Bingo night becomes popular vehicle to raise funds for Challenge Enterprises

By Wesley LeBlanc Staff Writer
Posted 7/3/19

FLEMING ISLAND – Challenge Enterprises is holding monthly bingo nights on Fleming Island to raise money to continue adult day-training services, residential programming and group homes.

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Bingo night becomes popular vehicle to raise funds for Challenge Enterprises

Posted

FLEMING ISLAND – Challenge Enterprises is holding monthly bingo nights on Fleming Island to raise money to continue adult day-training services, residential programming and group homes.

Started in 1972 by local citizens whose first order of business was fundraising, Challenge Enterprises has grown to be one of Clay County’s largest nonprofit organizations with a focus on promoting the power and possibilities of people living with disabilities. While Challenge Enterprises fundraises throughout the year, one of their most popular fundraisers is its monthly bingo night.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to get our organization’s name out in the community on a regular basis and it’s a great way to have a great night and help us raise funds,” Challenge Enterprises CEO Nancy C. Keating said.

Held the second Tuesday of every month at the Eagle Harbor clubhouse known as Talon’s, Bingo night brings in dozens of people, according to Keating. Their goal for the summer is to break 100 people – they came close in February with 98. Attendees pay $25, and that price comes with a buffet dinner, 10 bingo games and a chance to win raffle prizes.

Bingo winners win prize money, but a portion of the proceeds goes towards Challenge Enterprises’ many services.

“We have folks in apartments, group homes, condos and some that are even homeowners themselves,” Keating said. “We support them so they can be included in their community. Everything we do takes the power of money. So while they receive support, they still need income to be successful. We all do. That’s why we help them with employment.”

As people living with disabilities, those under the care or service of Challenge Enterprises don’t necessarily have the same employment opportunities. Challenge Enterprises supports these people by providing training to them to help them obtain steady employment.

“That’s why we do so much fundraising,” Keating said. “It’s important to raise money locally because that money helps support our people and the programs they’re in. These programs can enrich the quality of life of our people and that’s so important to us.”

Bingo night started recently as a way to allow Challenge Enterprises to continue its programs. The nonprofit searched for years to find the one annual fundraiser that would stick. Keating said she and her staff came up with a monthly bingo night, and it’s been a big success since.

“We have folks who come every month and each time, they learn more about us each time,” Keating said. “When I’m there, I welcome everyone before it all starts and thank them, and I also give them a short story about what we do, or I tell them about someone’s story and how fundraising impacted their life.”

Lending institutions Navy Federal and VyStar Credit Union are critical partners to Challenge Enterprises, and they often act as the bingo caller. Local businesses also donate raffle prizes, with the proceeds going toward Challenge Enterprises’ programs and services.

The next bingo night is on July 8. Call Challenge Enterprises at (904) 284-9859 by July 5 to reserve your space. Dinner begins at Talon’s, 2217 Eagle Harbor Pkwy., at 6 p.m. Bingo begins at 7 p.m., with the final round starting around 9 p.m.

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