We are looking for a Core Leadership Team for Bingo, either for Monday evenings or Friday evenings!
Call the Parish Office (630-469-6300) if you are interested in leading and working Bingo at St. Matthew Parish!
God has created us as social beings. Although some of us may be more extroverted or introverted as God has “wired” us in our personalities, psyches, and in our personas, nevertheless, even the most introverted person is still a social being and created by a God who is our Three-Persons-One-Substance-God Creator — the greatest mystery of divine life we would never have even partially understood except for the Coming-Advent of Jesus, His awesome and amazing life, suffering, murder, death and resurrection — praise God for the Gift of our Lord Jesus! He is alive and with us, forming us by the power of the Holy Spirit into one Church, one People, one Body, one Communion of Saints in love with God and so loving our neighbor as ourselves!
That’s the heart of who we are created to be. For many decades here at St. Matthew’s, one of the beautiful ways that not only our parishioners but also visitors to our parish came together was through Bingo — coming together in a social setting to enjoy each other’s company, to catch up, and play and maybe/hopefully to win something to take home from Monday Night and also Friday Night Bingo. At the same time, our St. Matthew Parish School families helped with the Bingo nights by giving of their time with some service hours as part of their commitment to our Parish School and completed various duties and responsibilities that needed to be organized and accomplished each Bingo night.
All of this began, as I have heard the story passed on to me, with four beautiful, faithful, committed couples from our St. Matthew Parish family who gave of their time so that there was a surplus/net income which greatly supported financially our school and entire parish family — what a gift for many, many decades!!! More recently, before and after the pandemic, a dedicated, committed couple, Ron and Chris, have been leading, guiding, and organizing it on their own, although they started with the couple-core team some 27 years ago!
But over time, the leadership has dwindled and in this past decade they were, for all intents and purposes, “Bingo” at St. Matthew’s! After the pandemic, Ron and Chris started back up Friday Night Bingo, and Monday Night Bingo has remained suspended due to lack of the organizing help needed to be sure all things legal, financial and otherwise are taken care of and reported properly. Mid-March of 2023, Ron and Chris finalized their decision to step down and retire from Bingo, although they have enjoyed this community and social setting for these past 27 years greatly. They have given so much that this way of living out our call and need as social creatures was met, with the great benefit of also supporting financially so much ministry in our parish and parish school.
Just to give you an example and some concrete numbers: at its hey day many years ago now, although admittedly exceptional, there were some years that Monday and Friday Bingo added together supported our parish and parish school financially even over $300,000 in one fiscal year! Those years may have been few and far between, but what a gift when that happened! More recently, net gains for the parish and school have been in Fiscal Years:
Before retiring, Ron and Chris put together a very detailed Bingo Management Guide, with detailed instructions and timelines for Friday Night Bingo: please see below to read the summary of this Guide. It could probably summarize fairly accurately what needs to happen if we re-opened Monday Night Bingo as well. I am very grateful to Ron and Chris for giving so much of their time and talent to this long-standing activity in our parish, and I am also grateful that they are willing to coach a new team to continue this St. Matthew tradition.
We have needed to temporarily suspend Bingo until a new Core Team (or Teams) is formed and trained. Ideally, the core group which would guide any volunteers would be three or more people who would divide up the Roles of Manager, Cashier, and Caller. There is a lot of flexibility in crossing over some responsibilities from one role to another, as needed, but that would depend on the make-up, personalities, gifts and time constraints of each member of the Core Team parishioners.
If anyone from our parish family (must be a parishioner) is interested in keeping this Bingo tradition alive, please let us know, and training for you and your core team can begin!
May God bless us all in our need and responsibility to care for one another, created in God’s image, as individuals who are created as social beings and who depend on each other as members connected to one Body, in Jesus our Lord! Shalom and deep joy and good health for all!
Bingo Management Guide Summary
Core Team for Friday Night Bingo (or for Monday Night Bingo, adapted for Monday) is composed of Manager, Cashier, Caller, plus the volunteers that have signed up to help:
4:45 – 5:30 pm: Arrive at St. Matthew and begin setup (in the Office, at Doors to check in workers, in Hurley Hall and the Kitchen), and set up Caller’s Station, organize Pull Tabs
5:45 – 6:00 pm: Get the tally sheets out; Train volunteers on each of the stations and how to fill out the tally sheet; show and explain: Door Books, Early Bird, Dual Dab, Odd/Even Game; set up and explain procedures to Cashier; Train volunteers on how to call back Bingo (and multiple stations as needed)
6:00 – 7:00 pm: Unlock front door, Prop open back door; Begin Door Sales and Pull Tab Sales
6:20 pm: Draw the two balls for the Early Bird and announce what balls need to be covered on the players cards
7:00 – 7:15 pm: Continue selling cards to late players; Caller begins calling at 7:00 pm and welcomes players and announces the rules; Cashier pays out the winners and gets new counts for all games sold and verifies sales to tally sheets
7:15 – 9:15 pm: Caller will announce each game, explain the game and what the payout is for the game; real-time accounting and recording procedures, as well as ongoing monitoring of kitchen, grey garbage tubs and taking trash out as needed; Cashier pays out winning players between games, Cashier balances drawer and enters data into spreadsheet as the Bingo/Pull Tab/etc. games conclude throughout the night; there is an Intermission
8:40 pm: concession stand is closing; kitchen volunteer finishes his/her responsibilities, included kitchen sales entry into worksheet; Caller thanks players for attending and remind them that we will be back the next week
End of Night duties: including checking supplies, locking locks, putting everything away for storage, empty trash, checking AC and turning off as needed, finishing filling out volunteer sheets, handing them to volunteers, also accounting and sales worksheets; Cashier puts all financial instruments and deposit into safe, final walk through and checklist
Prep and Follow-up Outside of Friday Night, during the week sometime: manage calls, make orders for Bingo cards, Dabbers, pull tabs, Bingo bags, beer, wine and seltzers from approved distributers, purchasing of wine, chips, coffee creamer, snacks, drinks other supplies as needed; Manager takes anything that was purchased to Bingo and puts it in the Bingo room or fridge as needed; Manager updates the Facebook page and checks stmatthewbingo email, other details as they come up.