Residents at Hammond House carefully checked their Bingo cards as Rex Bell quickly called out the letter-number combinations.
With red, blue, green, white and yellow chips or bottle caps in hand, players placed them in the squares until someone excitedly exclaimed “Bingo!”
Rex and his wife, Lois, host Bingo every Monday and Tuesday at the assisted-living facility. The couple began their weekly routine more than a year ago.
They would visit war veterans living at Hammond House and began to form bonds with the other residents as well, said Rex, who is with American Legion Post 71.
When the activity director needed someone to help with activities, they gladly volunteered.
“I have it on my schedule,” he said, adding that he plans other things around Bingo. “I really enjoy it. It’s like coming and spending time with our parents and grandparents.”
Lois also looks forward to the weekly activity.
“I’ve always liked working with older people,” she said.
The residents, including the veterans, have come to expect to see the Bells regularly.
“They do get excited,” he said. “It also does me some good to be here with them, spending time with them.”
The winners of the Bingo game receive coupons for what is called “the store”. Members of Post 71 make donations that are used to purchase items for the store, Rex said.
Once a month, Bingo winners can use their coupons to “purchase” items such as snacks and toiletries. Veterans, regardless if they play Bingo, can also choose items they would like.
“It’s the idea of veterans taking care of veterans,” he said.