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Bingo gives $1M back to local community

Bundaberg Bingo Dianne Verlie
Bingo is more than a game of chance for Bundaberg’s Dianne Griffiths and 92-year-old Verlie Climpson (front centre) who have helped to donate $1 million dollars to local groups in the past decade.

The Bundaberg Bingo Centre has donated $1 million dollars to local groups in the past 10 years, including its most recent handout of $105,000 to organisations such as Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels and the Renal Unit at Bundaberg Hospital.

Bundaberg Bingo Centre promoter Dianne Griffiths said all of the money raised through bingo stayed in the region to aid the community.

Dianne has been involved in giving back through the organisation for a decade and she said it was a nice feeling to support those in need.

“Every year our committee and patrons have a say in who should receive the donations,” Dianne said.

“These recipients are non-profit organisations in the local area.

“We don’t actually tell the groups what is happening or about the donation they will receive, we just ask them to come along.

“It’s actually really nice to see their faces when we tell each of the groups about the donation – they are dumbfounded, and we know it will go a long way to help.”

Decades of bingo dedication

For Dianne bingo is a passion she shares with 92-year-old Verlie Climpson, both dedicating decades to helping others through the Bundaberg Bingo Centre.

“We have a great bunch of people here; Verlie has been here longer than I have, and she was volunteering for a long time – there’s a lot of dedication,” Dianne said.

“I had retired but got bored, so I returned about 14 years ago and we’ve been making donations to community groups for 10 years now, so that’s $1 million in the decade.”

Bundaberg Meals On Wheels service manager Brendon Searle thanked Bundaberg Bingo Centre for last year's generous donation of $15,000.

“It was a total surprise to be considered and to receive such a large donation, greatly appreciated,” Brendon said.

“Donations received will be going towards a much-needed extension of our kitchen.

“We are enclosing an existing drive-through area, allowing additional kitchen floor space, extra room for our dedicated staff and volunteers for prepping meals, sandwiches, breakfast boxes as well as much needed storage.”

Brendon said there had been an increase of community members needing the Meals On Wheels service.

“Our service has seen a huge increase for meals, where we need to expand our service,” he said.

“Donations received will go towards this expansion to see Bundaberg Meals On Wheels continue to supply nutritious meals for residents into the future.”

Dianne said bingo was a game enjoyed thoroughly in the Bundaberg Region, with community members taking the opportunity to catch up with family and friends.

“We are our own entity and run five bingo sessions per week out of the Bundaberg Services Club: Monday night, Tuesday morning, Thursday morning, Friday morning and Sunday afternoon,” she said.

“The ages of our bingo patrons range from school-aged children to 100 years.

“Children are allowed to play bingo in Queensland.”

Local groups supported by Bundaberg Bingo Centre in 2022

  • Make a Wish – $20,000
  • RACQ Lifeflight Rescue $10,000
  • The Endeavour Foundation $10,000
  • Angels Community Group $15,000
  • Renal unit at Bundaberg Base Hospital $15,000
  • Meals on Wheels $15,000
  • Phoenix House $10,000
  • Bundaberg Neighbourhood Centre $10,000

Find out more about the Bundaberg Bingo Centre here.