If you’re looking for something fun to do on a winter weeknight that also contributes to a good cause, I suggest you keep reading.
The Sheldon Young Professionals are hosting a bingo night 6:30-9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 9, at Crossroads Pavilion event center in Sheldon.
That’s the fun part. Here’s the good cause part: You can gain entry to the event by donating a new toy or nonperishable food item.
The donations will go to Love In the Name of Christ of Greater O’Brien County, which will distribute the items to those in need.
Bingo night will be hosted by Wayne Barahona — some of you may be familiar with his voice for some reason — and there will be free snacks and a cash bar.
Bingo tear sheets are $1 each and you can bring your own dabber or buy one on site, but supplies are limited. As a bingo pro, I have two dabbers at home as well as some lucky trinkets.
I’m sure that all sounds good, but get this? There’s more.
The YP committee also is asking people to sport their best Christmas attire — I’m wearing a “Star Wars” ugly Christmas sweater as I type this — and there will be prizes and giveaways throughout the evening.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty excited about this.
Granted, I will have to come in on Sunday to get a jump on my Monday writing to make sure I get to the Pavilion early enough to help set up; however, bingo night should be pretty awesome for a few reasons.
The tag line for the Sheldon YPs is “learn, network, grow” and this event is another example of how this group, which I’m honored to be on the committee for, is adhering to that philosophy.
Besides giving people something to do — as a guy who loves low-key social events, I know how vital it is to have fun activities in your own backyard — this is a great way to meet some other like-minded community members who want to see Sheldon prosper.
In a gist, that’s what the YPs are all about. All of us volunteer our time because we want to work toward something bigger for the community.
In the age of everyone always being super busy, committee members take time away from their jobs or in some cases, their own business, to plan events, discuss ways we can bring together our area’s young professionals and be of service to the workforce.
It’s why my job allows me to cut out for meetings and related YP events, why one of our designers made the Sheldon YP logo pro bono. It is why the Sheldon Chamber and Development Corporation includes the YPs as a line item in its annual budget, why some big players in town have contributed financially to this cause and why businesses of all sizes have donated prizes.
Our last big event was a trivia night in June and we had great attendance for that and it lived up to the networking aspect.
If you’ve seen members of the “Mediocre Men” book club meeting around town, that group was formed during trivia night.
Side note: If you want to join that book club, send Scott Kruger an e-mail at email@example.com and prepare to be underwhelmed by our mediocrity. Next meeting is in January!
In between here and June, the YPs held a karaoke night and a few happy hours at The Lounge in Sheldon, which has generously offered up its space to us.
We’ve also done monthly lunches and invite anyone to come join us at a select Sheldon eatery for a low-stakes gathering. Everyone pays for their own food, mingles and we give a two-minute spiel about the YPs.
Our last lunch at Chinese Chef attracted more than two dozen people — Northwest Iowa Community College and ROME Grinding Solutions represented well as did Iowa Information/White Wolf Web #humblebrag — and it was nice to see some new faces.
Our next lunch outing is noon-1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, at Pizza Ranch and I hope to see even more unfamiliar faces there. We’re also discussing our 2020 kickoff event.
So, yeah, we have a few irons in the fire. Also, as for as bingo night, I suggest giving it a shot.
Worst-case scenario: You donate to a charitable cause. If you’re reading the print version of this story, a story in this issue about the new mobile food bank should tell you how vital your contribution will be.
Best-case scenario: You make some new friends, join a book club, learn more about the YPs and our goals, get to play bingo, listen to Wayne crack jokes about me and you donate to a charitable cause.