Quality Time: Bingo at Senior Center of South Pearl River County

Published 7:00 am Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Senior Center of South Pearl River County organizes a Bingo game day every Wednesday and Thursday providing seniors within the community with not only an opportunity to socialize, but to also try and engage themselves in workshops and other fun activities.

David Skyes, executive director at the Senior Center said Bingo is simply a game of fun that the seniors enjoy playing because they like the idea of winning a prize.

Bingo involves randomly placed numbers on a scorecard handed out to each player of the game. On each card, the letters BINGO are printed on the top of the five vertical columns of the scorecard, with one alphabet corresponding to each column of numbers. The center space on the scoreboard is marked as free. Each horizontal row is randomly assigned a number between one to 75. Once the scorecards are handed out, another person calls out random letter and number combinations which the player marks on their card, if a match is made, until a winner is declared.

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Every week approximately 15 to 20 players get together to enjoy an hour of the game that involves four to five rounds before the black out round where the winner is expected to win a big prize. 

Skyes said providing an outlet for senior citizens to play games together allows them to connect and be engaged with others.

“They feel that they belong somewhere. If we did not conduct activities such as these they might perhaps be sitting at home which is definitely not attractive,” Skyes said.

When the game is rolled out, seniors are allowed to keep a maximum of two scorecards giving them a chance to win at least once during the one hour session. Prizes come from donations to the center and are spread out on a table for each winner to select.

Nelson Huber, a volunteer who calls out the numbers for each game, said everyone enjoys playing the game because it gives the seniors something to do.

For several seniors, they wouldn’t miss playing Bingo at the Senior Center. Milton L. Harold has been coming to the Senior Center for the past 13 years and said he has won about ten Bingo games so far.

“I enjoy everything about playing the game and have no complaints unless someone is stepping on my coins. Being around here and playing gives me a sense of satisfaction which I couldn’t do alone,” Harold said.

Skyes said a lot of members visit the center because they live alone so having a chance to spend time with others enhances their quality of life.

Jean Wills, a retired clerk from Highland Community Hospital, said the only reason she plays the game is to win a gift for another senior citizen to bring them joy.

Due to the lack of donations people in the area are encouraged to donate so that each senior is able to receive a prize when they win.

The Senior Center of South Pearl River County is located on 45 El Patch Pkwy and can be reached at 601-798-9892.