The Elusive Bingo Game

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Students are still DC dreaming

This school year has been a learning experience for both students and teachers as we attempt to send 100 students to Washington D.C. for an educational journey. Our school has learned the ins and outs of fundraising and have been galvanized as a community as we work feverishly to make these students’ dreams come true.

Have a product? We’ve sold it.

Like tamales? Our moms make half a dozen varieties.

Know about marketing, profit margins, and price points? Our students do too.

This being our first year undertaking this endeavor has brought about moments of hilarity.  Take Bingo Night.  Three times we have tried to hold a bingo night but have been stymied by our lack of knowledge of  fundraising “rules” in our school system.

  • We could not hold it in the evening due to safety concerns (we are in South Central L.A.)
  • But we could hold it in the evening if we obtain security
  • We obtained off duty security workers (some dads in the group) but were told they needed to be district employees
  • We tried to get a school police officer but was told they only work in pairs and would need to be paid overtime (this would wipe out our profit margin)
  • We decided to hold the event off campus at a parent’s house but our flyer that was sent home indicated the event was sponsored by the school and the district refused to take the liability risk should an unsavory incident occur off-campus under the auspices of LAUSD
  • In the end, we were told bingo is gambling and it will never be allowed in the school, period.
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Students prepare bingo prizes

Now all of these regs were shared with us with sadness and frustration.  No malice was intended, as the school and district have been as supportive as we could hope.  It’s just that a school in our part of town trying to do something like this is not a part of anyone’s reality.  It’s a foreign idea for many, and they are just as confused about procedures as we are.

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Bingo prizes waiting to be won

Nonetheless, the parents and students persevere. We connect through text and social media to get the word out quickly. We send robocalls to parents about needed items and have taken over a storage closet in the admin building. Our parents roam the campus with knowledge and authority and know how to contact the plant manager when they need carts, electrical connections, and ice. Staff members have each gained an average of five pounds in support of DC sales.  Students have gained an air of confidence and assertiveness that will benefit them for a lifetime.

As we approach the final payment deadline in April, we are proud of raising over $100,000 through parent payments, scholarships from Worldstrides (our travel company), donations, and fundraising.  We have one major fundraiser happening in April with A Piece of Cake, and then we will be racing toward the finish line in June to be able to secure our plane tickets and hotel rooms.

We have positive thoughts about being able to secure the final $40,000 in funds that we will need to send our hard working students to Washington.  For students who have experience so much disappointment in their lives, this school community will not let them down. We are the Mighty Champions.

Those interested in making an electronic donation can click on the link below and enter the following information:

LINK:  https://olr.worldstrides.net/scripts/cgiip.exe/RegisterOnline/PaymentLogin.htm?ttype=

ACCOUNT NUMBER:  101968883

LAST NAME: Infante

The funds you donate to this account will be spread evenly among all students.  Thanks for reading!

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