Bingo fundraiser to benefit area children

On Saturday, the Yadkinville Fire Department will host a charity bingo game to benefit Yadkin County Smart Start and The Children’s Center. Doors will open at 5 p.m. with games beginning at 6 p.m. The cost is $25 for 20 games of Bingo. Hot dogs, chips and drinks also will be available for purchase.

The mission of the Children’s Center is “providing families and children of Yadkin Valley area support services to strengthen family relationships and prevent child abuse.”

“The bingo fundraiser allows us to provide educational and recreational opportunities for our disadvantaged kids,” said Children’s Center Executive Director Robin Testerman. “Each summer we try to provide learning opportunities through employment, volunteerism and internships to enable our kids to acquire life skills. By providing educational and recreational opportunities our kids have this opportunity. Our kids seldom have opportunities to participate in school and community sports and events until they are with us. We try to let them explore interest such a music and art lessons, swim lessons, cheerleading, basketball, volleyball and other activities.”

Testerman said the organization, which also serves Surry and Stokes counties, often struggles to raise funds to provide these opportunities for area children.

“It takes funds to provide those opportunities and we decided to host our first bingo in Yadkin County,” she said. “Yadkin County is small, but very giving. It is hard to raise funds due to all the well deserved causes within the county. Our board has struggled to find a way to raise money and create awareness of the Children’s Center. We not only provide a home for children that have been abused and or neglected, but we provide home visitation programs for parents and children, weekly parenting classes and life skills groups for kids like our ‘Why Try’ program and ‘Real World.’ We serve over 800 Yadkin County children and families a year through our program.”

Also benefiting from the Bingo event will be Smart Start of Yadkin County, a non-profit agency which provides a variety of services for children ages birth to 5-years-old and their families.

“We are using our bingo money to sponsor children in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library,” Smart Start Executive Director Carolyn Choplin. “It is a free program offered to all children under the age of five in Yadkin County. The program mails out free age appropriate children’s books monthly to each child enrolled until they reach the age of five. With each $25 that we raise, we can fund an additional child for a year.”

For more information on the Children’s Center, visit For information on Smart Start, call 336-679-7833. The bingo event will be held at the Yadkinville Fire Department, located at 729 N. State St. in Yadkinville.

Kitsey E. Burns may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.

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