Students are winning numbers for local seniors

  Freshman Andrew Berman checks a Bingo card with caller and Archbishop Williams High School Guidance Counselor Ron Homer.

Freshman Andrew Berman checks a Bingo card with caller and Archbishop Williams High School Guidance Counselor Ron Homer.

Guidance Counselor - and caller - Ron Homer reads out the following to a community room full of listeners:

N38...O61…B28… 

That sequence of numbers and letters might sound like a secret code from a spy movie. But for a group of senior citizens and Archbishop Williams High School students anxiously awaiting the next announced Bingo combination, it could be the secret to a win!

“It’s a great program,” said Campus Ministry Director David Gilpin, who coordinates the bi-weekly event at Independence Manor, which is across from the school’s campus. “It’s good for the kids and for the seniors. It helps to bridge the gap between the generations, and they have fun doing it. Plus the kids get to talk to people and hear their stories.” 

For all participants, it’s definitely a win-win situation no matter what the results of the game. 

  Sophomores Ashley Hamparian (left) and Olivia Raneri serve snacks and drinks to senior citizens at a Bingo game held at Independence Manor.

Sophomores Ashley Hamparian (left) and Olivia Raneri serve snacks and drinks to senior citizens at a Bingo game held at Independence Manor.

  Junior Eoin Varden and his senior citizen partners look intently for the right answer on their Bingo cards.

Junior Eoin Varden and his senior citizen partners look intently for the right answer on their Bingo cards.

“We have fun with them,” said junior Wendy Yuan. “You can see they’re enjoying it, that they’re happy.” For freshman Andrew Berman, the experience provides “a sense of community for us.” Junior Eoin Varden, a three-year participant, enjoys what he learned from his elder competitors. “It’s great because you get to talk to these people about their lives,” he said.

The students’ presence is greatly appreciated, noted Lana Oliverio, a resident of the manor. “We love it!” she said. “It’s a good experience and makes us happy. It’s a big lift when they come over.” 

  Senior Alex Chen, left, is joined by senior Agnes Liu, center, and junior Wendy Yuan for a Bingo game with senior citizens at Independence Manor.

Senior Alex Chen, left, is joined by senior Agnes Liu, center, and junior Wendy Yuan for a Bingo game with senior citizens at Independence Manor.

Fellow resident Mary Dennehy agreed. “They’re so much fun and have so much energy,” she said. “They are all so different and they do such a good job.” 

Dennehy also liked that the students bring snacks and drinks. “They get up and serve us, which is nice,” she said. 

Meanwhile, it’s time for another spin of the cage, which provides a new series of letters and numbers, and for at least one lucky person, BINGO!