Galion Boosters ask for input on bingo plans
By Sarah Einselen
Bingo might well be coming to Galion.
The Galion Boosters Club announced that it has almost completed the process of getting a state bingo license from the attorney general and solicited community input at a special meeting Monday night, Feb. 6, at Galion High School. Scott Carpenter, Boosters secretary, presented a rough budget needed to launch a Boosters bingo program and said the greatest need at this point was committed volunteers to oversee various aspects of the bingo nights, like concessions and door sales.
“It could do a lot for kids K-12,” Carpenter said. “This is about all the kids in the city schools. The Boosters don’t just care about athletics.” The ultimate goal for Boosters bingo is to eliminate most of the other fundraisers that the Boosters now run, he said.
The plan is to hold bingo from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Monday nights, 52 weeks of the year, with set-up beginning at 5:30 and doors opening at 6 p.m. A crew of about 10 core volunteers are needed to manage door sales, tips sales, accessories sales and concessions.
Beyond that, school parent groups will be asked to commit volunteers about four nights per year to work the floor and concessions and to help with setup and tear-down. Boosters will also be glad to have volunteers from the community, Carpenter said. All volunteers have to be at least 18 years old.
Initial equipment costs will total about $9,400, not counting either advertising costs or the $700 paid to get the state license. Carpenter and Mike Johnson, a Lancaster Bingo Company sales representative, estimated that payout to volunteer groups would be $50–100 per hour of bingo, to start with, but it will depend on how many bingo players show up.
Johnson, who will deal with the Galion Boosters as long as they run bingo, said that based on Galion’s size an average attendance at bingo nights would probably run about a hundred, give or take twenty depending on the season. That’s comparable to Northmor’s bingo attendance, which Johnson also deals with.
Northmor bingo organizer Linda Troutman was unavailable for comment, but a report from the Ohio Attorney General’s office of charitable bingo financial information showed that the Northmor Music Boosters bingo program generated about $16,300 net profits from about $550,000 gross revenue from November 2009 through October 2010.
“We think that within three to six months we’ll be in our typical capacity,” said Boosters treasurer Bryan Summer. “Word will get out and bingo people are pretty consistent.” That will also give the Boosters enough time to determine how many volunteers can be counted on to help run the bingo nights.
As treasurer, Summer will manage the Boosters bingo revenues and will be responsible for disbursing them to the various student groups, he said.
Many of the 45 parents, school board members and administration at the meeting asked how proceeds would be divvied up between various groups. Discussion centered on whether a perfectly fair apportionment among groups could be achieved, based on how many parents connected to each group volunteered and for how many hours.
“It’s not fair for other groups to commit and not show up and still get the same amount,” Carpenter said, so revenue would probably be disbursed to various student groups based on how many of the parents were present to volunteer at bingo nights.
However, the Boosters haven’t decided yet how revenue will be disbursed, Carpenter said. That’s why the informational and community input meeting was held, he said. How revenue is divvied up will be hammered out at the Boosters regular meeting Thursday night, Feb. 16, in the high school media center. Carpenter invited everyone to attend that meeting, too.