We’ve been working for a few months on an event that I’m really excited about, and that will launch in February (next week! on Groundhog Day!). It’s called Bicycle Bingo, and it’s a weekly fundraiser. We’ve teamed up with several not-for-profit orgs active in our neighborhood, and gotten sponsorship from Trumer, New Belgium, Lagunitas, and Chinook Book. We built a bicycle-driven bingo hopper (with the help of our favorite mad scientist/fabricator, Monkey Likes Shiny). We signed up local ingenue Steffy Sue on the Uke as our emcee. We got donated prizes from Chinook Book, Mike’s Bikes, the Berkeley Bike Station, A Verb for Keeping Warm, James and the Giant Cupcake, The Essence of Beauty, Kinks Beauty Supply, and all the beer companies. The cafe will provide some prizes as well (did I need to say so?).
We selected partners who are relevant to our own neighborhood:
- East Bay Bicycle Coalition (first Thursdays, starting 2/2) advocates for bike lanes and roadway maintenance, holds bicycle safety classes for new urban cyclists, and generally promotes bicycle culture in Oakland and the greater East Bay
- Rebuilding Together Oakland (second Thursdays, starting 2/9) provides free home repairs and safety modifications to economically disadvantaged clients, especially the disabled and older adults. They organize neighborhood-wide maintenance days across Oakland, including in the Golden Gate neighborhood in October 2011. Their office is in the Golden Gate District.
- East Bay College Fund (third Thursdays, starting 2/16) provides College Guidance Services in High School, Scholarships, Mentoring, and Career Development for underrepresented students from Oakland public schools.
- United Roots Oakland (fourth Thursdays, starting 2/23) provides exposure to, support of, and training in arts, design and media for Oakland Youth ages 13-24. They offer youth leadership training, career & workforce development and support many important community campaigns.
…With special one-off fundraisers in long months with five Thursdays (like March, for instance).
Although you may be familiar with one or two of our beneficiary partners, you probably don’t know them all. We figure that we can introduce them to supportive people and help spread the word about what they’re doing, so they’ll be here to meet you and tell you about why they’re relevant.
Cards will be got for donations ($3/each, 2/$5, 5/$10) which will go directly to our partners. On top of that, we’ll be donating 10% of everything we take in during the event. Beer sponsors will donate $1 from each pint sold, and we’ll match what they give – so that for each $5 beer we sell, $2 goes to our partners. Chinook Book will donate $3 of each Chinook Book sold, and we’ll match that as well (so that out of every $20 Chinook Book sale, our partners get $6).
But, even while we do good, we don’t forget the having fun part. We built the bingo bike so that folks from the audience could come on up and pedal to select the winning numbers. We have lots of awesome prizes from which winners may select. There will be beer (and coffee, and food, and good company). Steffy Sue will be charming and entertaining. What’s not to love?
It is my fervent hope that this event be successful for us and our partners. We’d like this to be something we do every week forever, and we want to help folks who do good in our neighborhoods fund their projects. All we need is for lots of people to come out and have a good time for a good cause. So please do.
The salient facts bear emphasis here:
- Thursdays 7-9!
- No cover charge!
- All ages admitted!
- Win prizes!
- Enjoy refreshments!
- Support folks who do good in your very own community!
- Maybe get to ride the Bingo Bike (if you’re real lucky)!
See you there.
[note: Older posts here (pre-April 2012) are copies of the originals at our old blog at blogspot. We won't be taking the old site down, but we won't be updating it either. We copied the posts to this new site so that users can see highlights from our past while we continue to evolve and write about it. We didn't copy everything from the old blog, but you're always free to hop over and check it out for yourself.]