Mandurah woman Janet Kimber had a passion for bingo since she was 12 years old.
Now she runs a weekly bingo night at the Mandurah Senior’s and Community Centre every Thursday at 7pm.
Of course many people come for the fun of the game and the chance to win big, but this particular bingo group are something special.
They donate the entirety of the money raised to local non-profit organisations, which comes to about $50,000 each year.
“The SES, we give $10,000 to every year…. everyone else we give $5,000 to,” Ms Kimber said.
Organisations they have supported include the Billy Dower Youth Centre, Peel Community Kitchen, the Reach Out centre, Riding for the Disabled, Mandurah Water Rescue and more.
However, since moving from the Nellie Reagan Hall to the Seniors and Community Centre, Ms Kimber has been concerned by a decline in numbers.
“We found a bigger place, but unfortunately we’ve lost a lot of people. But we’re building up, I see tonight there’s a whole bunch of new people,” Ms Kimber said.
“We’re the only bingo in this area that donates, so if anything was to happen to our bingo, those services wouldn’t be getting their money.”
Despite the reputation of bingo as an ‘old ladies’ game’, Ms Kimber said it was a good cheap night out for anyone 12 years or older.
Given the large proceeds the volunteer-run group pulls in, others may seek to make a profit, but for Ms Kimber and her team of volunteers, the bingo nights have always been based around helping the community.
“We’d like to give more, when we get more people,” she said.
“We do all that we can, and if we can find new charities we’ll see if we can help them out too.”