Chrissy Flexer Explains the History and Heart of Bingo for a Cure!
“After Joshua was diagnosed, I think it took almost a full year until we came to the reality of what FOP was when Joshua started to flare,” explains Joshua Scoble’s aunt, Chrissy Flexer.
“So many friends and family kept asking what they could do or how they could help. At the time, I ran Basket Bingos for my son’s PTA and I thought, why not try to do a cash bingo?
“With the support of our friends and family we jumped in with both feet and organized our 1st Annual Joshua's Bingo for A Cure!”
Since it began in 2008, the event has gained more and more attention.
“The last few years we have been selling out,” Chrissy explains. “We currently have seating for 1,550 people and we anticipate selling out early again this year!”
Organizing and hosting an event of this size is a “huge undertaking,” Chrissy says. It’s her full-time job from November until March each year and takes about 100 volunteers and many generous donors to pull off successfully.
But she hopes people aren’t intimidated by the scope and size of their particular fundraiser. Any fundraising effort makes a difference.
“I think the biggest tip is to just get involved,” she says. “Don't be afraid or intimidated to do a fundraiser. It doesn't have to be a large event—it could just be a bake sale at a school or sporting event.
"It doesn't matter how much money you raise. Every penny is making a difference so why not try?”
Chrissy praises the involvement of their community and says it’s a key factor in what makes the event so successful.
“The support from our small community of Emmaus, PA, and the surrounding Lehigh Valley has been enormous,” she continues. “We get over 250 items donated every year from random people in the community along with our friends and families.
“We could never pull off an event of this size without the continued support from everyone!”
The FOP community is also heavily involved, and Chrissy says that last year they had 10 FOPers and their families in attendance. FOP families also donate baskets and raffle items and sell tickets to their own families and friends.
No matter the size of your fundraiser, the most important thing is to say ‘thank you’ and let people know their generosity is making a difference. “We make sure to update them on clinical trials and we try to inform them where the money raised so far has been used,” Chrissy shares. “People in our community responded extremely well to the feeling they are making a difference in the FOP fight for a cure!”
She says they send a picture of Joshua with every donation receipt letter.
As for Joshua, the big event held in his honor gives him hope for the future.
“The Bingo makes me feel happy and excited,” he says. “I am glad they are getting closer to a cure so that one day I can do normal kid stuff.”
To purchase tickets or donate a basket or raffle item, please email [email protected] or call (610) 349-8479.
To make a gift in honor of Joshua, click here.