Ocean City Colony Club finds success with Coach Bingo

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Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships. Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships.

OCEAN CITY — They’ve gathered monthly for fellowship, fun and community involvement for more than 63 years. With 90 active members, the Colony Club of Ocean City is still going strong.

The all-women service club raises money for local charities and scholarships for Ocean City High School students while also providing a sense of purpose for its volunteer members.

“We welcome anyone who has a desire to give back,” said Phyllis Bonner, the club’s president. “It’s a lot of fun. We’re busy. We’re a great group of women and we work hard for the benefit of the community. We all get along really well. We joke around and have a good time. We enjoy each other, enjoy working together and we accomplish a lot.”

The club’s most recent event, Coach Bingo, was one it’s most successful ever. Participants pay a fee to play bingo and the winners receive Coach bags.

“It’s a very popular way to raise money,” she said, as women are willing to spend for a chance to win one of the Coach purses.

Bonner said the club suffered a setback last year due to Hurricane Sandy.

“We usually do a fashion show to raise money, last year because of Sandy, we did not,” she said. “The stores on Asbury Avenue have always been one of our biggest sources of donations over the years. As much as they were damaged during Sandy, we did not ask them for donations. That put us a little behind on our scholarship drive.”

The club was unable to contribute as much to other charitable organizations.

“We were disappointed that we were unable to help as much as we would have liked to,” Bonner said. “So this year, we decided we wanted to do something really big. So we tried the Coach bag bingo and we sold out. We raised our goal. We worked our fingers to the bone, but we did it. It was such a big success, it was very exciting.”

In addition to the Coach bags, the club offered a donated Flyers jersey.

“We had a silent auction and it was terrific,” Bonner said. “We made up for what we were unable to raise last year. We plan to do this again next year.”

Club members, she said, review each activity and event at the following meeting to see what they can do to improve upon it for the next time.

As Christmas approaches, Bonner said the club “adopts” a local family. They use some of their funding to supply the family with toys and gifts for the children.

They are also assisting Habitat for Humanity. The organization is building a home for a family near Cape May Court House. The Colony Club plans to throw the family a house warming party when the home is completed.

“We set up a registry at Target,” Bonner said. “Each member will buy something at Target and bring it to the housewarming.”

To enable the Colony Club to continue its philanthropy, it needs a consistent supply of new members.

“We’re always looking,” Bonner said. “We need fresh ideas. We welcome new people.”

She said new faces bring new energy, enthusiasm and creativity. The club hosts card parties to raise funding from within.

“So we play bridge and mahjong, have fun and replenish our coffers,” Bonner said. “We have spaghetti dinners. We have a New Members Night to welcome our new members. We do like to cook and eat. We chip in different dishes.”

The club offers several subcommittees, depending on each member’s interests. There are book clubs that meet separately. Members can be as involved as they would like, Bonner said.

“Our members are, for the most part, active in the community,” she said. “Many of them belong to a variety of organizations, not just the Colony Club. We’re a busy group, everyone has something to offer. We have a lot of talent within our membership.

“We have speakers at the meetings sometimes,” she said. “The speakers keep things interesting.”

Mayor Jay Gillian and Steve Cole, who leads the local American Legion, are among the list of guest speakers this year.

The club has a panel that meets to select scholarship recipients. Members consider a wide variety of criteria to come up with the most worthy candidates.

For more information about the Colony Club of Ocean City, contact Phyllis Bonner at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 609-525-0258

Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships. Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships.

Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships. Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships.

Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships. Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships.

Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships. Colony Club of Ocean City hosts Coach Bingo in November as a fundraiser for local scholarships.


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