HAGERSTOWN — With markers at the ready, about 200 people had heads bent, eyeballing grids of bingo cards, often six, sometimes 18 cards per person.
During games, the room was remarkably quiet Sunday afternoon, except for letter-number combos being called out and the occasional “bingo.”
The fundraiser, held at Elks Lodge 378 east of Hagerstown for the benefit of the Easter Seals’ Adult Day Services, was sold out, Easter Seals Interim Director Deb Lauricella said.
The nonprofit started holding an annual fundraiser in 2009 to supplement funding from Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, private pay, grants and donations, Lauricella said. The program depends heavily on grants and money has been getting tighter, she said.
One of the program’s greatest needs is grants that serve as scholarships for clients, Lauricella said. Some of Sunday’s proceeds will help clients pay for the program’s services, she said.
The program on East Baltimore Street in Hagerstown serves about 55 Washington County residents, who range in age from their 20s to 90s, Lauricella said. Clients might have physical disabilities, psychological disabilities, dementia or be in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, she said.
Adult Day Services has about a dozen employees who “try to keep it active” for those clients who can and choose to be active, Lauricella said. Activities include cognitive games to stimulate thinking, active games, crafts and outings, Lauricella said.
Jennifer Colvin, 53, of Hagerstown, came out to play bingo Sunday to support a good cause and won two Vera Bradley handbags with games still to play. Colvin said her daughters, Merrikate, 17, and Rebekah, 21, will each receive one of the handbags.
Shirley Myers, 73, of Hagerstown, won a Longaberger basket.
Myers received her event ticket from her son, Richard “Nink” Myers, who works at Hub Labels. Nink Myers said Hub Labels has teamed up with Easter Seals. In addition to helping Sunday, employees visit clients in the program, he said.
Scarlett Ward, 61, of Hedgesville, W.Va., tried fibbing about how often she plays bingo, but her friend, Dot Himelright, 62, of Inwood, W.Va., ratted her out.
“Every weekend we go. The two of us, sometimes twice a week,” Himelright said. “We met at bingo.”