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Rival bingo operators compete in fundraising football match

Gala Bingo and Mecca Bingo will be going head to head later this month in a 5-aside football match to raise vital funds for their respective charities – Sue Ryder Care and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Despite the friendly rivalry between the leading bingo operators, the two Plymouth-based Gala Bingo clubs and Mecca Devonport will be working together on Monday, August 30 to ensure as much money as possible is raised for charity.

As well as the football which kicks-off at 1pm, they will also be holding a fete including raffles and book stalls at the Plymouth Stonehouse Recreation Ground, which they hope will be supported not only by their bingo regulars but also by other members of the wider community.

All the money raised will be split equally between the two charities. Half will go towards Gala Bingo’s group charity, Sue Ryder Care, which provides end of life and long-term care to people living with conditions including cancer, Huntingdon’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and patients recovering from strokes and will contribute towards Gala Coral Group’s pledge to raise a total of £1.5million for the charity by the end of 2010.

The other half will go to Marie Cure Cancer Care as part of its 2010 partnership with Mecca Bingo. Marie Curie Cancer Care is one of the UK’s largest charities. Employing more than 2,700 nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals, it expects to provide care to around 29,000 terminally ill patients in the community and in its hospices this year and is the largest provider of hospice beds outside the NHS. Mecca Bingo is aiming to raise enough money to fund 10,000 hours of home nursing care.

Organiser and manager of Gala Bingo Derry Cross, David Gregory-Clements, said: “It’s really gaining some momentum now and we’re all looking forward to the day. This five-a-side tournament not only allows us to generate a bit of friendly rivalry between the local bingo clubs but also to do something really positive for both of our charities. We are all hoping the day will be well supported. May the best team win!”

Mecca Devonport General Manager, Nigel Green, commented: “The team has been training hard and we are all really pleased to be taking on a rival local bingo club to raise money for both charities! It should certainly be a lot of fun on the day and we hope our customers and team members will come along to show their support and help us raise a lot of money.”