Members of the Friends of the Bartow County Library System are holding a charity bingo and raffle event Thursday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Cartersville Public Library. The event will see seven games played -- with Cartersville Mayor Matt Santini calling the numbers -- and the winner of each game will earn a prize and a chance to win a Kindle digital book reader. Prizes to be given away include gift baskets, fall flowers, a holiday wreath and electronics.
"Every year, we have our annual kickoff membership drive, and we do a program every quarter. For this year, we thought, 'What could we do that would be a little bit different and might get some other folks in?'" Friends President Karen Barnhart said. "We just started chatting about doing a charity bingo as our program for this year, and that's kind of how it came into being, and then we've kind of quickly put it all together."
There is no cost to attend, though attendees will have to support the nonprofit group to have a chance to play. Friends members who attend the event will get their first bingo card for free, with additional cards going for $5 each or five for $20; each card is good for all seven games. Memberships also will be available at the door and start at $10 for individuals and $15 for families.
In addition to winners of each of the seven games, those who purchase raffle tickets will be eligible for the Kindle drawing. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5. The drawing will take place immediately following the last game, and the winner need not be present to win.
Bingo is not new to the Bartow library system, as the game has become a monthly fixture at the Cartersville branch. Attendees can play the game the second Monday of the month there from 2 to 3 p.m.
"We started bingo in January, and it has been a wonderful draw to the library," said Colleen Knight, Adult Services coordinator for the BCLS, adding that Cartersville's monthly offering averages 20 attendees each time. "People seem to really enjoy it.
"It's billed as a seniors' program because it is in the middle of the day," Knight added. "But we do have some younger groups who are coming -- we have a family that comes, and it's a grandma, mom, dad and older children, which are teenagers."
Oct. 14's bingo session is an adults-only event, and officials hope to draw a larger attendance than the monthly, midday sessions. Knight said she believes the evening session will have a larger turnout, especially since the prizes at it are larger than those at the free afternoon games.
"Everybody likes to win something," she said. "With our monthly bingo, I give away prizes of books, DVDs and that type of stuff, things that have been donated to the library."
Barnhart said that since this is the first time the Friends group has held such an event, no specific fundraising or membership goals have been set, but she hopes that it will draw more than past events.
"Typically, for our regular annual meeting and program, we may have 20 to 30 people. I anticipate we'll have more with this -- how many, I don't know," Barnhart said. "As something new, we just don't know how it's all going to work for us, but we'd like to see somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 150 show up.
"We don't really have an expectation -- the biggest thing is to let people know a little bit more about the Friends, so that we can be a little bit more of a voice in the community," she added. "I think sometimes, we don't do as good a job of advertising ourselves, and people don't know that there's an option where you can help the library and give back to the community all at the same time.
"It'll be a fun evening, it's not too expensive, and you get a chance to help the library and you might win a prize."
For those who cannot make it to next week's fundraising event, the Friends group will hold its quarterly used book sale Saturday, Dec. 4, at the Cartersville Public Library. The sale will be open to the general public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Friends members will be able to start their shopping one hour earlier, though non-members can join at the door.
For more information on the bingo event or to obtain Kindle raffle tickets, contact Barnhart at 770-382-4779 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.