Seniors Play Bingo and Socialize at CN Holiday Event | New

Elders enjoyed food, games, contests and company at the Elders’ Fun event on September 2, as part of Cherokee National Day 2022.

Held at the Chota Conference Center, Elders’ Fun began at noon and continued until 4 p.m. Event manager Lisa James said the event is aimed at people aged 50 and over.

“We play bingo for prizes and give them a meal,” James said.

James said they also have a mad hat contest and a talent contest for the participants.

“Anyone can socialize and have fun,” she said.

James said the alumni celebration started small many years ago and since then has taken on a life of its own. It is eagerly awaited by the people who use it.

“The staff just can’t wait,” she said. “They like the old ones.”

This year marked the first time the multi-pronged event was held on a Friday, as it usually takes place on Saturdays. Despite the change – by James’ estimate – around 200 people had arrived at the venue shortly after the party started.

Porum resident Barbara Harris said she’s been coming to Elders’ Fun since it was originally housed behind the Cherokees’ restaurant. She loves all of the CNH events — like the parade and the powwow — and “really really” loves bingo.

“Many people consider [bingo] play, but I don’t,” Harris said. “It works the brain.”

Harris came to the event with her daughter, Thelma Johnson, of Okay.

“This is my second time here,” Johnson said. “Oh, I like that. It’s wonderful.”

However, Harris has a gripe.

“Since they moved [locations] I haven’t played bingo yet,” Harris said. “I won the silly hat contest once.”

Harris remembers one time when she was treated to bingo.

“The only thing I remember winning was a men’s tool kit,” Harris said. “I kept it for a while and then gave it away. But I was just thrilled to win.”

Joseph K. Bennett