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Monday, May 2, 2016

Cunot Senior Center may lose bingo

Monday, July 18, 2005

Nestled in the northern section of Owen County, sits the Cunot Community Center. For those locals who really don't know where it is, from south of Interstate 70 travel east about 25 miles on the SR 42. On the winding road, go past the water tower and venture on around the bend, the community center is the large, white building on the right.

The Cunot Community Center is the home of events such as euchre tournaments, health screenings, Senior Olympics and voter polling. The center also serves as a place for dining, GED classes, Homework Haven, a food pantry, faxing, notarizing, a senior citizen community center, library and an American Red Cross Disaster Relief building. The center has opened its doors for 4-H, Brownie and Boy Scout meetings, not to mention the building served as the Mecca of Cunot's bingo up until May 31.

According to Sherry Humble, Cunot Community Center director, the center ran into a problem renewing their gaming license. Humble said the new laws to gaming (bingo) requires that the business must have an income of at least 10 percent coming from areas other than bingo to obtain/renew a license.

Since the center is mainly a charity and free-will donation organization, their other steady income only comes from the kitchen that serves meals at cost, which does not reach 10 percent. Most employees of the center are volunteers, so bingo helped pay for all utility and insurance bills. According to Humble, "Almost all of the money made from Bingo was returned to players in the form of winnings."

Humble said that, "The bingo income was barely enough to keep the center open, but now that it is over, there is enough money to keep the center open through July and possibly August.".

According to Humble, the center has been accused of using their funds inadequately. Humble assures that the money made goes directly goes to the center, salary employees, events and activities held at the center.

When asked about the accusations, nine of the eleven community members interviewed refused say anything at all about the center, good or bad. They simply stated that they did not know anything about the center and didn't want to offer their opinion because it was not justified. Jim Rich simply asked, "You hear things, but it is true?"

There were some members of the surrounding community that offered their positive opinions. G & G Marine owner Gary Grove said that the center "helps a lot of people out in the community. I don't think that they would do that, because they pretty much channel everything (earnings) right back through the community." Grove also said that he would give the center everything he could, but since his income was only seasonal he needs to keep everything he makes.

Ray Strange, owner of Country Junction Outreach Mission, said he has never heard anything bad about the center. He also said, "The center is needed in this community. They always have been here to help everyone."

The Cunot Community Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The center held a Gospel Benefit on Friday. Also, there is a Variety Show in the works.

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