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Bingo players hope to win the jackpot.“This is a new game for the firehouse,” said Jean Bockman, one of the women instrumental in organizing Thursday night bingo at the Lake Monticello Fire & Rescue. “We have donated $15-20,000 to fire and rescue. This progressive bingo really opened things up for us.” The proceeds from bingo have been one of the many ways the LMFR raises money to support its volunteer fire and rescue.

The only way volunteer fire and rescue companies can manage their operations is through donations,  fundraisers and bingo. The ladies auxiliary supports LMFR through their fundraising efforts and Bockman sees to it that bingo is a winner.

“We have different forms of bingo. We have 27 games, three are Early Birds, one is a Jackpot and one is the Progressive as well as the usual, four corners and so on,” said Bockman. “We start at a certain amount -- $400 -- and it increases by $100 weekly and we run it for about 15 weeks.” The jackpots have been $1,000 and this current one is near $2,000.

The only drawback is they like to have at least over 70 people – 75 or more is ideal – otherwise they lose money. Seventy or 74 is the average and they can raise $400-500 in a night. They also raise money by selling hot dogs, drinks and a variety of other goodies for the bingo participants to enjoy while playing.

For anyone interested in playing bingo, they begin serving food and drinks early in the evening, beginning about 5:30 while setting up for some early games. Games run until 9:15-9:30 p.m. every Thursday at the Lake Monticello Fire and Rescue’s John Maple Room. For more information, contact Jean Bockman at 591-1018.