Even a steady rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of those who gathered to watch the Chicken Poop Bingo at Selkirk College‘s Castlegar campus at noon on Wednesday, April 10.
Squares on a numbered and lettered grid were sold for $20 each; all similarities to mainstream bingo stop there.
The unique fundraiser, organized in only a week, raised $2,000 through the sale of sections of the grid. Those grid sections were targets for the chicken.
Lovingly introduced to the crowd by owner Sue Clark of Glade, B.C., the chicken seemed undisturbed by all of the attention. A back-up chicken was in place if the first one wasn’t prepared to co-operate but this was an option that was never required.
The chicken — an Ameraucana that lays beautiful blue-green eggs — took centre stage and promptly did its business as soon as it was released onto the grid. It never even took a step. The actual event lasted an estimated five seconds.
But this contest was not without drama.
Shortly after the winning square was unceremoniously selected, the chicken — who by all accounts had lived a happy, free-range lifestyle to that point — made a break for freedom, soaring over the wire enclosure and into a tall, bushy pine tree nearby.
Despite Clark’s best efforts to coax the chicken from the tree with calls and food, the stubborn chicken stayed out of reach.
Like any good bingo, there was a great prize up for grabs.
Ten championship-winning Selkirk Saints hockey players volunteered to do two hours of yard-work, painting or whatever other spring cleaning tasks the winner might find for them.
The primary organizers of the event were Jane Green, an instructor in the Classroom and Community Support Worker program; her husband Andrew and CRT & Invigilation Services Co-ordinator, Paris Voykin.
They contacted Clark from the nearby community of Glade to provide the chickens and also worked with Selkirk College athletic director Kim Verigin on the big prize. Total Pet provided the fencing for the enclosure and Celgar provided the pulp on which the grid was drawn.
Green said that in addition to the sales of squares on the bingo card, another $500 was raised through donations, bringing the total to $2,500.
As for what all of this was being done for?
The money was raised to help send a student home (overseas) for six weeks. The student wished to remain anonymous and will be returning to Castlegar to resume studies.
“The student is grateful and overwhelmed by the support,” said Green.
Dawn Lang, who works at Selkirk, purchased grid F-6 that the chicken did its business on. She wasn’t able to be present for the big moment but was reached by email after the event.
“I’m so excited,” wrote Lang. “I love the Selkirk Saints — our son played Junior B for several years and I enjoy that kind of hockey. I’m also a big fan of Jane and Paris and their efforts to support Selkirk College students. So, a ticket purchase was my little way of participating.”
Lang and her husband live in Kaslo and are in negotiations with the Saints to see if the players can make the trek out to work in their yard.
There may be a theme with this entire event as Lang said among the “enticing projects” she was considering for the Saints, one of them was spreading manure.
The elusive chicken, meanwhile, was finally corralled almost two and half hours after the event.
Chicken Poop Bingo Rules
1. Tickets are sold to reserve a particular square in the bingo.
2. All ticket holders and friends are invited to come and cheer the chicken on, enticing it to move its position so that it’s action end is over their square.
3. No one is allowed to touch the chicken except for the chicken handler.
4. The chicken will be released into the fenced area starting at 12:15, and will remain in the fenced area until a poop occurs.
5. In the event of a poop covering or falling into more than one square, the square with the most poop on it will be declared the winner.
6. The winner will be notified once the event is concluded.
7. The winner must make their own arrangements with Kim Verigin, Athletic Director at Selkirk College to determine a mutually convenient time and location for the Work Party. Contest winner will receive 2 hours of work party time on an appropriate yard or home project with members of the Selkirk Saints Hockey Team.
8. A gaming License has been secured for this fundraiser.
NOTE: The organizers take no responsibility for the chicken or it’s actions during the time it is in the bingo arena.