Bingo planned to help save Dozier center

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In an effort to keep their senior center from closing, Dozier citizens are hosting a charity bingo fundraiser Saturday.

Jan Cook, a Dozier Nutrition Center participant and former public service commissioner, said the night’s activities will feature multiple bingo games with “fantastic” prizes, live entertainment and concessions.

The Dozier center operates like the Andalusia, Opp and Florala senior centers. Each sponsoring municipality must commit to meeting a portion of the center’s operating expenses.

Cook said the town is unable to meet the $8,300 financial commitment to keep the center’s operating grant, so local residents have taken it upon themselves to raise money.

“We’re on the brink of losing our facility, and we’re not having it,” Cook said. “The citizens are working together to raise money to keep the center open.”

“The town didn’t have the money to (keep the center going), and they were going to have to cut the program,” Cook said. “We didn’t accept that.”

To date, the group has raised more than $4,000 of the needed money to help fund activities and food for the 30 local residents who visit the center daily.

“Our seniors have already put their time in, and we owe them something,” Cook said. “I don’t think they should be the first ones cut. We’re going to work to keep it open.”

The games will be held at the town’s community center, located at 7712 Main Street, on Saturday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

“We’ve only got one street in Dozier, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find,” Cook said. “The local merchants have been really generous with us for door prizes. We’ve got a copier, a fax machine, a portable air tank, a deep fryer, tons of Alabama and Auburn merchandise.

“We’ve even got an alligator,” she said. “He’s as dead as a hammer, and it’s not a Florida gator unless you want it to be, so y’all come on out and play. It’s for a good cause.”