By MARY ANN GREIER
The sound of someone yelling "Bingo!" will reverberate throughout the Salem Saxon Club on state Route 9 once again when the club opens its new Wednesday Night Bingo this Wednesday.
"I think it's going to be fun," Saxon Club member and bingo manager Annette Jermolenko said.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and bingo commences at 6:30 p.m., giving players plenty of time to purchase their packets, partake of the some of the food and snacks available for purchase and buy daubers, tape, pulltabs and other specials.
The inaugural night includes a free pasta dinner with all the sides and coffee. On June 11, they'll be giving away free patriotic daubers to all players. Flo Spack will be in charge of the kitchen, offering homemade dinners, sandwiches and snacks every week. Players won't be permitted to bring in their own food or beverages.
The idea of bringing back bingo started in the women's branch of the club, which Jermolenko explained came out of their desire to help the scholarship fund. The club as a whole decided about a year ago to start the process, with the scholarship committee paying for the bingo equipment and startup costs.
Some of those costs included the licensing required by the State of Ohio Attorney General's office through the Bingo Commission which falls under the Ohio Lottery Commission. The Saxon Club is licensed for instant pulltabs, regular bingo and selling pulltabs in a bar setting (although the bar won't be open).
She estimated the club last had bingo about 25 years ago. Proceeds will benefit the Salem Saxon Club Scholarship Fund, which benefits youth from the entire area, not just Salem.
There will be door prizes every week and different giveaways, such as gift cards or German Saxon mugs filled with candy. They'll also have some special games throughout the night, such as Lucky 7. She said the number "7" is a symbol representative of the seven castles in Saxon heritage. Some of the other special games include Crazy Pyramid, Round Robin (Inside Picture Frame), and Winner Take All (Wild Ball and Large Picture Frame).
Another game she said will be unique to the area is known as Bonanza. There will be 45 numbers drawn at the beginning and players will have the chance to trade in their card for Bonanza and get another card for free as long as they buy an additional card. Bonanza is a coverall game.
"We're going to make it fun for them. We want them to come back," Jermolenko said, adding they'll be open for suggestions.
The cost will be $10 for a master pack and $5 for each additional pack. Special packs will be $10. Prizes will vary and depend on how many players call "Bingo." Prizes will start at $75 and could go as high as $500 or even more than that for the Winner Take All (Wild Ball and Large Picture Frame).
Perry Township Police will provide off-duty officers as paid security, which the bingo will cover.
Jermolenko is part of a bingo committee of six Saxon Club members, including Doug Falk, Sam McKinney, Barbara Spack, Helen Aeling and Nate Walker. Volunteers will serve as bingo workers. She said they'll have a crew of experienced callers. A training session was held this past week to prepare for the first night.
She also thanked their bingo supplier, Joe Sferra, owner of Crown Wholesale of Youngstown, for all his help and mentoring. Some of the rules they'll be following include cash only, no smoking, no splitting of packs and no one under 18 years old permitted, along with numerous rules about play.
"The main idea is to keep the scholarship fund strong to help the area youth," she said.