The request at the Lions Club meeting seemed simple enough: “We need some volunteers to work Bingo on Friday night, March 22 at J.B. Wells Expo Center. We’re raising money for Norma’s House and we will have over 500 wild and crazy women playing there.”
So my feeble mind quickly did the math: 500 partying women from all over south central trying to win money for Norma’s House and celebrating with lots of adult beverages. Heck, I thought, by the end of the night I might even look handsome enough to one of those 500 to maybe hook up a date!
“I’ll do it!” I exclaimed to Loretta Shirley from the Noon Lions Club. I must have said it with a little too much gusto because Loretta looked startled when I loudly stated I would volunteer. She was sitting almost right next to me, so I guess I didn’t need to say it so loudly or with so much enthusiasm.
Well, she wasn’t lying about the ladies who attended the fundraiser. Some of Texas’ finest gals were there all dressed to the nines and boy, were they ready for food, fun and bingo. Lots of good-natured teasing, joking around, laughter and conviviality transcended the night. Heck, I even tried to buy a couple of items at the silent auction but the ladies in attendance just didn’t want me to have that basket of chocolates. Or maybe they just didn’t think I needed the extra calories.
At the end of the night, thousands and thousands had been raised for Norma’s House, the ladies all went home happy, and I went home without any further prospects.
The story of my life.
It was a fun night, however, and I am glad I volunteered. I had a great time with my fellow Lions Club members, and Loretta had everyone laughing as she called out the numbers. The local police officers and Sheriff Deputies also had fun, as they paraded around showing off the merchandise wearing boas and other attire. Some even danced for the ladies if they were willing to put up a few dollars for the dance.
Besides the obvious financial gain and help for Norma’s House, there are a couple of other things I will take away from Friday night.
One, the good people of this area know how to have and put on a good time. Everyone in attendance, whether it was the workers, the volunteers, the workers from the Running M, or the ladies playing bingo, was smiling and laughing and enjoying the entirety of the event.
Second, it is truly amazing what this community can do when it comes together to host an event and try to do the right thing for the community or a local charity. Well done folks—you should be proud of yourselves.
Third, next year I will definitely volunteer again. And come with my game face on.