LGBTQIA holds bingo fundraiser at Hamburger Mary’s $1,200 raised to support scholarship

Nathan Zoschke

The LGBTQIA Scholarship received a boost at LGBTQIA’s bingo tournament last Wednesday at Hamburger Mary’s.

The $500 scholarship was first awarded last year. It was founded with the support of alumnus Paolo Andino from Logo’s “Big Gay Sketch Show.”

Hamburger Mary’s pink and purple walls and Hollywood glam-style memorabilia in the Crossroads Arts District served as the backdrop for Miss Daisy Buckët’s (pronounced bouquet) flamboyant performance as a drag queen bingo host.

Buckët’s flamboyant personality was received with laughter as she called out the numbers. The winner of each round was awarded with a prize-containing manila envelope.

After picking an envelope, Buckët asked each winner to run through the restaurant, and asked not-so-lucky losing tables to pelt the winner with their balled-up bingo sheets.

The large showing of customers pleased the organizers. There were so many guests that overflow traffic was accommodated in the bar area adjacent to the restaurant, which isn’t normally open on weekday nights, according to Mark Mattison, LGBTQIA Advancement Director for Libraries.

“It was the first time we had done it, and we didn’t know what to expect,” Mattison said of the bingo tournament, which was advertised primarily through social media and word of mouth.

The scholarship’s endowment received $1,200, which was raised from the sale of the Bingo sheets, raffle tickets and the auction of donated items.

“The management at Hamburger Mary’s said to us that it was a really great turnout and the dollar amount was a good one to have raised,” Mattison said.

The only promotional expense went to pay Buckët’s performance. Hamburger Mary’s provided the space and staff for the event and online advertising free of charge.

“We hoped going into this that it could be a regular event, meeting twice a year, but this was the first time we were doing it,” Mattison said. “Based on the turnout, we would like to hold another one in the spring.”

The scholarship, provided through the LGBTQIA office, is available not only to students who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, questioning and queer or intersex, but also to allies, which are heterosexual students who support and embrace the LGBT community.

LGBTQIA Programs and Services connect the office to the rest of campus. The advancement directors organized the event.

The LGBTQIA Programs and Services office is UMKC’s official support and services center for the LGBTQIA campus community.

The office began in 2003 as the LGBT Initiative, an outreach of the Women’s Center. Since then, it has grown in scope to include persons who identify as “queer, intersex and ally.”

Mattison emphasized the importance of including allies.

“Having the allies be a part of it is one of the reasons the scholarship is able to exist because there’s a university and a system-wide policy of non-discrimination,” Mattison said. “By including all of those groups, it’s not exclusive of any groups.”

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