Sunday, April 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Suisun bingo hall welcomes community, supports causes

bingo 2_14_14

Harry Bordallo marks his cards while playing bingo Friday, at the Blue Devils Bingo Hall in Suisun City. (Adam Smith/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | February 20, 2014 | 3 Comments

SUISUN CITY — Fairfield and Suisun City residents have a place to go after nearly five years without a local bingo hall, and it’s taking off.

Blue Devils Bingo in the Marina Shopping Center off Highway 12 opened in mid-October. It’s packed five days a week with more than 200 players.

The name of the game is fun, but behind it all is support for local nonprofits.

According to the Blue Devils Bingo website, it supports the Solano Soccer Club, the Armijo High Band Boosters, the Public Safety Academy, the Suisun City Community Services Foundation and the Suisun City Police and Fire Boosters.

Tom Hope, the hall’s manager, said he expects to contribute about $80,000 a year to local groups through live bingo games and other options the site offers.

The hall’s games pay out about 85 percent, Hope said, meaning that of all the money that comes in from players’ buy-ins and other purchases, 85 percent is paid out in winnings.

About $5,000 in prizes is on the line each day, Hope said.

The remaining 15 percent goes to pay for overhead such as hall rent and wages for the security staff, Hope said. Everything that’s left goes to the groups the hall supports, he said.

“One hundred percent of the net win goes to charity,” Hope said. “That’s why it’s called charity bingo.”

For those who benefit from the bingo games, Blue Devils has been a nice boost.

“It’s been great. The money that’s being generated – with this economy – is helping families to be able to afford soccer,” said Mike Pierce, president of the Solano Soccer Club.

Giving children an opportunity they might not otherwise have is the whole reason behind working bingo nights, Pierce said. The soccer club has thus far received one check for $2,500 from working one bingo night a week, he said.

As things move forward, the club has plans for bingo night to become a major part of its fundraising efforts.

“One night a week, we supply people,” Pierce said. “Other organizations are taking the other nights, which is great for them.”

The volunteers from each group work the floor, selling additional bingo games and assisting with any issues players may have.

With room for 275 players, Blue Devils gets plenty busy on weekends.

More than an hour from the first live game on a recent Friday night, the hall was filling up as players staked out their regular spots and gathered to socialize.

No one is far from a screen to know what numbers Hope is calling during the games. That’s because numbers are displayed on large flat-screen TVs, which replace the giant, cumbersome boards found at traditional bingo halls.

“That’s the future of gaming and bingo,” Hope said.

Bingo enthusiasts, who were left without a local place to play after a hall on North Texas Street closed several years ago, are happy to have Blue Devils.

“(I come here) every day that ends with a Y,” said Stephanie C. Harper-Haynes. “I usually come on Monday matinee, Thursdays and Sundays. Sometimes I come on Friday and Saturday, but those are usually my family days.”

Winning keeps Harper-Haynes coming back, but that’s not all.

“It’s a pastime. It’s relaxing,” she said. “I meet a lot of people and I know a lot of people who come from other halls, so you have your own little bingo community.”

Helping good causes doesn’t hurt, either.

Harper-Haynes, wife of Vanden High football coach LeVon Haynes, said she’s happy to help other groups.

For Simone Hazley of Fairfield, it’s as good an excuse as any to get out of the house.

“I like coming here because it’s like an outing for us all. We look forward as far as getting together,” Hazley said. “I meet a lot of people here. I met Ida, sitting right behind me. We just look forward to seeing one another. This is like – you know how some people play bridge? Well, we play bingo.”

Hazley lauded Hope for keeping the place clean and safe, in part by making sure the parking lot is patrolled.

“I have security staff. The law says I can pay security,” Hope said.

The fact that there’s a bingo hall close to home is also a big plus for many, especially after the last one closed.

“I’m really glad that Tom was able to put a bingo here for us (in) Solano County,” Hazley said. She occasionally ventures to the Blue Devils location in Concord, she said. “Now we are right back here, so it’s really nice. I love it here.”

Retired Air Force veteran Harry Bordallo sat at a table with a few friends while scanning his various cards and reminisced about a near 55-year bingo-playing career in the area.

“I’ve been here since 1959 – Travis Air Force Base,” said the retired technical sergeant. “Why move when you bought a house?”

He said he’s been playing bingo since it started at local Catholic schools and just kept going.

“I’m retired, nothing to do,” he said.

So he comes to Blue Devils to be social and have his fun.

“I get to meet a beautiful woman like this,” he said, pointing playfully to his neighbor across the table.

Bordallo said this when asked how often he plays: “If I don’t spend all my salary, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Hope said he’s trying hard to change perceptions of bingo by updating the technology with electronic card minders, and other bingo games that can be played on large touchscreen devices as well as pull-tab cards that resemble lottery scratchers.

“Bingo is not an old people’s game,” he said. “There’s some old people, but there’s some young people and as we get closer to 6:30 p.m. there’ll be a lot.”

Two years in the making, Blue Devils is happy to be where it is, Hope said.

“There used to be a bingo hall in Fairfield on Texas Street up by Kmart and they quit operating about five years ago,” he said. “The customers in the area wanted another bingo hall. They didn’t want to drive to Vacaville, they don’t want to drive to Vallejo, and so we at Blue Devils saw an opportunity to build a hall.”

Now it’s become a part of the community.

“It’s a good community, we’re happy to be here,” Hope said.

That community is also happy to have Blue Devils.

After three years of renovations at the Marina Center, landing Blue Devils was a huge boost for the center’s owner, Redwood City-based Pellarin Construction Group.

“They’ve been very well received by the community,” said Claude Pellarin from his office at the center. “They’re getting very large crowds and that brings a lot of new interest and new customers to the center.”

After losing a number of tenants in recent years, Pellarin said the addition of Blue Devils was just what the area needed.

“It’s helped to re-energize the center,” he said. “It’s the major catalyst that will kick off the center.”

In just the few months since Blue Devils opened, it’s already made a difference.

“It has certainly brought a tremendous new interest to the center from tenants,” Pellarin said.

No more major renovations are planned for the center. Now it’s just a matter of filling the remaining empty store fronts.

“We’re in the final throes for finishing re-tenanting the center,” Pellarin said. “This year we look to bring in a significant amount of new tenants to the center.”

The hall is open for bingo four hours each day Thursday through Monday. Doors open a couple of hours before play begins to allow participants to get ready and to settle in.

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6979 or mcorpos@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/mcorposdr. 

Blue Devils Bingo

  • Location: Marina Shopping Center Building 601, Suisun City
  • Website: www.bdbingo.org

Live bingo hours

  • 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
  • 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday. Doors open at 3 p.m.
  • 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday. Doors open at 9 a.m.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 3 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Bing GoghFebruary 20, 2014 - 12:27 pm

    Do they have a Happy Hour?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Jason KnowlesFebruary 20, 2014 - 7:59 pm

    How do you get a sweet, innocent old lady to say the "F" word? Get another sweet, innocent old lady to yell "Bingo!"

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • TerriFebruary 21, 2014 - 4:51 pm

    There has always been another bingo in Fairfield for almost 30 years at the senior center. There is also the Eagles Lodge. People do not have to drive to Vacaville. Please do not imply you are the only game in town!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Supervisor candidates vary on Plan Bay Area

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 12 Comments | Gallery

 
Earth Day means cleanup Day for Suisun City

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1, 4 Comments | Gallery

Hop to it: Couple lights up home, yard for Easter

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1

 
Bay Area makes growth plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

Ranking the best Bay Area athletes

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
The Edge hosts Easter egg hunt

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3

Alooma Temple keeps children in mind

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield author to speak at women’s expo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

The resurrection has changed the lives of Christians

By Perry W. Polk | From Page: C3

 
Piano scholarship competition set in Vallejo

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Understanding your health insurance

By Morgan Westfall | From Page: D4, 1 Comment

 
Armijo graduate completes basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Record Store Day a commercial hit

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Easter egg hunt brings out the smiles

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. joins Fairfield coffee corridor

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B7, 4 Comments | Gallery

City sets plan to dispose of property assets

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: B7, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Counties tell Brown they need money for his law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 1 Comment

 
San Francisco probe leading to entrapment claims

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Exhibit recreates Warhol’s 1964 World’s Fair mural

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
NASA’s space station Robonaut finally getting legs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Ohio couple married 70 years die 15 hours apart

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
Documents detail another delayed GM recall

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

Official: 3 bodies retrieved from inside ferry

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
13th body pulled from snow in Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

At barricades, Ukraine insurgents await Easter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Costa Rican a celebrity after certified miracle

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Opinion

Editorial Cartoons for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Question of the week: Will Flight 370 be found?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Neighborhood speeders don’t get it

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 4 Comments

 
Why would a person do this?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
Sound off for April 20, 2014

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

Government … for the government?

By Bill James | From Page: A8, 9 Comments

 
Jeb Bush, love, and today’s GOP

By Ruben Navarrette | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 20, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 20, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Book details lives of cloistered nuns

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
Bill Nye says he underestimated debate’s impact

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3, 4 Comments

Horoscopes for April 20, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
Pete spends weekends at my house but he never invites me to his

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

.

Entertainment

Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Tartt, Goodwin finalists for Carnegie medals

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

New book on fracking illuminates pros, cons

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

 
.

Sports

A’s score 3 in 9th, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors beat Clippers 109-105 in playoff opener

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Kings, Sharks look to put Game 1 in past

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stults, Padres hand Giants third straight loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Calathes suspension a reminder of supplement risk

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raptors GM Ujiri uses profanity about Brooklyn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Williams scores 24 as Nets beat Raptors 94-87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Durant leads Thunder past Grizzlies 100-86

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hawks take 1-0 lead by rolling past Pacers 101-93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Federer beats injured Djokovic to reach final

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Wie shoots 67, wins LPGA LOTTE Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Travis Bowl Highlights

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Rapids, Earthquakes play to scoreless tie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Stars Recreation bowling results

By Daily Republic | From Page: B4

 
Jimenez leads Langer by 1 shot in Greater Gwinnett

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Donald shoots 66, takes lead at RBC Heritage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Big names among prospective Buffalo Bills buyers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Indians set two new school records for track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Award-winning archery champ shoots with his teeth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

Survivors keep busy as Boston Marathon approaches

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Business

US delays review of contentious Keystone pipeline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why high oil prices are actually good for airlines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Subscription sample boxes shake up beauty routines

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Girls from modest families get lift in technology

By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

Haunted house part of San Antonio apartment lofts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

 
Recalls this week: lanterns, exercise devices

By The Associated Press | From Page: B13

Review: Siri-like Cortana fills Windows phone gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: B14

 
.

Obituaries

Lloyd G. Hoffmeister

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Ramon Isidro

By Adrienne Harris | From Page: A4

Rogelio Tinoco-Zamudio

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
James Leroy Barbour

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

William Paul Wehrly

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sealwyn Shirley Brucefield Shepherd Malkiewicz

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Margaret Elizabeth Silva

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

.

Comics