Turkey Bingo a family tradition | RecordCourier.com

Turkey Bingo a family tradition

by Caryn Haller
Special to The R-C
Getting into the spirit of the holiday is Teegan Pickering, 9, Saturday at the Kiwanis Club's annual turkey Bingo at the CVIC Hall.
Brad Coman |

For many Valley families, turkey bingo is a long-standing Thanksgiving tradition. For others, like Carol Thompson and her granddaughter, Jaedyn, the tradition is just getting started.

The Kiwanis Club of Carson Valley hosted its 26th year of turkey bingo Saturday in the CVIC Hall, giving away turkeys to 80 lucky winners.

“This is our second year coming to turkey bingo. She just got old enough to do this now,” Carol said of 8-year-old Jaedyn. “It’s something we can do together, just us. It’s a grandma, granddaughter day.”

Douglas High School graduates Dylan and AJ Pfaffenberger flew home from Boise State just in time to join the fun.

“It’s our family tradition to come and hang out and have a good time,” Dylan said. “We have 16 people playing this year.”

Mother Emily Pfaffenberger said their family, the Wartgow family and other adopted family members have attended turkey bingo for a decade.

“It’s great. It starts off our holiday season,” the Genoa resident said. “We have grandkids who come now. A few years ago, everyone at our table won something. We couldn’t believe it. With 16 of us this year, it betters our chances of winning.”

Gardnerville resident Alicia Fehr and her family donate their turkey winnings to other families in need.

“We’ve been coming for 10 years. We won four turkeys one year,” she said. “ We love it. It’s fun and cheap entertainment that the whole family can participate in.”

Out of 160 players in the first bingo session, Carly Strauss was the first winner of the day. Saturday was the first time the Gardnerville resident had won.

“I was excited,” Strauss said. “Today was a good day because I won and my husband won.”

The Kiwanis play 14-16 games per session including a blackout game where the winner receives a $100 gift card. The Aktion Club, Boy Scout Troop 495 and friends of Kiwanis help with the event.

“It’s a tradition, long-lasting before I got here,” Kiwanis President Dan Hamer said. “ I love seeing families come together.”

Gabriel Owen, 6, has been coming to turkey bingo since he was a baby. This was the second year, he was able to play himself.

“We always get the same spot every year,” Mother Laura said. “It’s about community, that’s why we live here. I’ve never won, but I still enjoy it.”

Over the last seven years, Corey Smith and his family have won several turkeys, and one year, his 9-year-old daughter Paislee won the blackout.

“We got fishing poles for the kids, and she (Paislee) got a Lalaloopsy doll,” Corey said of how they spent the gift card. “I’m glad the Kiwanis does this. It’s a good thing that we plan on coming to every year.”