Wikipedia defines the Eagles as: “The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.”
The Eagles Lodge in Hamilton is trying to get the word out about what the lodge offers, and to invite the public to check it out at a special bingo night this Thursday, October 14. The proceeds of Thursday’s event will go towards the Hamilton Volunteer Fire Department’s new building project.
Before COVID-19 hit, bingo nights were hugely popular. Bonnie Small, chair of the bingo committee and Linda O’Leary, co-chair, are excited to be restarting these fun nights. Each bingo night benefits a different local non-profit.
The bingo games go from 6 to 9 p.m. Bingo cards are $1 each, one card per game. Or, you can buy 18 single-card games for $11 or 18 three-card games for $30. Cash prizes, from $40 to $200, are awarded. Hamilton Mayor Dominic Farrenkopf will be the caller with council member Rod Pogachar assisting. There’s free popcorn, and drinks and food are available from the bar. Players must be 18 or older.
“We just want people to be aware that we’re doing this for a charity,” said Small. “They can come and have fun and know that the money goes to a good cause.”
Small and O’Leary hope this will be a kick off to getting back on track with regularly scheduled bingo nights, either quarterly or monthly, depending on how this one goes.
They also just want to promote the Eagles in general. The local organization has about 200 members, including many veterans, but it’s open to all. You don’t have to be a member to come into the lodge at 125 N.2nd in Hamilton. They have a full bar that’s open daily with “pub food” available. There’s live music and dancing every Saturday. Other games are offered as well: cribbage, cornhole, darts, and of course, bingo.
“It’s a great place to come and socialize and meet people and have fun,” said O’Leary.
The Eagles Lodge supports many charitable causes, especially children’s and veterans’ programs. This year they partnered with a local radio station to sponsor a cornhole competition at the county fair. They raised $700 for the Eagle Children’s Fund, the Backpack Program and the Giving Tree.
Non-profit groups interested in being the recipient of the proceeds from a future bingo night can contact the Eagles by calling 406-363-1113 and leaving a message or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s a lot of work,” said O’Leary, “but we’re happy to do it as long as people come.”
“It’s all for a great cause,” added Small, “and that means something.”