SUNNYSIDE — More than 100 people gathered around tables set up in the St. Joseph’s gym last Thursday, taking part in Prevention Bingo Night.
The event was largely organized by the Miss Sunnyside Court as its community service project.
When former Miss Sunnyside Cinthia Santiago decided her community service project as a candidate, she wanted to work with Sunnyside United to organize an event on substance use prevention.
She’s a member of the Sunnyside High School Prevention Club, which assisted the court with the event.
Organizing and planning the event started in January.
Current Miss Sunnyside Deida Cortez said, “We wrote a list of things we wanted to do, organizations we wanted to involve and looked for sponsors.”
Cortez, Santiago, and princesses Grace Van Belle and Daisy Hernandez found sponsors for prizes and other party favors.
“The Prevention Club passed out fliers at Cinco de Mayo,” Cortez said.
The support of the club was extended to the event. Members served food and beverages to those attending and helped with set-up “… while we just sit on stage and call out Bingo numbers,” the local ambassador said.
The added touch, making Prevention Bingo different from regular Bingo, she said, was a set of special cards with a clue, or hint, on them.
As those clues were called out, the Miss Sunnyside court members took turns explaining the significance… information like the percentage of teens in the community who have tried or used a controlled substance, Cortez said.
In addition to playing the game, those attending were able to visit tables with information about community services, including Sunnyside United-Unidos, Nuestra Casa, Neighborhood Health, Lower Valley Crisis and Support Services, Community Health Plan and Comprehensive Health.