Turkey Bingo helps the “Tots” campaign

SANDPOINT – It’s an event that combines the best of Thanksgiving while paying homage to the upcoming holiday season.

What are we talking about? Bingo, turkey bingo, that is.

While it’s hard to say when bingo was turned turkey, bingo itself dates back to 1530 when it started in Italy as a national lottery, according to bingo.org. Over the years it was modified and adapted as it moved across Europe before captivating America as a carnival game called “beano” in the 1900s.

The game got its modern name when a toy salesman named Edwin Lowe heard a beano player accidentally yell “Bingo!” The website notes. Thinking it sounded better, he changed the name of the game he was working on and invited friends to test it out.

Soon the game evolved into having more squares, followed by requests from churches in the area for cards they could use to help raise funds, which caused the game to quickly gain popularity.

The biggest winner in bingo is 60-year-old British grandfather John Orchard, who won a £ 5.9million prize in an online bingo game. His bet? Thirty pence (about 40 cents in today’s dollars).

But for Lions, the funds raised help them make Christmas a merry one for all the children in the community.

With support from the community, Lions are able to provide free new toys to children ages 1-10 and gift cards to youth ages 11-18 who live in the Lake Pend Oreille School District, from Sandpoint to Clark Fork and all points in between. In addition, a Christmas dinner for the family is available.

Today’s generous donations came from over 120 people who participated in the annual Sandpoint Lions Turkey Bingo, which raised $ 1,118 for Toys for Tots. To date, the annual Christmas drive has raised $ 2,063.

This year’s Toys for Tots campaign goal is $ 50,000, the same as in previous years. Lions make the most of the money by doing good business and with the help of generous local businesses.

Registration forms are available at the Bonner Community Food Bank and at the Lions Den door at 609 S. Ella Avenue, right next to the caboose in Lakeview Park. They can also be downloaded from bit.ly/3x7md4o.

Registration began on November 1 and ends on December 17. Those completing the application are reminded to be sure to complete both pages and return their application promptly.

Like last year, the application form includes information for parents to itemize a wish list for each of their children as well as their favorite color and TV show or movie. This allows Lions to achieve as many wishes as they can.

Donations for toddler toys can be dropped off at the Bonner County Daily Bee reception, 310 Church St., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also drop off your donations at the Columbia Bank branch at Sandpoint, 414 Church St., or at the Ponderay branch, 300 Bonner Mall Way; and at the Ponderay Starbucks.

Donations can be mailed to Sandpoint Lions Club, Box 414, Sandpoint, ID 83864.

Donations made by check are preferred. Be sure to include a note with your check that it is a Toys for Tots donation. If you would like to donate anonymously, please include a note.

If the donation is in someone’s name, be sure to include a note as well.

For further information: Sandpoint Lions Club, 208-263-4118

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