Bingo A Go Go 2011-12: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship
Bingo A Go Go’s 2011-2012 debut, High School Bingo, also marks the the partnership of Park House and the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus. Together they will continue the tradition of Bingo A Go Go’s money-raising efforts for the many worthy causes sponsored by these two organizations. Park House, explained Shannon Regan, Volunteer/Special Events Director and remaining reigning “Bingo Babe,” is a structured day health/mental health treatment program that provides nursing care, psychosocial therapies, nutrition and collaborative treatments with physicians, mental health professionals, and case managers. We exist to enhance the quality of life, maximize human dignity- -and promote the health, wellness, and independence of persons living with HIV/AIDS.”
Regan sees a bright future for the popular galas, but envisions no radical changes; “At the last game we had around 900 people. I believe we have been doing something right for the last 9 years and I don’t want to jinx it. The big change, of course, is that I won’t have the other Bingo Babe (Lee Haugee, formerly of Clare House, who recently stepped down) with me, instead, I’ll have 145 men…but who’s counting?”
It’s time to unpack your pom-poms and letter sweaters for the costume contest, with prizes, treats, and live entertainment featuring the durable Miss Richfield 1981, Barbie Q, and Gosh Alice Jones. Regan noted that the next–and as yet unnamed–Bingo will be next Spring.
Speaking for TCGMC, Jeff Heine, Executive Director, commented, “Park House has been a long-time friend of the Chorus. They’ve been very gracious in allowing us to have all-day rehearsals and board meetings at their facility, and we have always reciprocate by performing at their holiday functions and other events.
“Our mission,” continues Heine, “is ‘gay men building community through music,’ and I cannot think of a better way to build community than through this partnership with Park House. We’ll be bringing our own enthusiastic and supportive audience and a strong group of volunteers to the event…and maybe even a little GLEE. You’ll just have to show up to find out!”
Said Regan, “The Chorus provides truly remarkable outreach for the GLBT community. “By providing concerts everywhere from the rural areas of Minnesota to the deep south of the United States, the chorus has opened their arms in support for individuals facing the daily trials and tribulations of living in intolerant environments.”
“Their work is pivotal in exposing people to an alternate way of thinking than they might otherwise ascertain,” she continued, letting youngsters and others know that “things will get better; that there is hope for universal acceptance in this world.”
This season marks Dr. Stan Hill’s final season as Artistic Director of the Chorus, Heine reminded, hoping “to see all of you at Bingo A Go Go and at our concerts for our 31st season–any chance to see Stan one final time is one you don’t want to miss. We are both excited to be a part of Bingo A Go Go with Park House and being able to support the community through this new venture.”