FARMINGTON — When the SeniorsPlus Center in Wilton closed, participants in some activities offered there sought other locations to continue.
A lively game of bingo, started at the center, is now offered every Wednesday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. downstairs in the Community Center on Middle Street in Farmington.
A gathering of elderly and people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities who enjoyed the games were let down, said Ann White of Strong, who thought of a solution.
“I can keep it going,” she said. White is on the staff of Work Opportunities Unlimited out of Auburn.
Farmington Recreation Director Steve Shible allowed the game to take place at the Community Center where, on most Wednesdays, about 20-25 people with disabilities and up to 14-staff members meet for the game, White said.
“It helps them build skills and they set out prizes and supplies ‘just like a job’ but it’s not,” she said.
Nearly half a dozen agencies bring clients who are joined by some area residents at the volunteer site. Volunteers bring prizes, there’s never any money involved, she said.
Some elderly women, who used to play, brought in prizes like jewelry and knickknacks and sometimes the agencies provide snack items for prizes, she said.
White is thinking about starting another bingo game each week. Plans for a Monday game day at the elderly housing Ethel Walton complex are under consideration, she said.
The game was held Wednesday, while, nationally, supporters of people with cognitive and intellectual disabilities sponsored an effort to educate and to end the use of the word “retard.” March 3, the second annual Spread the Word to End the Word, was the day people were encouraged to pledge their support at www.r-word.org. The goal was 100,000 pledges.
By mid-day, Life Enrichment Advancing People, which was hosting an educational session in Farmington Wednesday afternoon, spread the word that over 75,000 pledges had been received.