SOUTH SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – It just wasn’t in the cards for the Florin Road Bingo hall as the pandemic has forced it to shut down for good.
Sacramento Consolidated Charities, the nonprofit that runs it the place, just couldn’t afford the thousands in overhead each month.
“It was good having everybody. I wish we could have lasted longer,” said Larry Goodale, who is a project manager.
Goodale added, “When you are only renting for the night, you only have to pay for the night. And if you don’t run, you don’t pay anything. For us, being shut down, we still have all of our bills.”
It was a sad day for frequent players like Greg Herring.
“This is my favorite place. This is my neighborhood. What am I going to do now?” he said.
It’s an even harder hit for the dozens of charities the bingo hall supported.
“So they don’t have things like this to get extra funds to pay for parts of their programs,” Goodale said.
Volunteers from nonprofits worked the hall for a portion of the profits. Altogether, the hall has given out more than $50 million over four decades.
“Over a million dollars a year to charity that’s not going to be there anymore,” he said.
The Boys and Girls Club was one of those charities. Funding from the hall helped renovate the club’s North Laguna branch. A club spokesperson said the hall’s partnership and philanthropic efforts will be greatly missed.
“It was a good pastime for the neighborhood and for the older folks who didn’t have nothing to do in the area,” Herring said.
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Herring said he wonders what will replace the bingo hall, knowing it was just a game of chance to continue operations as the pandemic continued to push on.
Several staff members will also be out of work now that the hall is closed. Sacramento Consolidated Charities said it plans to sell the building and everything in it.
A goodbye message on Florin Road Bingo’s website says:
Unfortunately, we have to let you know that Florin Road Bingo will not be back. We have depleted the savings that we had to get through rough times, and while we tried to get a Go Fund Me and Drive-in Bingo up and running at the last minute, when we had to cancel it due circumstances beyond our control, it was too late to try to get it going again. Unlike most charities that only pay rent when they run a session, we had bills that continued during the shutdown.
We are sorry that it has come to this and want to thank the players, volunteers, and staff that have helped us donate well over fifty million dollars during the time that we existed. Please continue to support your favorite charities as they are all struggling through this very difficult time.
Everyone stay safe.
The Staff and Volunteers of Florin Road Bingo