Rossland Rotary Club looks for bingo beneficiaries

If you have a worthy cause, you might be able to tap funding from online bingo games.

Online Rotary bingo has proven incredibly popular since its launch last year in Golden. Now local Rotary clubs have to decide who to give the proceeds to.

Online Rotary bingo has proven incredibly popular since its launch last year in Golden. Now local Rotary clubs have to decide who to give the proceeds to.

Rossland Rotary is now seeking local organizations to benefit online bingo.

President Fiona Martin says they have “a few thousand dollars” to give to local groups with money raised from the weekly event.

“We’re now in a position to hand that out,” she says. “We would like to have community participation.”

Because the money has been raised through BC Gaming, Martin says they have to follow specific rules about how the money is allocated. Ideally, they are looking for organizations that already receive gaming grants, or otherwise hold a BC gaming number.

The money has to be spent within one year of being earned. Martin says after the first round of awards, they expect to continue handing out grants every three months. Interested groups can email rosslandrotarybingo@gmail.com for an application form.

“They fill out the form with a brief description of their project, how much money they need, and we will allocate the funds based of our Rotary ideals,” Martin says. Those guidelines include benefitting multiple people, developing health and well being, and improving the environment or children’s development.

Groups such as parent advisory committees and food banks are among those encouraged to apply. Martin says there is no specific dollar limit and they may award all of the money to one organization or try to spread it out.

The project comes on the heels of last fall’s 100 Rosslanders Who Care fundraiser, in which 100 people each pledged $100 to fund a community project, for a total of $10,000. However, Martin says they recognize larger chunks of money are more beneficial and are looking for “substantial” projects that will have an impact on the community.

RELATED: Rotary Community Bingo growing by leaps and bounds

Rotary online bingo began last year in Golden in response to the pandemic. Rossland Rotary joined in November and the Trail and Waneta clubs followed suit in December. All 17 Rotary Clubs in the Kootenays now participate in the event, live-streamed each Friday on Facebook at 5 p.m.

Each club receives a percentage of the proceeds based on the number of cards sold in their communities.

While participation has died down a bit with the arrival of summer and lifting of Covid restrictions, Martin says lots of people still participate each week — even from the campground. They plan to keep it up as long as there is interest.

Half the proceeds are paid out, and the rest goes back into community projects, less administration costs. In all, $3 million has accumulated since the fundraiser began last year.

“It’s a pretty easy way for us to make money in a time when we weren’t able to do fundraising,” Martin says. “It’s also been a wonderful way to connect. People from all corners of BC take part, including quite a number from Lytton. When the Lytton fire hit, we had people say ‘If you are from Lytton, and can’t get access, we’ll play your cards for you.’ It’s wonderful to be part of.”

Cards are $10 each and go on sale each Sunday. They can be purchased by e-transfer until noon the following Friday, but are only valid for one game day. Each is good for five to six games. Go to golden-rotary.myshopify.com to buy cards or search Facebook for Rotary Community Online Bingo.

RELATED: Rotary hosts ‘100 Rosslanders Who Care’ presentation

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