Tri-County Betterment Radio Bingo boosts health care funding
The Bingo Boys (L-R standing): Bucky McConnell, Jack Rodgers, (seated) John MacDonald & Ken Hatfield.
The men and women of the Tri-County Betterment Association have a serious purpose but also have a lot of fun while they’re at it. For almost 19 years the Tri-County Betterment Radio Bingo has been running on Y95, Monday evenings after the 6 o’clock news. They sell $15,000 a week in bingo cards — $8/card — in shops from Bear River to Lockeport.
Radio bingo was the brainchild of Ken Hatfield, who brought together a team of mostly Masons and Shriners and their wives. Ken and his core group get together weekly to tally the proceeds, make jokes and tease each other. All told, the association has donated more than $750,000 to a wide range of charitable organizations across the Tri-Counties, including food banks and school breakfast programs, Boy Scouts and Girl Guides, fire halls and other service clubs, as well as all three hospitals.
“They’re all part of the puzzle that support each other and keeps the community together and prospering,” Ken said. The association’s tally for 2021 was $250,000 — “that’s a quarter of a million dollars,” he repeated.
The Tri-County Betterment Association has been particularly generous to Yarmouth Hospital Foundation with donations totalling more than $121,000. In 2021 alone the association donated $50,000 to the WE CARE Radiothon. (pictured right)
Why help the foundation? Ken was clear: “Everybody uses the hospital one time or another. We’re all in this together.”