Community bus driver Bill Johnston receives $10,000 from Gail McKenna.
Community bus driver Bill Johnston receives $10,000 from Gail McKenna.

Housie can be educational

IF you believe a game of housie is just for the oldies, think again.

The number-based game can be used as an educational tool to hasten learning while having fun with social interaction at the same time, according to bingo coordinator Gail McKenna.

Ms McKenna, who has been coordinating weekly housie with the help of a team of volunteers at Clarence Village, said it can be a game for anyone.

Since late 2004 the not-for-profit Community Village organisation has hosted Wednesday night housie games to raise money for the local community.

Clarence Village manager Vicki Valja said: “On average we donate about $10,000 to the community bus service a year and contribute the remaining 15 per cent to keep the community hall upgraded and maintained”.

“The whole community benefits because the majority of our residents use it, plus the disabled and disadvantaged.”

More than 40 people roll up every week for their chance to win the weekly cash jackpots and catch up with friends.

Organisers said they would like to see the numbers of players increase as the money raised goes to a worthy community cause.

“I like being involved and helping the community,” Ms McKenna said.

“It’s a worthy cause and you never know, one day it could be me in the back of that bus.”

Coordinator of the three community buses that run daily in Grafton, Eric Lynn, said the housie donations keep the buses on the road.

“The buses are vital because they look after the frail aged, elderly and disabled,” he said.

At a cost of more than $1300 to keep each bus on the road for a month, Mr Lynn said any donation was appreciated as the service relied solely on community contributions.

Ms McKenna said housie is run every week, even during the school holidays on a Wednesday night in the Clarence Village Community Hall, with eyes down at 7.30pm sharp.

“Anyone wishing to come along is welcome and you can get so much out of it,” she said.

All one needs is luck and the rules of bingo etiquette.

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