1970 to 1979
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ROTARY BINGO by Bob Speight
Rotary Bingo started In the mid 70' s and was the only Rotary fund raiser for many years.
In the winter months It was held In the Town Hall and In the curling club in the summer.
Rotary financed clean air machines and an elevator for the Town Hall from bingo profits. Rotary and the local Optimists shared the electronic calling board. Rotary Bingo was on Tuesday nights and Optimist Bingo was on Thursday nights.
At Its peak, bingo brought In up to $40,000 a year fn profits. Three teams worked on alternating nights and Walter Mackowski called the numbers for 25 years. Many of the bingo profits went Into the building of the Rotary Hall and later expansions. Bob Murawsky said at one time they gave turkeys at Christmas and hams at Easter until the government put a stop to this. The first bandshell at Fairy Lake also benefited from Rotary Bingo. Government scratch cards, buses to Casino Rama, Blngo in Owen Sound and Saugeen First Nation all lessened the attendance at Rotary Blngo.
Working on Tuesday nights was like working in a blue fog. Blngo and smoking went together. When you got home after volunteering, you took off your clothes and threw them Into the washing machine. In 2002, Bingo became non- smoking.
In 2001the profit was $6500. In 2002 the profit went down to $3800 and in 2009 there was a loss of $1500. That was the end of Blngo. As Walter said, "there many projects In Southampton that benefited from this fundralsing venture".