Blue Gold Bingo through a Screen

B-4 the start of Covid-19, Padua had many traditions such as the annual Blue Gold Bingo. Blue Gold is an organization that helps to support individuals with cognitive disabilities. They work with other organizations such as Special Olympics Delaware, and Delaware’s Down Syndrome Association to run fundraisers and other events.

Blue Gold Bingo, in a non-COVID year, would occur in Padua’s cafe towards the start of spring break. It is usually the big ending of Blue Gold Week.

“Blue Gold Week is a full week where we have all kinds of fun activities and fundraising events where we raise money for our different organizations and for the club itself,” said Mrs.Pugliese, one of the leaders of Blue Gold.

Pugliese has been working at Padua for 6 years, and for all six she has been working with Blue Gold. Along with the members of the club and other club leaders, Pugliese was able to save Blue Gold Bingo. Despite the pandemic, Blue Gold was able to hold their event through Zoom. And still, participants showed their Padua spirit by attending, playing, and even contributing to the tropical theme!

Anyone who has ever played a bingo game knows there are needed supplies. The question was: How would the players receive the supplies? To solve this problem, another great plan conceived by Blue Gold. They created little bags filled with all the necessities for the bingo game: the cards, a pencil, food, a drink, and an added sticker. The bag was then picked up by the student in the lobby.

In a normal year, Blue Gold Bingo would be open to the public, however, this was not a normal year, so the Zoom call was for Padua families only. This decreased the amount of people that came compared to previous years.

There were still 275 tickets sold. Whether it was alumni, future pandas, or current families, the Padua community came together for a night of socially distanced fun.

Part of the event every year is the extra entertainment between games. Usually there are raffle baskets and some sort of show. There were no raffle baskets this year, but there were many prizes, which even included food delivered to your doorstep! Between games, there were videos being displayed through a shared screen, such as Just Dance, PATV, andGuess the Disney Song.

With technology, things never work the way they are planned. The same applied to Blue Gold Bingo 2021. Some of the videos they played were a little choppy, and there were a few times where the hosts had to leave the meeting and come back. Although there were a few tweaks to the internet, the event worked out okay.

Overall, Blue Gold Bingo this year was a success. There were even changes in the event that they would want to use for the years ahead, such as having people register in advance and creating the bingo bags ahead of time. Overall, it was a nice time that was spent safely in this year of struggle.

“I do think people enjoyed the virtual bingo,” said Pugliese. “There were lots of laughs and smiles from the other end [of the Zoom]. We got a lot of good feedback from people saying they had fun with their families.”