Continuing the Turkey Bingo Tradition

With inflation skyrocketing, there is one thing that people are focusing on this month: the price of a Thanksgiving dinner. Supposedly, 2021 is supposed to be the year that Americans will fork over a small fortune to provide a Thanksgiving meal. It goes without saying what the priciest item on the table is.

So, how do you make Thanksgiving affordable this year if you plan to serve turkey? You win one of course!

Back as a child, one of the highlights every fall was when the Knights of Columbus council at my childhood parish, St. Thomas More in north Spokane, would hold Turkey Bingo. Our entire family would arrive at the church social hall on a Sunday in November to eat popcorn, visit with friends, and try to win a turkey. It was here that I learned about the competitiveness of bingo and the agony of the words “clear your cards.”

Turkey Bingo is a popular fundraising event for Knights of Columbus councils. Council 4196 (St. Mary – Spokane Valley) is no exception.

Fast forward a couple decades to this past weekend. Once again I found myself at turkey bingo. Only this time I was bringing my own family and I was one of the Knights putting it on.

Our large supply of turkeys we gave out at our Turkey Bingo event.

On Sunday, the Knights of Columbus Council #4196 of St. Mary Catholic Parish in Spokane Valley held its annual Turkey Bingo (you can probably guess…turkey bingo events are pretty common in Catholic parishes). After I moved from Myrtle Beach I transferred from Council #5086 to #4196. What a blessing it has been to go from one awesome council to another and what a blessing it is that we are finally back to doing in-person events!

After we set up all the tables and chairs, I took this photo of our set up inside the St. Mary School gym about an hour before we opened to the public.

I had a lot of fun helping my brother knights put on the event but the best part was definitely playing bingo with Sid, Sloan, and my dad. I was given plenty of time to leave my post and enjoy the afternoon with my family. To give Sloan her first taste of bingo and see how much she was genuinely enjoying it was really cool.

Sloan and Sidney at Turkey Bingo at St. Mary Catholic Church in Spokane Valley.

My wife, on the other hand, wasn’t exactly there to “enjoy” it. She was there to win! She had her eight cards spread out in front of her and knew all the combinations she had to hit in order to score a turkey.

Sidney playing her six cards at Turkey Bingo.

Success didn’t come right away but her persistence paid off. In the second to last game, she won the “top and bottom” round to win a bird for the Resers! In addition to walking away victorious, it was an afternoon marked by sweets, 50/50 raffles, and laughs.

Sidney holds up her winning card along with the ticket voucher she was given for her turkey at the Knights of Columbus Turkey Bingo event at St. Mary Catholic Church in Spokane Valley.

To introduce my daughter and wife to one of our old family traditions and to actually now contribute my time to making the event itself function was pretty special. If there is any Catholic man out there who wants to become a Knight, please feel free to reach out to me. Now, let’s get that turkey cooking! Don’t Blink.

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