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B - I - N - G - O - !

PERU — Jackpot Bingo is open at 2700 May Road in Peru.

Located where Off Track Betting was before it closed in 2003, Mary Jo Boland, Rick Kwit, Celie Smith and Jim Smith are the owners of the business that officially opened Sept. 4.

The Smiths, who have 18 years of bingo hall management experience, are members of the LaMoille Lions Club, while Boland and Kwit, members of the Peru Lions Club, have operated bingo games for three years.

"We will also offer space for quarterly events, monthly or weekly events," said Boland. "We have four more slots to fill for additional charities or organizations."

The owners of Jackpot Bingo, which is located just north of Interstate 80 between Exit 73 (Plank Road) and exit 75 (Route 251) on 2700 May Road, want to stress the building is available for other charitable fundraisers like poker nights or trivia nights.

The business is open at 4:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Old-fashioned bingo warm-up games start at 6:15 p.m. followed by a regular session of bingo games with jackpots ranging from $25 to $500.

LaMoille Lions (Wednesday), Friends of Strays in Princeton (Friday), Peru Lions (Saturday) and IVCC Athletics (Sunday) operate bingo at Jackpot Bingo.

"By playing bingo at Jackpot Bingo, you are helping to support the many worthwhile projects these not-for-profit organizations are engaged in," said the owners, stressing the need for bingo players to show up to help support these organizations.

The LaMoille and Peru Lions Clubs, members of the largest international organization in the world, has a primary mission to help the visually impaired and hearing impaired by paying for eye and hearing exams, eyeglasses and hearing aids.

Friends of Strays, an animal shelter in Princeton, helps all animals in need.

The Athletic Department at Illinois Valley Community College, faced with severe budget cuts, have students and athletic staff operate bingo to help continue tennis, baseball, softball, basketball, volleyball and golf programs.

"We are all vested in this community," they said. "Running bingo games has helped our clubs provide eyeglasses, hearing aids and cataract surgery from the funds raised."

Hall High School was able to raise enough funds from three years of bingo games to install an all-weather track, they said.

Additional sessions are available to groups who meet the following criteria: Be licensed by the state; be a bona fide religious, charitable, labor, fraternal, youth athletic, senior citizens', educational or veterans' organization in Illinois; operate without profit to its members; and have been in existence in Illinois continuously for five years.

For further information about operating a bingo game or for general bingo information, call Jackpot Bingo at 815-250-0299.

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