Weather Forecast


Missing Breezy Point man found safe

Church basement bingo: raising funds for community

Ellen Cherne (far left), Ron Cherne (far right) and Father Tony Wroblewski plays1 / 7
Bingo markers sit in center of the table before the game started.2 / 7
Deputy Grand Knight Ralph Bakeberg calls out the numbers during the Bingo game.3 / 7
Bingo balls fill the numbered slots at the bingo table before the start of Bingo4 / 7
Knights of Columbus hold their Bingo nights in the basement of the St. Francis C5 / 7
Ellen Cherne holds a Bingo marker while searching for numbers on her card.6 / 7
Mary Manlick daubs ink on a Bingo board during the Knights of Columbus Bingo Nig7 / 7

Church basement bingo event livens up winter nights at St. Francis Catholic Church.

The Knights of Columbus Thursday bingo nights this February were aimed at providing a family entertainment option. But a night out when cabin fever may be starting to build isn’t the only benefit. The limited run bingo nights are fundraisers to benefit charities.

The Knights of Columbus, which is made up of Catholic men age 18 and older, raise funds for charities in the Catholic community and beyond.

Beneficiaries include St. Francis School of the Lakes, Bridges of Hope, Confidence Learning Center, Special Olympics, American Cancer Society and Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Grand Knight Norm Kowalski said the goal is to benefit families and people who need help in the community, which is accomplished thanks to the generosity of bingo players.

“Because if no one shows up, it’s no fun,” Kowalski said.

The Knights of Columbus has about 180 members at St. Francis. Members dedicate their time to volunteer for fundraisers such as brat sales and bingo. All proceeds remain local. This is the growing bingo event’s third year.

Kowalski said it’s a good way to give back to the Catholic community and beyond, supporting family strength, children, the priests and anybody in need. The Knights plan throughout the year, meet monthly and look forward to bingo month, Kowalski said.

A separate bingo for children is also set up, which is free to play. Adult bingo players pay $1 for a single card, which has three games. “Out of their generosity, we help the community,” Kowalski said of players who come to the church on four winter nights. “It helps our efforts in serving others, especially the youth.

“That’s why the family bingo is so important because it gets the youth involved with their families, something fun to do and gets them out of the house for the winter months.”

RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at 855-5852 or Follow on Twitter @Dispatchbizbuzz.

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
(218) 855-5852