The residents of Boca Royale Golf and Country Club are used to being busy. The Englewood community boasts 700 homes, golf, tennis, bocce, dining, entertainment and social events. But since March, their calendar has been as empty as most of ours.
Ian Fetigan, general manager of Boca Royale, decided that it was time the residents had some fun, offering them a socially distant twist on bingo. With spaces marked off in chalk for golf carts and chairs, Fetigan and his staff turned the bocce court into a drive-up musical bingo.
“People wanted to get out,” said Fetigan, who reported a higher turnout then expected of 60 residents and guests.
“It’s been so long since we did anything,” said Lee Mead, who drove up with her husband Gary, ready to show their music trivia knowledge. Susan Aceto said she and her husband Larry didn’t hesitate to sign up. “We play golf all the time, but this was totally different.”
This was the first time hosting an event at Boca Royale for Andy Geremia. He and his wife Tracy set up under a tent (just in case it rained). With a beverage cart standing by, Geremia played just a few lines from songs from the 1950s and 60s, as the crowd crossed them off on their bingo cards. The group got so involved with the music, singing along with classics like “Jailhouse Rock,” “I’m a Believer,” and “Runaround Sue,” that several times they accidentally shouted out the titles.
Deborah Hegedus reached out to friends and members of the Rotary Club of Englewood, to get a group together. “It sounded like a fun opportunity to be outdoors, distanced and enjoy some fun music,” she said. While many people were not ready to get back socializing, 10 responded, spreading out on lawn chairs, Her group included Janet and Chad Shawen. Janet said she was “having a blast” despite not knowing that many of the tunes.
Olivia Ross didn’t know most of the songs, but she had an excuse. The 13-year-old wasn’t having much luck until the 1970s and 80s round when she bopped to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and the crowd pleaser “YMCA” that had everyone dancing in their golf carts.
Andy Geremia called a total of four games and every bingo winner won a generous credit to their Boca Royale account. He even got people to do “The Twist” for a “seventh-inning stretch.”
Rain of course was the biggest threat, but not a drop fell during the two-hour game. Fetigan was more than happy with the turn-out and the response of his residents, so they can expect more alternative events as Fetigan said “We are trying to adapt to the new world.”