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Retired telephone volunteers host Bingo game at TNEC

Senior citizens had a fun day at Throgs Neck Extended Care, at a bingo game hosted by a group of retired telephone company workers who came to the nursing facility to spread cheer.

On Wednesday, September 30, over 70 seniors attended a Bingo game hosted by members of the Telephone Pioneers of America, a national group of retired telecom employees who volunteer their time for charitable causes.

According to activities director Liliana Martusevici, church is the most popular activity among the seniors who call 707 Throgs Neck Expressway their home. The second most popular activity is Bingo.

“We have one of our 100-year-olds who just got out the hospital at the game here today,” Martusevici said. “As soon as she got back to Throgs Neck Extended Care from the hospital, she said ‘when is Bingo?’.

The game, which included a pizza lunch, lasted for several hours and had many winners. Each winner receives three dollars wrapped in a handkerchief for a each winning game, as well as knitted afghan lap robes to keep seniors in wheelchairs warm.

Members of the Telephone Pioneers, who presented the lucky winners with prizes and called the numbers in the game, knit the lap robes. They said that serving populations in need gives them fulfillment.

“This is the sixth year that we have hosted a Bingo game at Throgs Neck Extended Care,” said Geraldine Taylor, a retired New York Bell and Verizon employee. “Sponsoring Bingo games has been a big part of Telephone Pioneers for many years.”

Aside from Bingo, the organization that encompasses retired workers from the telecommunications industry, hosts a barbeque every year in August for veterans at the James J. Peters V.A. Center, and work at soup kitchens and food pantries year round.

“Basically, the reason that we do this is a good feeling we get to really help other people,” said Geraldine Taylor, an assistant coordinator for the Bronx chapter of the Telephone Pioneers. “I think that those people here really like Bingo. We give them two or three dollars if they win, which is wrapped in a handkerchief, so it is nicer than just handing out dollar bills.”

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