No matter where it is played, bingo brings in the crowds. The Lompoc, California Elks Lodge had suspended its regular bingo games when a casino opened its doors in a neighboring community a few years ago. Recently however, the Elks Lodge noticed a lapse in local entertainment when high casino costs began to erode player attendance.
Bingo Returns to Elks Lodge
The Lompoc Elks Lodge saw the need, and filled the gap. Joyce Moiha, public relations chairman for Elks Lodge, stresses that the Lodge returns its profits to the community. Their aim is to enhance the local environment. That is the sole reason for their existence. It is quite an amazing attitude in this “me first” culture.
Bingo is now held at the Elks Lodge two evenings a month, on the first and third Monday. The re-opening of the bingo games took place on August 6, when 80 people enjoyed the food and the games. Volunteers from Elks Lodge, such as members Janet and Terry Gurley, have spent enormous amounts of time and energy to bring about the success of the bingo event. Lodge members sold beverages and food, along with the $15-pack of bingo cards. More card packs are available for purchase by gamers. Everyone went home energized.
Many local citizens have received individual invitations; and banners advertising bingo at the Elks have gone up around town. Some establishments just do things right.
The actual history of Elks Lodge is surprising and humorous. Charles Algernon Sidney Vivian, an English comedy singer, was in a New York City saloon with friends in 1867. He and his group wanted to continue drinking on Sundays. Therefore, to circumvent the law, they established the “Jolly Corks” club. The name was derived from an English bar game.
A year later, a serious fellow by the name of George McDonald joined the club. McDonald decided that a charitable and community service organization would be beneficial to society. Thus the Jolly Corks gave birth to the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America (BPOE).