It’s been tough to find outside, social activities this summer -- but Wildwood Sports Bar in Byron finally has its ducks in a row.
The bar and grill teamed up with conservation group Ducks Unlimited to present drive-in bingo along with their in-parking lot to-go orders Thursday. Parking and registration begin at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 28, and five rounds of bingo begin at 6 p.m.
Upon arrival, bingo hopefuls will get ZOOM access information and will fill out cards from their vehicles, where all players will remain in order to keep things safe.
For a $20 entry fee, each attendee will get a special dozen wings and Busch Light package. For $40, you can get three bingo cards -- but you must be in the parking lot to play.
“Drive-in bingo was a fundraiser idea we created to get people out of the house and have some fun, while raising funds for a good cause,” said Jim Nicholas, the owner of Wildwood and co-chair of Rochester Ducks Unlimited. Nicholas said Wildwoods has supported Ducks Unlimited since they opened, and the proceeds from this fundraiser will go to the Rochester chapter. And whether you are into Coach purses or pellet grills, or prefer hand-made vodka and sporting goods, the prize options look excellent.
Andrew Limmer, the Regional Director of Ducks Unlimited, is hoping the fundraiser will raise $5,000 to support wetlands conservation projects. Since the March stay-at-home order, Ducks Unlimited has been unable to host in-person fundraising events. Limmer says those events scheduled between March and June were projected to generate $17 million across all chapters. “With Ducks Unlimited volunteer efforts, we’ve been able to raise about one-third of that since the shut-down,” he said. However, the deficit will have a “negative impact” on the organization’s conservation efforts for the next several years, he said.
Those efforts are important for both waterfowl and people, Nicholas added.
“The potholes and sloughs that ducks live and nest in filter the water we drink, and create habitat for many types of wildlife from songbirds to eagles, hawks, and fish,” he said.
Drive-in bingo also contributes to the bottom line of Wildwood, a local business. Limmer said the strength of Ducks Unlimited comes from local chapter volunteers like Nicholas and his business. “It’s partnerships that will keep Ducks Unlimited strong moving forward, and we greatly look forward to this opportunity to help a small business that has supported us for decades,” he said
Go for a drive and hope that duck and dive (bingo lingo for twenty-five) will be just the number you need for that bingo jackpot.
The down-low on Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited promotes healthy habitats for waterfowl. They raise funds to conserve, restore and manage wetlands to benefit native wildlife and the people that enjoy them recreationally. In 2019, Ducks Unlimited completed 28 projects in Minnesota and conserved 28,921 acres. Some of these projects included working to eradicate invasive species. There are about 45,000 Ducks Unlimited members in Minnesota. If you want to learn more about the organization, visit www.ducks.org/minnesota.
If You Go
What: Drive-in Bingo to support Ducks Unlimited
When: 5-7 p.m. Thursday, May 28. Registration and parking begin at 5 p.m. Bingo starts at 6 p.m.
Where: Wildwood Sports Bar & Grill, 501 Frontage Rd. NE, Byron
Cost: $20 entry per person, including a dozen wings and Busch Light package; $40 per three-card bingo package