I’m not sure there are more games in the world that literally anyone of all ages can play, that require no skill, and yet inspire the levels of competitiveness that a game of BINGO can inspire.

Since 1929, people have begged, cursed, and cheered for the right numbers to come up on those white balls, and prayed no one else needed that same number.

We love us some BINGO in the JCO. Over the years, I have attended many the BINGO fundraiser, from my time at the Fairplain Fall Fairs to Ripley High Alumni games. I don’t know what it is, but there is just something really fun about being in a room filled with people daubing their little hearts out on a game of chance. The tension that rises as more and more numbers are called. The panic that sets in as you see your friend, (most hated opponent) only one number away from BINGO. The hush right before the next number, and then the absolute elation as your number is called. Then the smugness you feel as you run your little card up front to get checked and walk back with a basket of goodies.

So if you haven’t experienced the thrill of gloating your BINGO win over your best friends, you’ve got some great chances this year! This weekend, the Cedar Lakes Foundation will be hosting an amazing BINGO opportunity with some exceptional donated prizes, from a Pioneer Woman-themed basket, to a mini-photography session with Jessica Isner Photography. All the proceeds will help Cedar Lakes make improvements to their facilities, but even more important, keep it open to our community for its use.

For other BINGO opportunities, follow the Jackson County Commission on Aging, the Ripley High Alumni, the Pilot Club, and the Ripley High Athletic Booster on Facebook; these groups traditionally hold at least one BINGO game a year and the proceeds go towards their great causes. We’ll keep you posted with their flyers on Main Street Ripley as well.

So grab up your lucky dauber, get your best group of friends together, and start prepping your best BINGO smack talk, (“Looks like the number 24 just isn’t coming your way, Karen!” “Changing dauber colors won’t make you a better player, Karen!” “That photoshoot is coming home with me, Karen, and the closest you’re getting to it is when my picture Christmas card shows up at your house!”). Remember the first rule of BINGO: you can’t win BINGO if you don’t play BINGO.

The second rule? Flipping the table when Karen wins the Pioneer Woman basket is not an acceptable emotional response.