Imagine a space in Milpitas where you can go to play Bingo games five nights a week. And imagine that the proceeds from those games went toward benefiting not one, but multiple nonprofit organizations.

This is what the newly formed Milpitas Charity Bingo, Inc. aims to do.

At this past week’s Milpitas City Council meeting, Council voted unanimously to approve a bingo license for the organization, giving it the go-ahead to begin operations at its 461 Milpitas Blvd. location, under the condition that it provides a valid certificate or letter that shows evidence of exemption from the Franchise Tax Board.

Consultant Bob Livengood (who has served as both a council member and the Mayor of Milpitas in the past) has been moving this project forward, and was present at the Council meeting to deliver a brief presentation on the details.

Games will be held 5 nights a week, Wednesday to Sunday, 5pm to 10:30pm. Adults aged 18 and older are allowed to play, and during the games, no alcohol can be consumed.

To ensure safety, security cameras will be running, and 3 uniformed security guards will be present.

All games will be staffed by volunteers from various nonprofit organizations. Although volunteers are not able to receive payments or tips for their work, the organization that they’re representing will receive a donation based on each night’s proceeds. Livengood mentioned that they have an ambitious goal of donating $1 million dollars a year to local nonprofits, churches, and charities.

Milpitas Charity Bingo also plans to allow nonprofits to make use of the facility during the days when bingo games aren’t taking place. The cost to them? Absolutely nothing.

“I think this is going to be a real boost for local nonprofits and charities in Milpitas,” said Livengood. “And I think that the City Council and the Mayor recognized that, and have shown themselves to be true supporters of the nonprofit community.” 

Livengood also mentioned that in the coming weeks some light work will be done to get the location ready. Volunteers from nonprofit organizations will be coming in to get some basic training. Meanwhile, equipment tests and dry runs will take place to ensure that everything runs smoothly. The City also needs to issue them some building permits.

Currently, 3 other ongoing Bingo games take place in Milpitas — one at St. John the Baptist Church (Monday nights), one at Pioneer Mobilehome Park (about once a month), and one at the Barbara Lee Senior Center (Wednesday afternoons).

Milpitas Charity Bingo will most likely open its doors at the end of April/beginning of May.

More to come on Bingo as the date gets closer…

Rhoda Shapiro
Rhoda Shapiro works as a journalist and media consultant in the Bay Area. She has written for both the Tri-City Voice and the Mercury News, and is the founder of Chi Media Company, which works with nonprofit organizations to elevate their marketing and communication platforms. Rhoda is also an author; her first book will be published by Llewellyn Worldwide in mid-2019. Her YouTube channel, which features practices in yoga, meditation, and women’s empowerment, has amassed thousands of subscribers. Rhoda is The Milpitas Beat’s founder.

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