Twelve different charities and nonprofit groups received more than $435,000 in charitable contributions from Center Stage Bingo revenues in 2018, according to a Houston County report.
By state law, bingo games must be charitable in nature – meaning any net revenues must be donated to charities, nonprofit groups or governmental entities like local school systems. Last year the Houston County Commission required the Houston Economic Development Association – proprietor of Center Stage Bingo – to submit a charitable contributions report by June 1 each year as part of its permitting requirements.
The county received the 2018 report on May 29, and the report lists 12 different organizations shared $435,750 last year. The bulk of it – $400,000 – went to the Wiregrass-Houston County Foundation, which HEDA established as an endowment that it says is designed to ensure charitable contributions last endure longer.
The foundation’s investments also earn interest, furthering the benefits to local charities, an earlier Eagle report noted.
The following organizations also received contributions in 2018, according to the report:
>> Living Waters Counseling – $6,000
>> Cottonwood Rescue – $5,000
>> WIRED Ministries – $5,000
>> Wiregrass Angel House – $5,000
>> Landmark Park – $3,000
>> Madrid Volunteer Fire Department – $3,000
>> Boys and Girls Club of the Wiregrass – $3,000
>> The Exchange Center for Child Abuse Prevention – $2,500
>> Staying Cody Strong Foundation – $2,000
>> Krewe of Kolosse – $750
>> Exchange Club of Dothan – $500.
When added to previous contributions made since 2011, Center Stage Bingo has generated about $2.4 million for local charities, nonprofits and governmental entities. Center Stage Bingo operates in The Crossing at Big Creek complex on U.S. Highway 231 in southern Houston County.