Tribune-Courier features editor
The Draffenville Lions’ Club is trying to re-popularize the game of bingo in Marshall County.
In the 1990’s the service organization started hosting bingo on Tuesday evenings. The games drew large crowds for over a decade. Then in 2008 the economy went sour and attendance dropped off forcing the Lions to discontinue the games.
“This place used to be completely filled up with people on Tuesdays,” said Sharon Langston, chairman of the bingo hall. “Times got tough and not many people could afford to come out.”
Two years ago the games started back up at the Lion’s Club and they play every first and third Tuesday of the month.
A total of 26 games are played each night. A small packet of games and additional games, such as the “early bird” can be purchased for about $25. The option to buy multiple cards is always available.
“The crowd isn’t what it used to be,” Langston said, “I’d like to get it built back up, that way prices go down and the payoffs are bigger.”
Along with a variety of ways to win, the club also has a “money ball.” Each week a number is drawn and whenever that number is pulled throughout the night, one dollar goes into the money ball jar. If someone calls a bingo on that number then they win all of the money in the jar. It currently has over $400 in it.
Bingo is the Draffenville Lions’ Club’s biggest fundraiser. All the proceeds benefit people throughout the community. The club has donated to organizations such as the Marshall County Needline and Marcella’s Kitchen, along with individual families affected by tragedy.
“A lot of people were hurt when we stopped playing - it’s their night-out,” Langston said.
Dinner and snacks, such as burgers, grilled cheese, corn dogs and popcorn are available at 5:30 p.m. when the club opens its doors. Pull-tabs start becoming available at 6 p.m. and the early bird game begins at 6:30 p.m. The Draffenville Lions’ Club is located at 262 Griggstown Rd. in Draffenville.
This is currently the only bingo hall in Marshall County, but in January the Marshall County Free Clinic will start holding a bingo fundraiser at the Woodmen of the World building in Benton.