Groups forced to get cre­ative

Many non­prof­its have suf­fered huge losses dur­ing the past few years.

Dayton Daily News - - LOCAL - By Lou Grieco Staff Writer

Across the state, bingo-funded non­prof­its are feel­ing the pinch, as the weak­ened econ­omy af­fects what is in many cases their main fund­ing source.

“Right now no­body is gen­er­at­ing a lot of in­come for any­thing,” said Bob Funk, quar­ter­mas­ter for Ohio’s Vet­er­ans of For­eign Wars. “Peo­ple don’t have a lot of money to spend.”

Lo­cally, many char­i­ties and non­prof­its have suf­fered huge losses dur­ing the past few years.

For Sight­less Chil­dren Club, a sup­port group for par­ents of vis­ually im­paired chil­dren, bingo prof­its plum­meted from $134,000 in 2006 to just un­der $12,000 in 2009, ac­cord­ing to records from the Ohio At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s of­fice.

The group also pro­vides com­put­ers and soft­ware for vis­ually im­paired chil­dren.

“It doesn’t stop us from do­ing what we have to do,” said Pres­i­dent Lisa Buck­ing­ham. “We just can’t do as much.”

Box 21 Res­cue Ser­vice pro­vides a num­ber of ser­vices, but is of­ten most vis­i­ble pro­vid­ing re­fresh­ments and shel­ter to po­lice and fire agen­cies at dif­fi­cult scenes.

Bingo prof­its dropped 36 per­cent for Box 21 from 2006 to 2009. Of­fi­cials for Box 21 could not be reached for com­ment, but the group’s web­site states that it has “no fu­ture plans for any bingo fundraiser” and thanks sup­port­ers for at­tend­ing bingo dur­ing the past 15 years.

David Fuchs­man, pres­i­dent of Beth Abra­ham Syn­a­gogue in Oak­wood, said that non­prof­its are be­ing hit par­tic­u­larly hard dur­ing the down­turn in the econ­omy, which is im­pact­ing do­na­tions as well.

“It’s more than just bingo,” Fuchs­man said. “It’s a dou­ble hit.”

Syn­a­gogue bingo prof­its dropped 32 per­cent, from $634,000 to $430,000, from 2006 to 2009. How­ever, syn­a­gogue of­fi­cials asked for do­na­tions and “a few peo­ple re­ally stepped up and gave sig­nif­i­cant amounts,” Fuchs­man said.

The syn­a­gogue’s fundrais­ing com­mit­tee had been in­ac­tive for years, but has started up again, Fuchs­man said. They still do bingo, but are be­ing forced to re­think and be cre­ative.

“What it has forced us to do is to get back to what we used to do,” Fuchs­man said. “I think it’s a mixed bless­ing.” Con­tact this re­porter at (937) 225-2057 or lgrieco@Day­ton Dai­lyNews.com.

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