WAYNE, NJ – For the last fifty years, the Wayne PAL has been hosting BINGO three times per week, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to this. In an act of pure creativity, the PAL changed their format and created a safe alternative: Car-Side BINGO that upholds social distancing restrictions and allows this generational tradition to continue.
The Wayne PAL is a non-profit organization that provides a wide range of sports programs and special activities emphasizing teamwork. They also run a summer camp, day care and after school programs to serve the Wayne community.
As a non-profit, the PAL relies on fundraising and corporate donations to pay expenses. Many people are out of work, on unemployment and are unsure about the future, while some are donating to support causes surrounding the pandemic. On top of this the usual fund-raising events that non-profits rely on have all been cancelled. This is the dilemma that all non-profits face today.
Steve Schiffman, the Executive Director of the Wayne PAL came up with this creative alternative. “We’ve always appreciated the support that the community has given us,” he said. “In these difficult times we were able to recognize the challenges everyone faces, and our car-side BINGO accomplishes two things. We’re giving people an excuse to get out of the house and enjoy themselves and at the same time support a great cause.”
When this debuted two weeks ago there were 135 players, and last week there were 157 players. There are significant prizes for the winners and many fun contests surrounding each BINGO game, including a Trifecta Jackpot that is currently $6,005 and the Queen of Hearts prize that is currently $3,500.
Car-side Bingo happens every Sunday at the Wayne PAL parking lot at 1 PAL Drive. The lot opens at noon and BINGO begins at 3:00 p.m.
If you’re worried about COVID, here is how they keep things safe and in compliance with social distancing guidelines:
- All workers will always be wearing masks and players must be wearing masks when purchasing keepers
- Hand sanitizer will be available on premises
- Prior to bingo starting, please limit to 25 people at a time in line to purchase keepers and maintain social distancing
- Workers will walk around selling keepers once bingo begins
- ATM and bathrooms will be available with no more than 2 people at a time entering the building
- Honk your horn multiple times if you have bingo
- We will have a few additional handsets available- they are all on a first come, first served basis (paper available if we run out of handsets)
- There will be only one entrance when you pull in to purchase your handset and then you will be directed where to park
- Bring clipboards to help play dauber keepers (we will have them available for $2 if you do not have one)
- We will have a sound system in the parking lot so you can hear all numbers called
- We will livestream the next ball up and the trifecta horse race on our website
- Food and drink will be available to purchase with delivery to your car
- Program - https://www.waynepal.org/wp-conte…/uploads/Carside-Bingo.pdf