Hemingford High School Junior Brian Turek called out O-99 during the final round for of BINGO while everyone was concentrating on getting a blackout BINGO… There was a slight moment of confusion before people started to speak up and say... 99?

Turek chuckled, “O-66! Sorry guys, I had the ball upside down.”

Everyone in the gymnasium had a good laugh and the tension was broke.

This was Monday evening in the Hemingford Gym during the World Strides Family Fun Night Fundraiser.

Brian Turek, Alex Neefe, and Kenny Wyland took turns calling out numbers and picking BINGO games for the many in attendance to play.

Family Fun Night is something that the Hemingford 6th grade class used to host when Mrs. Lanik was teaching. World Strides traditionally hosted an Italian Buffet in Alliance but because of dwindling numbers from year to year, sponsor Joe Collins wanted to do something different.

“Therefore, in searching for something to replace that fundraiser with, we thought that Family Fun Night was something that the community really enjoyed and supported well,” Collins said. “So, we decided to combine the Italian Buffet theme with Family Fun Night this year and it worked out really well. We had over 40 donations from the Hemingford area businesses that helped us raise just over $2,500.”

This is Collins’ second year as the World Strides sponsor. He was able to go on the trip when he himself attended Hemingford High School and it was really impactful.

“I have a lot of great memories of seeing a part of the country that I didn’t think I would have gotten the opportunity to see if it wasn’t for World Strides,” Collins said. “This trip also influenced my decision to focus on Social Studies education for my career. So, in 2018, when it was decided that if a staff member didn’t step up to sponsor the trip, it would no longer be an opportunity to the students, I stepped up. I did not want to see an opportunity like this for our community’s youth disappear.”

Collins explained World Strides further,

“Every year, the Junior class has an opportunity to take a trip to Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of these students, as it is an all-inclusive trip. Students are busy from sun-up to sun-down for 5 full days taking in museums, government buildings, battle fields, and historical monuments.”

“The cost of the trip per student is a little over $2,600. This price includes round-trip airfare, hotel stay for 5 nights, admission to all of the places we visit and vouchers for meals. This year, we have 15 students registered for the trip. They have cleaned grandstands, helped with the fair rides, served at the Alumni Banquet Dinner, sold Christmas greenery, organized an auction, and brought back the Family Fun Night to try to raise enough funds to help with the financial burden of going.”

As for upcoming fundraisers the World Strides crew will be serving walking tacos during the last home for basketball against Crawford next Friday, February 21st.

He is hoping for one more fundraiser after that but will announce further details at a later date. The final payment for this year will be due by March 10th but they will keep right on going with next year’s fundraising efforts so they don’t lose that momentum.

A heads up for next year’s sophomores, “I will be holding a registration parent meeting for this year’s sophomores March 2nd at 7 pm in my classroom to see the interest for next year’s trip.”

Please visit the World Strides website for more information. https://worldstrides.com/

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