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Popular event returns to Senior Center
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Bingo player Sharline Wise, right, shares a laugh with friends during Fridays Manteca Senior Center event. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Beverly Villines was all set and ready for the return of Friday Night Bingo at the Manteca Senior Center.

She had a pair of stuffed animals – a green frog from Japan and a pink teddy bear given to her from a friend – for good luck coupled with her assortment of markers and a pack to play all 10 games.

“I won $25 last year,” said Villines, who was among the regulars during last year’s inaugural event.

She’s hoping for better luck for 2013.

“This is only community Bingo that we have (at the Senior Center),” said Brandy Clark, who is the City of Manteca’s Recreation Supervisor / Senior Center.

Friday Night Bingo is open to anyone age 18 and older.

She indicated that the main purpose of hosting the Friday evening Bingo games were to raise funds to benefit the Senior Center. Last year’s event, for example, helped make possible the 33 new tables at the center.

Meanwhile, the idea to host the off-hour games stemmed from the success of the spaghetti dinner and Bingo events. “We sold those out in no time,” Clark said.

The Friday Night Bingo has become a social event.

Small groups will often make their claim on a table and bring in their own snacks to share. Included were Kathy, Steve, Janet and Sharline, who shared a large canister of popcorn leftover from the holiday. They also shared each other’s goodies at the table conveniently situated near the restroom.

“We also have a good view of the (Bingo) numbers,” Kathy said.

Saved for the first Friday of the month, the Senior Center, 295 Cherry Lane, open its doors for community Bingo at 5 p.m.

Cost for the first pack of games is $10. Refreshments such as corn dogs, chips and drinks are also available.

Besides a chance to win some money – Don Reed of the Senior Advisory Commission noted that pot for blackout is $250, between $200 to $250 for 50-50, and, depending on number players, as much as $150 for regular Bingo – seniors look forward to playing the games.

“I know it keeps my mind sharp,” said Villines, who also confessed that she’s a bit hard of hearing.

Clark said the relax atmosphere prior to the games quickly changes to one of intensity once the first number is announced just after 6 o’clock.

“It gets so quiet that you can hear a pin drop,” she added.

Clark said that center can accommodate as many as 1,500. Still, she was pleased with the number for the first Friday Night Bingo of the year.

“Not only do they have a chance to win some money, but (Friday Night Bingo) is a chance for seniors to share the evening with their (18 and older) children and grandchildren.”

For more information, call the center at 209-456-8650.