Bingo, Turkey and Pumpkin Pie!
This year, the holiday season got off to a fun start at Longfellow New Tech Elementary School, as the school played host to a Bingo Night the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Turkeys and Sam’s Club pumpkin pies were given away as prizes to the lucky winners. School district boosters Jeanne Sopiarz, Tanya Tribble, and Kelley Thomas sponsored the festive event to help raise awareness of and participation in the Longfellow Parent Teacher Association.
Tribble pulled double duty as the MC and the Bingo letter caller. She thanked the Calumet community for the evening's success.
“It’s been really exciting—we had one little boy who won two turkeys,” Tribble said. “All of the turkeys were donated by community members. This will be a profit for the school and the PTA they are trying to start here.”
According to fellow co-sponsors, Thomas and Sopiarz, the “Bingo for Turkeys” idea originated at an annual event held at a now-closed Lake Ridge school.
“Our goal here is to get the PTA up and running to get it active,” Thomas said. “We are trying to get parents involved. We used to do this at Hosford Park Elementary for years when I was PTC (parent teacher council) president, and it was very popular.”
“This is the first time we’ve had [the event] since COVID—it’s the first time in many years, actually,” Sopiarz said. “We wanted to bring some things back to the community that we have not had in a while. We want to make sure these kids and families will get to do things they have not been able to do.”
LFNT Principal Pam Balint said she welcomes the group’s participation in school activities.
“This is good for Longfellow. We’re having a lot of fun here tonight, and we have a lot of people winning turkeys and pies,” Balint said. “We have also seen an increase in interest in the PTA. We are having a membership drive and we have elected officers. We are getting more people involved, and more people are interested in volunteering with us.”
School Board member-elect Louise Neese donated a turkey and was on hand to lend support. She will take office in January following the resignation of long-time board member John Evans. The 2nd District representative said she enjoys working with the Lake Ridge community.
“This is exciting,” Neese said. “I’m looking forward to joining the board. I love doing community things and I like to be involved with the schools, so I’m glad to be here.”
After winning a huge turkey and a pumpkin pie, Longfellow parent Rebecca Hemminger, along with her daughter, Emily, may have best summed up the evening.
“It feels good! I hardly ever win anything, but this feels good,” Hemminger said.
The group also held a fundraiser to benefit the Longfellow faculty and staff. With the funds the staff collected, they had enough money purchase a Sam’s Club pumpkin pie for every member of the staff.
Tanya Tribble calling out Bingo letters.