3rd Small Business Bingo event raises $3,845 for Foundation for Focus House

On Nov. 2, a Small Business Bingo fundraiser event was held in Rochelle and raised $3,845 to benefit Foundation for Focus House, Event Organizer and AP Massage Therapy Owner Ashley Patrick said.

Next event is Monday to benefit The Kitchen Table

ROCHELLE — On Nov. 2, a Small Business Bingo fundraiser event was held in Rochelle and raised $3,845 to benefit Foundation for Focus House, Event Organizer and AP Massage Therapy Owner Ashley Patrick said. 

The event was the third of its kind to take place in the community. It included prizes donated by local small businesses with 100 percent of proceeds benefiting Foundation for Focus House. The cost was $15 per person for 10 rounds of bingo. A cash bar and food options were available for purchase. Around 275 people attended, Patrick said, making it the largest turnout that Small Business Bingo has seen.

In August, the inaugural Small Business Bingo night held at Salt 251 raised a total of $4,510 for Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center. That night saw over 150 people attend and $2,255 raised that was matched by Salt 251 Owner Jim Withers. The second event was held in September and raised $6,433 to benefit HOPE of Ogle County, with just over 230 people in attendance and Withers donated $2,500 in matching funds that night.

Nov. 2’s event was held at the hangar at Flight Deck Bar & Grill in order to accommodate more attendees, Patrick said. The $3,845 was the highest amount raised so far from the bingo and raffle. 

“I think things ran really smoothly,” Patrick said. “I have loved seeing how much this has just continued to build and grow and the amount of people that have reached out along the journey to help volunteer, donate, help with setup or cleanup has been very heartwarming to more. There's so many people that we've been able to bring together and get involved to do something to give back. It continues to blow my mind that we've been able to grow as much as we have with this event.”

Patrick originally hoped that each Small Business Bingo event would attract 100-150 attendees when she first conceived of the fundraiser. The fourth and final Small Business Bingo event of this phase will take place at the hangar at Flight Deck Bar & Grill from 5-7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13 and will benefit The Kitchen Table. The event page and more details can be found on the AP Massage Therapy Facebook page. 

The AP Massage Therapy owner said the total funds raised from the three previous events is just shy of $15,000. She hopes to be able to get close to or hit the $20,000 total mark after the last event Monday. 

“That'd be more than I could have ever imagined being able to achieve,” Patrick said. “Initially I didn't ever see it growing to the scale that it has and each one has been bigger and better than the last. I hope that continues with the last event on Monday and we'll be able to go out with a bang. We'll have the radio station out to call bingo and we have a couple of surprises planned to finish off strong.”

The Nov. 2 Small Business Bingo event also acted as a food drive for the Rochelle Christian Food Pantry, Patrick said. Donations of canned goods and money to the RCFP were successful. The Nov. 13 event will have a food drive as well. 

“I could not even keep track of the amount of boxes of food we collected,” Patrick said. “We had several people drop their donations at the door. Focus House took the donations and the kids in their care will be part of a service project with it and present it. We will be doing a food drive with the last event to benefit The Kitchen Table, since that last event will benefit them. We hope to help with some of the canned goods or nonperishables they might need to help with their holiday meal preparations and hopefully we'll be able to go the extra mile for them.”

Patrick thanked the Flight Deck Bar & Grill’s staff and community volunteers for their help with the Nov. 2 event. The night saw 24 large tables reserved for guests along with a few banquet tables.

“We've had people come out and attend all three events,” Patrick said. “We were pretty full at the last one. We had very few empty seats. So I look forward to hopefully packing the house for this very last event and being able to get even more people to come out. Hopefully some new people will be able to join in on this one, but it has been a lot of the same people coming out to support it.”

Due to a shift in scheduling for the last two events, Patrick and company will be hosting two Small Business Bingo events in 12 days. The work will be worth it to support another local nonprofit organization, she said. 

“I think it's just really important to spread awareness about what organizations we have in our community and being able to give people a little bit more of an idea of their services and what exactly they do,” Patrick said. “I love being able to bring light to that along with raising the funds for these organizations. I really enjoy getting the opportunity to learn more about what they do personally and also letting our crowd and community know more about what they do. I think that helps them be able to get more community involvement. I just love being able to be part of supporting what we have here.”