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Upgrade a boost for Lions' TV Bingo

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The Fort Frances Lions Club recently got an equipment upgrade from Shaw Cable to improve its weekly TV Bingo broadcast.

Club member Bonnie Penney said they called with some problems and Shaw came within two weeks to do the upgrade.

“They worked the entire day,” she noted.

Lions' TV Bingo is broadcast from the Shaw building on the corner of First Street East and Minnie Avenue every Thursday night and serves as one of the club's major sources of fundraising.

“We've been doing the TV Bingo for over 40 years,” said Penney.

“We've been here at Shaw Cable for that long.”

Shaw removed some old equipment and put in new TVs, cameras, lights, and a timer system to remotely control the broadcast.

“They switched out all the old equipment and put in new equipment,” Penney noted.

“They did amazing work,” said Penney.

Club president Paul Patterson said previously they had to work everything themselves, but that has changed now.

“They can put us on from Thunder Bay and take us off from Winnipeg,” he remarked.

“Before there were a bunch of switches we had to do and now they do everything for us,” Patterson added.

He noted now when they are beginning or done with the broadcast, the club just needs to phone Shaw and they will turn everything on or off for them.

“They have been extremely accommodating,” Penney said.

Some of the problems the club has had included sound issues, static on the screen, and odd colour changes to the picture.

Penney noted that for a while, the Bingo caller would appear blue and joked that “they looked like a Smurf.”

She said that's all fixed now.

“They [Shaw] did an amazing job and we really want to thank them,” Penney stressed.

The Fort Frances Lions Club currently is the only one that uses the studio here and it has been very happy working with Shaw over the years.

“We wouldn't be able to do this, and put money back into the community, if it wasn't for Shaw cable,” Penney explained.

She noted of the money raised by the club from its TV Bingo nights goes back into the community.

The funds go towards healthy breakfasts, schools, the hospital, and two hockey teams, among other things.

Every Thursday at 6:30 p.m., eight games are played for $50 each and then one full card game for $1,000, said Patterson.

He noted it takes at least four people to run one of their Bingo nights: one caller, two manning the phones, and one working the computer system to check Bingos.

“We have four volunteers every week that come faithfully and run this,” Penney remarked.

She also expressed the club's appreciation for the outlets that sell their Bingo cards on a weekly basis.

A few weeks ago, a problem occurred and the outlets had to exchange or refund cards.

Penney was very grateful for their co-operation and for doing the extra work with the cards.

She also said the Legion puts the Bingo on so that anyone without Shaw cable also can play.

“We just want to thank the community for all of their support,” Penney concluded.

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