St. Catharines’ TV bingo players strengthen fabric of the community

Kiwanis Club of St. Catharines donates proceeds to 16 groups making a difference in the community


Folks sitting down on Sunday evenings to play Kiwanis TV bingo on YourTV cable television probably don’t realize that they’re helping so many people across the city and the region, from ensuring kids with rumbling bellies get fed in the summer, to helping children who are victims of sexual and physical abuse to making offshore workers who are vital to this region’s farming sector to feel welcome in Niagara.


No less than 16 non-profit groups and agencies that do massive good in the community gathered at the Kiwanis seniors housing complex on Geneva Street in St. Catharines on July 7 to receive a total of $100,000 in proceeds from the city’s Kiwanis Club on what was dubbed “Kiwanis Day of Giving.”


Kiwanis president-elect Bob Romeo said the gathering was a chance to showcase the great things the groups do in the community — and, conversely, thank bingo players who have allowed the Kiwanis do donate about $160,000 in total this year to groups through bingo proceeds.


“We love working with you,” Romeo told those gathered. “We appreciate everything you do in the community. The more we can fundraise, the more we can help you.”

Frances Hallworth, chief executive officer of the United Way of Niagara, whose agency received $30,000 for programs in Thorold and Lincoln, said in an interview that the Kiwanis support will directly help kids through backpack donations for school and for a program to feed kids in need over the summer.


The summer food program for kids is needed so kids who would normally get fed at in-school nutrition programs aren’t going hungry, said Hallworth.

“Those (nutrition) programs are closed down in the summer but it doesn’t mean the families still aren’t in need,” she said.


Hallworth said the Kiwanis Club, which runs housing for low-income seniors and has done everything from support the St. Catharines hospital to help fund the St. Catharines Kiwanis Aquatics Centre, has been a longtime ally of the United Way’s efforts to help people in need by supporting a wide range of agencies.

By Paul Forsyth