Bingo with the seniors

For Give Back Day, 16 MVRHS students went to Woodside Village, the independent living center behind the Y, to do a little yard work and join the senior residents for a spirited game of Bingo.

“This is the second year the high school kids have joined us,” Ann Baird, service coordinator for Island Elderly Housing, said. “We could use the help cleaning up the grounds and the seniors love to play Bingo with students, they don’t get to see kids that much.”

The community center at Woodside was set up with tables draped with checkered tablecloths and eight seniors and eight kids at a time and competed for Bingos.

This is the second year MVHS student Danielle Middleton has participated in Give Back Day and the first time she’s played Bingo. When I spoke with Danielle she was taking a break from being the caller. “It’s nice to give back to your community and help someone else besides yourself,” she said. “My grandparents are off-Island so normally I don’t have that much interaction with older people.”

There were two grandmother/grandchild combinations playing: Glenda Cataloni and her granddaughter Carina Catalone and Manuel Hernandes and his grandmother, Mary Bazelle. “It’s precious, playing with Carina,” Catalone said, “she’s been waiting on me hand and foot today. I even won a game.”

Freshman Sam Fetters, MVRHS student leader, took over as caller from Danielle Middleton and said he’s always liked liked helping the elderly. “I’m happy to do anything that I can to help,” he said.

Woodside resident Julia Blackman, who works for The Times, said she’s never played Bingo before but it was great playing with the kids. Blackman also helps prepare meals at Woodside on Sundays.

Baird summed up the day as being a great event, “The students were very nice to the residents and we’re very grateful for what they do,” she said. “In fact we’d like to do it again in the fall.”