Watseka Elks Lodge #1791 conducted its annual “Bingo for Cancer Fighters” event Saturday, Nov. 9. This year raised just under $7,000, bringing the group’s grand total for the nine-year event to $48,704. All proceeds remain in the county and are dispersed to families who are fighting the effects of cancer – treatment costs, traveling expense, loss of income and such.

Attending this year’s event were 147 people with Joey “Breeze” Bruens winning one-half a hog and Sharon Hess wining the $250 cover-all, of which she donated $50 back to the group. Organizers had ordered t-shirts for the event and only four were remaining at the end of the evening.

The event was originally called “Boobie Bingo” as it was geared more towards breast cancer victims and took place during October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Later, the name was changed to “Bingo for Cancer Fighters” to cover the more broad area of families dealing with the effects cancer has on them. Those who help organize the event, prepare the Elks Lodge for the players and such are called “Boobie Buddies” and this year’s group was made up of: Mary Decker, Robert Gray, Cheryle Laurent, Paul and Bridget Tobeck, Marilyn Conger, Stephanie Noland, Kat Thiele, Rich Kingdon, Deb “Cookie” Swigart, Marsha Knauth, Teresa Castonguay, Pam Thurston, Scott and Sarah Kingdon, Amy Reetz, Leslie Myers, Jill Tarro and Kim Gocker.

More than 100 county businesses and individuals contributed to the event.

All of the Watseka Elks Lodge #1791 organizers express their appreciation to everyone who helps make this event a success year-after-year.