The $3,000 bingo program at in Kings Park is more than 40 years old. The program, designed by the late John Bracken, is held every Wednesday morning at 10:30 a.m.in Travis Hall.
Manned by volunteers, a steady stream of bingo players begin to fill the seats starting at 9:00 a.m.
According to Jim Porciello, who along with Shirley Cuff and Nancy Shields, is in charge of the program, anywhere from ninety five to hundred and ten people play each week.
With two intermissions, the program offers fifteen games, including two extra specials, called Share the Wealth.
Admission is $3, and a large package, 6 face, is available for $13.50. Share the Wealth is sold for $2.00 each.
Porciello explains, “The big games are the most popular.”
Solid Green and Red Border, full card, pays $700, while Solid Pink Special - Pink Line, pays $500.
“I have seen the crowds grow,” says Shirley Cuff, “People come as far as Queens and from all over Long Island to play here.”
“Our aim is to please,” continues Cuff, “We make sure everyone is having a good time and enjoying themselves.”
Regulars fill the seats. Porciello says, “It’s like a family. People come early, have breakfast and socialize.”
Mildred Bird has been coming every Wednesday for the past seven years. “I love it, I have friends here,” Bird says. When asked how she does, Bird reveals, “I’m not too lucky.”
Adults aren’t the only ones playing, children can also be found with markers in hand. Anyone under the age of 18, accompanied by an adult, can try their hand at bingo.
One important rule of the game is the player must yell BINGO loud enough when they win so the caller, Harry Cuff, who has been calling the game for twenty five years, can stop the game.
Refreshments are sold, including coffee, bagels, eggs, sandwiches, pastry, candy, soda, and chips. Any proceeds go to St. Joseph’s Church.
For all the fun and prizes it offers, Wednesday morning bingo at St. Joseph’s Church makes our list of 100 Things To Do in Kings Park.
Category: Indoor, recreational
Season: Year round
Notes: St. Joseph’s Church, 59 Church St., Kings Park – Travis Hall
Wednesday - 10:30 a.m. Doors open at 9:00 a.m.