On Wednesday, May 13th, local drag icon Joan-E helps celebrate an incredible 13 years of Gay Bingo in our community in support of Vancouver’s Friends for Life.
Vancouver’s over-the-top, larger-than-life, glitzier-than-Liberace weekly Bingo event – is celebrating its 13th Anniversary as one of Friends for Life’s longest running fundraisers and is marking this anniversary with the launch of new cash bingo prizes.
“Tradition dictates that you honor a 13th anniversary with gifts of lace. Modern etiquette suggests textiles and fur. Here in the queer fundraising world, we say it with cash,” says Joan-E, Bingo For Life host and this year’s Xtra West Drag Performer of the Year.
“We’re giving this old fundraising doll a new facelift with weekly cash prizes of up to $100, donated by Celebrities. Every Wednesday, folks can come out to the club, have a bit of old-fashioned Bingo fun with their friends, know that their donation is going to a great cause, and maybe walk away a few dollars flusher.”
To date, Bingo For Life has raised over $250,000 for Friends For Life, a non-profit wellness centre in Barclay Heritage Square providing complementary and alternative therapies free of charge to people living with life-threatening illnesses, such as HIV and cancer.
“The amount of support we have received via this event over the years has been tremendous,” states Darren Lauscher, the Society’s Board Chair. “Week in and week out, the Bingo sponsors, volunteers and regular patrons gather to help raise money for our organization. In particular, Joan-E, alongside her team of drag divas, has been serving up saucy Bingo calls and commentary since the event began. In these challenging economic times, we are especially appreciative of the community’s efforts to support the important work we do … from the glorious drag queens, in all their feathered finery, to the stagette parties, in all their feathered finery, to our treasured West End ladies who lunch … well, in all their feathered finery.”
The anniversary party promises to be a busy and competitive evening for the weekly regulars, with a number of other coveted prizes up for grabs, including a $300 limited edition silkscreen pop-art print by local artist, Dale Nigel Goble, a hand-woven Tibetan wool rug, donated by the Peking Lounge, and a hair package from Stratosphere Salon, both valued at $200.
“If you’ve ever been to Bingo For Life, you’ll know that we’re not for the faint at heart,” Joan-E warns. “But our fire and flair have kept us committed to supporting the important work that Friends For Life does for over 13 gay years, which is like 91 years in the straight community. We’re 13 years older, but no less feisty and all the more fabulous for it.”
Join Bingo For Life at Celebrities Night Club (1022 Davie Street) on Wednesday, May 13th at 8:30 pm for their 13th Anniversary Party and help support the Vancouver Friends For Life Society.
The Vancouver Friends For Life Society serves as a catalyst to enhance the wellness of individuals living with a life-threatening illness by providing complementary and alternative health and support services. It provides over 60 different therapies, such as yoga, massage, Reiki, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Naturopathy to 1000 active members.