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Bingo A-Go-Go… Goes Downtown!

By Lavender September 25, 2008

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Back in the fall of 2002, Clare Housing and Park House got together to talk about the phenomenon of Gay Bingo in Seattle and Philadelphia: “Would the Twin Cities GBLT community support such an event? Where could we do it? Who could do it? Would we make enough money to make it worth our time?” Well, we wouldn’t know the answer to the first question until we tried it.

Lori Barghini and Julia Cobbs FM 107.1 — Drive Time Divas. Photo Courtesy of Bingo A-Go-Go

However, a board member at Park House was also on the board at Incarnation Church—a spot that had seen many a dauber over the years. There was our location. Who could do it was a no-brainer: Miss Richfield 1981 was the ONLY one who could pull in the audiences.

We opened the doors at Incarnation on November 23 for the Gobbler Games with more than 300 people lined up around the block. The rest is history! Every one of our 20 events has sold out to almost 500 people, raising more than $400,000 for people living with HIV/AIDS in the Twin Cities.

And now, we are heading Downtown to the Hyatt Regency for more comfortable seating to accommodate the big costumes; greater opportunities for entertainment; bigger raffle and game prizes; and more food and “beverages.” A real Saturday night out on the town! Guess what? You can have a great time while still doing good work.

We hope that you will join us on October 4. Please go to <www.bingoagogo.com> to order your tickets while we still have ’em!

Bingo—love to say it, but hate to hear it!

Why we need to continue to play bingo:

CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, AIDS IS NOT “GOING AWAY”

• It affects more and more Minnesotans each year, especially in the area of housing and supportive care. And the cost of providing housing and day health services to those living with the disease increases annually.

• 5,950 persons were living with HIV/AIDS [PLWH/A] in Minnesota as of December 31, 2007.

• A new case of HIV disease is reported in Minnesota every 27 hours.

• As people live longer, the number of people disabled by HIV/AIDS continues to grow.

• Poverty, mental illness, chemical dependency, and homelessness are increasing among PLWH/A.

Clare Housing and Park House respond to the changing epidemic and growing needs of people living with HIV/AIDS with comprehensive housing opportunities and day health care that help our residents and clients manage their health and their lives.

Clare Housing…

…is the largest and most respected housing provider for people living with HIV/AIDS in Minnesota, providing affordable housing, compassionate care, and supportive services to 90 clients.

…staffs six Adult Foster Care Homes, providing 24-hour care to 24 residents who are unable to live alone safely.

…manages 32 units of affordable housing at Clare Apartments, offering assisted living and support as needed through our 24-hour front desk staff and nurses.

…master-leases 10 off-site apartments for individuals and families experiencing long-term homelessness.

…is gearing up to build Clare Midtown, a 45-unit affordable apartment building in the Corcoran neighborhood.


Park House…

…is a structured day health/mental health treatment program that provides supportive nursing care, psychosocial support, creative and complementary therapies, nutrition and collaborative treatment planning with physicians and case managers.

…is the only such HIV/AIDS service provider of its kind in the Upper Midwest, and modeled upon Bailey-Boushay House in Seattle, Washington.

…serves a diverse adult clientele including men and women, whites, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, straight and GLBT persons, ranging in ages from their 20s to their mid-70s.

…offers space for a variety of HIV/AIDS support groups, educational forums, meetings, and rehearsal space for the Twin Cities Gay Men’s Chorus and other instrumental and choral groups.

The BINGO A-GoGo Oath
“I solemnly swear that I am here to raise money for people living with HIV/AIDS; and to stop this horrible epidemic. I further swear that Bingo is JUST a stupid game and I will keep playing BINGO A-GoGo until this crisis is over!”

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