Charitable Bingo Raises Money for the Deker Bauer Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide

By Ben Hamill - July 31 2016

Charitable Bingo Raises Money

Although I have begun to discuss the virtues of online bingo, I am moved today to write about a wonderful charity that held a fund raising bingo event yesterday. The Deker Bauer Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide was founded in the aftermath of a tragic suicide by a troubled 17-year old Ontario native named Deker Bauer.

Deker Bauer Foundation Does Necessary and Exemplary Work

Yesterday, the Jackpot City Gaming Entertainment Centre in Sarnia held a bingo event to raise money for the Deker Bauer Foundation. I don't know at this time how much money was raised but I have respected the Deker Bauer Foundation since it was founded a mere two years ago by Deker Bauer's mother, Teresa Ingles, for its exemplary work helping people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and genders deal with the demons that have made them suicidal.

The Troubled World of Charitable Gaming

In its 30 years of operation as a bingo centre, the Jackpot City Gaming Entertainment Centre, which was originally called Bingo Country, has raised 15 million dollars for local charities. An average of $500,000 per year may not seem like much but that is the essence of charitable bingo: it raises relatively small sums for many organizations that need these small sums to provide the services they are committed to providing.

A music centre needs a few thousand dollars to pay bills that if left unpaid would result in its closure. A junior hockey centre has many expenses and needs every penny it can raise. Medical centres obviously do not operate solely on the strength of money raised at bingo centres but money is fungible so money gleaned through bingo pays the bills as well as money donated by a well-heeled donor.

I am not in love with all the changes that have occurred at Jackpot City in the last few years. They say that they are meeting the needs of local people who love to go out and play bingo for charity or just for the chance to win a big prize.

So Jackpot City has completely overhauled its old bingo gaming room; it has added a small restaurant; and it has added a sports lounge. I can't fault any of these changes; too many bingo centres were left in the first half of the last century making them very unappealing to young people who are, shall we say, spoiled somewhat by affluence.

However, all the changes and modernization has a price and the way the money to pay for them was raised was to add electronic gaming machines.

Still Not Adjusted to Change

I guess that I am hopelessly old fashioned but I sincerely believe that the electronic gaming machines will bring in the wrong kind of money from the wrong kind of people. It is this sad state of affairs that has led me to openly embrace online bingo.

About the Deker Bauer Foundation

But I believe I should say something about the Deker Bauer Foundation. I would go to almost any modern bingo centre to help raise money for this organization.

Tonight the Foundation is sponsoring a three-hour training session at Lambton College. There was a $20 registration fee with which attendees could reserve a seat. The Foundation says that it will reimburse the $20 to anyone who requests it. So, in essence, you can attend the training session for free!

Deker Bauer was a lively young man who suddenly and senselessly ended his own life in 2014 at the age of 17. He was a well-liked kid. His Facebook page still gets messages from people who miss him, knew him, and remember him fondly. One recent message was from a young woman who liked him when they were classmates in the 9th grade.

Suicide is such a traumatic event to the family and friends that survive. The Deker Bauer Foundation is dedicated to preventing the next suicide from happening.

A Different Approach to Suicide

The Foundation has a different take on suicide than one we normally read about. Their motto is "we are ‘hear' for you." They are an organization that listens and strives to help people with mental illness who are contemplating suicide.

The Foundation also seeks to change public attitudes about mental illness. It is the Foundation's goal to replace the common term "to commit suicide" with a more understanding term: "to die from suicide", to "complete suicide", or "to die of mental illness".

So, this blog was more about the Deker Bauer Foundation for the Prevention of suicide and less about charitable bingo.

But it shows that charitable bingo still has a place as a viable way to raise money for good causes.

I just hope that a true genius of imagination might emerge to show how charitable bingo can survive without the electronic gaming machines that today are providing the bulk of the money needed to keep bingo centres in business.