Kiwanis President Bob Wellise holds the big check from WalMart as member Gary Dove prepares to call the first game on Saturday.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.
One of Carson Valley’s more distinct fundraisers drew around 500 people on Saturday to play Bingo for turkeys.
Starting out with 105 turkeys in the freezer of the CVIC Hall members of Carson Valley Kiwanis, the Kiwanis Key Club and the Aktion Club conducted the games, first reported in The R-C in 1956.
It’s entirely possible that was just the first time the newspaper noted the event, since the club’s Dec. 8, 1927, founding was front page news in Gardnerville.
“Turkey Bingo is one of our major fundraisers for our club,” President Bob Wellise said just before the opening game on Saturday. “Every year we give an excess of $25,000 back to community.”
The club provides scholarships and supports a variety of children related charities, including the Douglas County Public Library’s reading to dogs, Kids and Horses, Between Horses and Humans, Suicide Prevention, AYSO soccer, Pop Warner Football and others.
Wellise said the packed house for the noon game is pretty typical, estimating around 200 people per sitting.
“They are enthusiastic and great supporters of ours,” he said.
The game is pretty simple, win a bingo get a turkey.
“All the turkeys are in the freezer in the kitchen and when you get a bingo, you get a certificate for a turkey,” he said. “At the end of the session hold up the certificate and our Key Club and our Aktion Club people go out and collect the certificate and bring back a turkey.”
ABE Printing’s Peter DiFillipo donated the turkeys, with help from a $1,500 grant from WalMart.
Kiwanian Dan Hamer said setting up on Saturday was eased by Minden Fortnightly, which held their annual fundraiser the night before.
Reports are the hall was filled by supporters of Douglas County’s oldest service club, founded in 1910.
The Family Support Council held a fundraiser for it’s shelter, Abbey’s Crossing, in a new venue next door to the CVIC Hall on Saturday evening.
On Thanksgiving morning, the seventh annual Turkey Trot, benefitting the Carson Valley Community Food Closet and Douglas Animal Welfare Group will start at Minden Park. Find out more at www.thefoodcloset.org.