When you hear the word “bingo,” you may think of the farmer that had a dog and “Bingo” was his name-o, or you may think of a geriatric get-together at the church down the street. You probably wouldnʼt, however, link it to roller skating drag queens and theme parties.Held once every month, Gay Bingo has raised $1,100,000 for AIDS Fundʼs beneficiaries,and the numbers keep increasing. This monthʼs bingo will be held this Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Gershman YMCA on Broad Street in Philadelphia. Let me just explain what actually goes on at Gay Bingo: play bingo and laugh so hard your face hurts. Every bingo night has a theme, which makes the evening even more hilarious. This monthʼs theme is “Bourbon Street” and the question is “How will you earn your beads?”
Gay Bingo is an absolute blast, and itʼs a life saver, as well. AIDS Fund is sponsoring events to raise money for smaller organizations to help fight the battle against HIV and AIDS in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. These beneficiaries need help to spread awareness, education, prevention, and services for HIV and AIDS in the Philadelphia area.
This epidemic isnʼt going away, and the staff at The AIDS Fund have dedicated their time to helping organizations like Camp Dreamcatcher, Pennsylvania Coalition of AIDS Service Organization, Philadelphia FIGHT, YMCA Camp Ockanickon HIV Specialty Camp and many more. AIDS Fund is also responsible for AIDS Walk Philly, held annually in the fall, which raised over $316,270 this year.
This epidemic is in our own backyard. In the beginning of 2004, it was reported that 23,018 people in Philadelphia are infected with HIV/AIDS. Many know people who are affected by this global killer. Organizations like AIDS Fund are in need of support to increase the chance of one day finding an end to HIV/AIDS. They are constantly looking for volunteers.
Gay Bingo is a place to meet new and colorful people: BVDs (Bingo Verifying Divas) come around to the tables cracking jokes to make sure everyone is having fun. Itʼs $10 with a student ID. For more information about AIDS Fund visit their Web site at www.aidsfundphilly.org.