On Sunday afternoon Pleasantville youth volunteers and residents streamed into a packed Edenwald rec building for JCCA’s first-ever Bingo Night Live. Emcees Sandi Rosenthal and Labe Eden called out the numbers as arms shot in the air and excited winners jumped from their seats to rush the podium and choose from a range of prizes.
The energy was high and the fun was inescapable, but the event also served a more lasting purpose: raising funds to renovate the PCS rec center. Building off the success of last year’s Step for PCS walkathon, Bingo Night was spearheaded by a committee of teenage volunteers. In addition to planning and running the event, the teens raised an amazing $19,000 with the help of a peer-to-peer fundraising website.
On their personal fundraising pages shared with family and friends, each teen was invited to write a brief note explaining why the Pleasantville campus is important to them. Lee Kleinman, the top fundraiser, wrote about the value of giving residents the high-quality facility they deserve. Sidney Peretz added, “The rec center will be an amazing space for the children to come together, hang out and have fun all year long.”
Despite being young people themselves, the teens’ connections to JCCA and their family traditions of volunteering run deep. Phoebe Rosenberg, another top fundraiser, has been coming to campus since she was three years old! Zach Pero, a high school junior who’s been visiting the campus since 6th grade, said “I think we relieve some stress and lift the mood. I love the chance to connect and bring a smile both to the residents and to myself.”