Bingo! The Paris Rotary Club’s first Women’s Night Out was a hit, raising more than $25,000 to support the organization’s various community service programs. The offering was a night of fun, fellowship and fundraising at the Love Civic Center on Thursday as hundreds of women came to play bingo for the chance to win one of several designer purses. Rotary Club President Andy Cobb said, "more than 500 tickets were sold prior to the event, far exceeding my expectations."
In fact, he said, the club sold out of tickets weeks before the event, which prompted members to add more seats. “We sold 528 (tickets), and we could have sold 200 more,” Cobb said. “When we sold our first 300, we thought, ‘Ok, that’s a good sign,’ because it was our first one, but it just took off.” A grand total of funds raised was not available before press time, though Cobb estimated it was in excess of $25,000 — and that was just in ticket sales alone, he said. Rotarian Mike Nickey said." the funds will support the Rotary Club’s community service programs, which include a free dental clinic for every second-grader and providing dictionaries to every third-grader in the county."  Twenty purses were given away throughout the night, but for many the best part was simply socializing. “My favorite part has been being able to spend time with my sister,” said attendee Mendy Brittian, who won a purse. Brandi Erwin, who also went home with a new purse, said she will “definitely” come back. Cobb said Rotary members will plan to bring in more people now that they know how popular the event will be. “This exceeded all of my expectations since it’s the first annual one,” Nickey said. “It’s fan-flipping-tastic.”