The Luling-Boutte Lions Club has got game – again.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Club President Janine Pichon. “It’s fresh and new to us. It’s a good facelift.”
After holding its bingo game fundraiser at the St. Charles Room Bingo Hall in Boutte more than 20 years, the Lions Club has relocated to the VFW Hall in Luling. Games will resume 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays.
The organization had to move after owner John Landry sold the previous location to the United Way of St. Charles for a community college. Landry and his wife had held the games there 31-1/2 years.
Per the Lions Club’s “We Serve” motto, Pichon said holding bingo games has funded many community projects.
“It’s helped tremendously with scholarships to the local high schools, Lions Crippled Children’s camp, the Lions Eye Foundation, adopted Christmas families, Thanksgiving baskets, electric bills and house notes for people in need,” she said. “We’ve done a lot for a lot of people.”
Bingo funds have also benefited Ronald McDonald’s House, Wounded Warriors, A Safe Space and local schools for supplies.
“This is what the organization does,” Pichon said. “It’s all about helping others.”
And, for the VFW Hall, Post 3750 Commander Robert “Bobby” Lovergne agreed the entire effort comes full circle.
“This is helping us all the way around,” said VFW Post Commander Robert “Bobby” Lovergne. “We saw it as a good opportunity.”
In addition to the Lions Club’s community assistance, the game will help the VFW generate funds for such community service projects as Teacher of the Year, Voice of Democracy, the Americanism Program, safety awards for law enforcement EMTs and firemen.
“Once the UW bought the bingo hall, they had no place to play,” Lovergne said.
But, on Jan. 23, they came to the VFW Hall.
Last Friday, they had 92 players in only the second week of holding the bingo games.
This is an impressive number considering the crowd topped at around 130 at the former location, Pichon added. The highest game paid is $1,000, while the total payout per night is $4,500.
Pichon said they have plenty of regulars, but are also seeing new faces drawn to the VFW Hall. A grand opening for the new location is tentatively scheduled March 6.
Even the concessions at the hall aid other groups, he said. The American Legion, St. Charles Special Olympics and J.B. Martin Middle School parents raising money for their Washington trip, as well as the Auxiliary for the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ programs.
Lovergne said the VFW buys the food and the group mans the concession stand and sells the food. They get a percentage of the profit for their cause.
“It’s like a big community event to help more groups raise money for their programs,” he said.
He also emphasized the VFW Hall will continue to be available for rental on the weekends.