Bingo at the Canmore Legion, has now migrated online. Instead of heading out to call the numbers on Friday evenings, Rinaldi now stays home and saves lives by doing it all on online via videoconferencing platform Zoom instead.

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And judging by the 50 or so folks who joined Rinaldi in playing Bingo on Zoom on Sunday past, making the most of a challenging time is more than just a nice idea – and as discovered by our local hero Rinaldi, its actually doable.

She Now Has Help

But Rinaldi is the first to point out she’s not the lone hero in this particular story. After a week of having given away prizes from her own personal home and belongings, others in the community began leaving items to be given away as prizes on the front steps of her home. Items such as the prize didgeridoo recently gifted by a particularly generous bringer of the Bingo-joy.

But its Rinaldi doing most of the work and parting with roughly $100 already spent on Bingo cards. In fact, not only does Rinaldi fund all of the cards herself, but she also distributes them to those interested in playing along. She does this in and around the community as well as beyond her immediate neighbourhood via postal mail and even drop-offs. And, says Rinaldi, given that the time and money spent buys about six weeks’ worth of fun for 50+ people, it doesn’t really get much cheaper to spread the joy than this.

An Unexpected Hero

Thanks to local Bingo heroes having opened up their hearts to Rinaldi’s cause, the prizes up for grabs have gone from a 6-pack of gin-and-tonic turned 5-pack because of her having sampled one, to everything from hand-made pottery to wine to the mentioned Australian wind instrument.

But of much more value than the gifted prizes, is that Rinaldi’s Zoom Bingo gives those playing along on Sunday evenings a sense of community and of things at least to some extent, returning back to the normal they once knew. And its perhaps this, more than anything else, that has “hero” written all over it.

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