OHSWEKEN – Following six other Six Nations elementary schools, Jamieson Elementary School held their year-end toy bingo at the Six Nations Bingo Hall on Saturday, December 19.
Over 400 visitors came to partake in the opportunity to win prizes that would offer an early holiday gift, and to visit with both family and other bingo players.
Bingo Hall Concession Supervisor Brandon Bomberry explained that the event will be the last toy bingo for the season.
“This year there has been seven toy bingos, one for each elementary school on the reserve,” said Bomberry, mentioning that the only school that didn’t host one was the Everlasting Tree School. “I would say on average, they are probably raking in at least $15,000 for each school, so it all depends on the support of the parents, the home and school, the volunteers, because it takes a lot of work to put one of these toy bingos together,” he said, further explaining that all of the money earned for the bingo will go to the host school.
“Everything goes toward the school, so the money that’s generated for Jamieson today will go back into their school,” he said. “I remember back when I was small, selling chocolate bars and that stuff, but back then we never had anything like this for the local schools,” he said. “The money can be used to get more library books, better computers, school supplies and stuff like that for the school,” he said.
Bomberry further explained that a lot of the prizes were donated as well.
“Today’s prizes are a lot of electronics, like iPads, the Play Station Four, the Xboxs, so the main things people come for are the electronics,” he said, explaining that the prizes are often what attract people to play. “Each school has different ideas on how to generate money as well, for one today, they have a small Christmas tree with gift cards on it for McDonalds, Boston Pizza, Wal-Mart, so that’s another way to generate funds. As well as their bake sale table,” he said.
Both the non-smoking and smoking sides of the Bingo Hall were full of bingo players, from families to groups with some even posing their own good luck charms in the middle of their tables. The bingo ended with families and children leaving carrying prizes or the determination to win next year.
Photo by Chezney Martin.