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TV Bingo is coming to Elliot Lake (update)

TV games will begin at the Legion on July 28
2018-11-28 Sue Jarmovitch BS
Sue Jarmovitch. Brent Sleightholm for ElliotLakeToday

July 12 update:

The following is an update with new information from Sue Jarmovitch that may clarify some of the details reported in Thursday's original story:

The Elliot Lake Charity TV Bingo program is a work in progress and it's due to start in about two weeks. The woman behind the new project, Sue Jarmovitch, told ElliotLakeToday this week she's been busy for months putting together a program that will help fund some 40 local charities through a soon to emerge weekly TV Bingo show each Sunday night from a downtown Elliot Lake location.

The initial effort, a one-time fundraiser, will emanate from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 561, 10 Alberta Road, Sunday July 28, at 6:00 pm.

It will be broadcast live from the Legion that night on the Eastlink Community Channel 10 and not long after that, the Sunday night weekly TV show will become a reality. On July 28 only, players will be able to participate in person at the Legion. All shows will be exclusively available to Eastlink cable TV subscribers in Elliot Lake.

Although there are a few details remaining to be worked out, including technical arrangements, Elliot Lake's first ever charity TV Bingo broadcasts are just about ready to hit the air  Ms. Jarmovitch cautions that all revenue estimates from the project are as yet unproven. She is certain, though, that the project will send many much-needed dollars to dozens of Elliot Lake charities.

Charity TV Bingo cards are now available at a number of retail outlets in the city for the July 28 launch.

July 11 original story:

After failing to cut a deal last year with the City of Elliot Lake to broadcast charity Bingo Games on cable TV, (which would have originated from the Elliot Lake City Hall Council Chambers), the woman driving the program, Sue Jarmovitch, has announced that weekly TV Bingo games will soon be broadcast on Eastlink Cable, starting later this month. The broadcasts will originate from the main floor of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 561 at 10 Alberta Road in Elliot Lake, every Sunday night at 6 p.m..

Jarmovitch told ElliotLakeToday the TV games will begin at the Legion on July 28. She said, "Eastlink is partnering with the Elliot Lake Charity Bingo Association." In her words, "It means that several of our charities will greatly benefit financially, which in turn means our community will benefit." Jarmovitch continued, "We are hoping this can also provide some entertainment for our Manor residents as well as our shut-ins." 

She went on, "When the bingo cards arrive, they will be sold at various locations, soon to be announced."  She said initially they will include Freitag Pharmacy, Northshore Advertising, Hillside Shop and Save, C & R Variety and Alpine Flowers and Gifts.

Two phone lines are being installed in the Legion to allow winners to access the broadcast live as they call in their numbers. Along with that, Jarmovitch has secured a $16,000 interest free loan from an anonymous donor to purchase and install an optical cable. That cable is required to link the Legion broadcast site with the ELNOS Building several blocks away.

From the ELNOS Building, the TV signal will be routed electronically to Eastlink Community Channel 10 regional headquarters in Sudbury, then broadcast on Eastlink Cable exclusively, back to subscribers in Elliot Lake.

There are 15 Elliot Lake local charities in the Elliot Lake Charity Bingo Association and each will be responsible for selling at least 20 TV Bingo cards per week. Jarmovitch said those fifteen charities actually expand to a total of 40 charities through their own links. Initially 1,500 cards a week will be sold for the first Sunday night show. She expects them to sell fast.

People who want to attend the games in person will be able to play in an area on the second floor of the Legion, which is accessible via stairs and an existing lift. Snacks and refreshments will be available. The main floor broadcast area will be restricted to volunteer production employees and staff.

On the first night of the broadcast this month, Eastlink will provide it's own TV crew and mobile equipment which will arrive from Sudbury to handle the technical duties. The cable firm is providing the crew and equipment at no charge, as a promotion. Jarmovitch said the permanent Legion to ELNOS optical cable link should be in place by sometime in August. 

Jarmovitch noted in the Town of Blind River charities have been producing their own Bingo TV broadcasts for years. For those games, she said, 600 tickets at $5 each are sold generating $3,000 each week. She said organizers in the town of 3,500 net $2,000 a week which adds $104,000 a year to Blind River's economy.

Roughly based on that model, Jarmovitch believes $300,000 a year would be generated ($6,000 weekly) in Elliot Lake by Charity TV Bingo here. She said, "We would be spending the proceeds locally."

It is expected that Elliot Lake City Council will be asked to provide $8,000 or half the cost of the optical cable and installation for the TV Bingo broadcasts, at its next regular meeting on July 22.