Host a polio fundraiser during a pandemic you ask? No problem said the Rotary Club of KCI, accepting a challenge from District Governor Marc Horner and putting (virtually) a whole new spin on the game of Bingo!
The Rotary Club of KCI hosted a fundraiser, “Bingo to End Polio Now,” on Thursday, May 28 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Because of in-person gathering restrictions due to COVID-19, the club used the Zoom online platform to carry out the event, which allowed participants to connect remotely from the comfort of their own homes while also doing good for the world.
Donned in a gray wig and black tuxedo t-shirt, club president Lynn McClure served as emcee and Bingo caller for the evening and was assisted by his wife Jen who managed the Bingo board. Lynn did an excellent job making the evening fun and entertaining for more than 70 participants, while also keeping the game organized and on track.
In total, the club sold 165 Bingo cards and raised $1,300, which was donated to Rotary International to benefit End Polio Now. Every club member was responsible for purchasing one card, and 10 people who were not club members purchased cards as well.
Participants played a total of four games, and each winner received a prize of $100, $75 or $50, respectively, as well as $25 for the blackout game. All four winners donated their prize money back to the cause.
Of the winners, two were members and two were non-members. The $100-winner was 6-years old and the granddaughter of the 2018-19 District Governor Julie McCoy.
The club also found a way to use the Bingo event to benefit Granite City Food & Brewery, the host site where its weekly meetings are typically held. Granite City put together a menu of food specials for the evening. To promote the menu, the club sent out a link to participants so they could order dinner in advance of the event.
Overall, the online fundraiser was a huge success and exceeded the fundraising goal the club had set. The event was such a big hit that the club is considering hosting quarterly Zoom events to raise funds for other charities, including Hillcrest Platte County, Feed Northland Kids and others. The benefit of online events is that it makes participation much broader and allows people to participate from anywhere.
The Rotary Club of KCI meets from noon to 1 p.m. the 1st – 4th Wednesday of every month.  Their address on the ZOOM platform is:   If you would like to attend a meeting or learn more about the club, contact us at or visit