Every Thursday afternoon, the kitchen at the , located on Allentown Road in Lansdale, swings into action as they busily prepare dinner for soon-to-arrive bingo players.
Doors to the Social Hall open at 5 p.m. to permit bingo players time to indulge in homemade food before the games begin at 6:45 p.m.
This past week found Stephanie Stanton, a dedicated volunteer, hard at work stirring, chopping and frying in anticipation of a crowd of hungry bingo players due to arrive shortly. She noted that she is usually joined by Sue May, another long-time volunteer.
“I’m a full-time volunteer for the past five years since I retired,” Stanton said. “I’m here every week."
Stanton explained that this week she was offering two types of soup—French onion and cream of tomato with rice. She also has several types of sandwiches, hot dogs with sauerkraut, a salad, homemade desserts and their famous pierogies.
“Sour cream and onions are always available on the pierogies, and they are 50 cents apiece,” Stanton said. “We usually get about 50 people out for bingo, but a lot come just for the food."
Traditional ethnic food is offered every few weeks, and that usually consists of halupki, pierogies, kielbasa, and sauerkraut. Stanton said that she sometimes offers halushki, which is a combination of cabbage and noodles—always a favorite with the crowd.
The pierogies are generally made on Monday evenings, drawing a large collection of enthusiastic cooks, both expert and novice alike. Many people, anxious to learn the secret to making this delicious bundle of dough and potatoes, eagerly watch and participate in the process so that they can repeat it in their own kitchens.
“One hundred dozen pierogies are made at a time, and then they are frozen,” said Stanton. “They are made regularly in the winter and for holidays such as Christmas and Easter.”
Stanton said that in the hot summer months, the air is too humid for working the dough.
Recently, Tryzub, a soccer club in Horsham—and also the name for the Ukranian coat of arms—bought 400 dozen pierogies, which was quite a large order for the church. (In September, the club will be holding a celebration to commemorate the Ukraine’s anniversary of independence from Russia.)
After dinner, bingo begins at 6:45 p.m.—also held in the smoke-free Social Hall. Hard card board admission is $7, and paper boards are $13. Admission comes with six boards for each regular game.
Michele Hussey was busy selling tickets, while her husband, Joe, calls out the numbers. The caller duties are also shared by Jim Gimpel and Andy Yanishak.
Yanishak, a parishioner and a retired North Penn High School math teacher, was the opening caller last Thursday.
“I have the job because I can count to 75,” he joked. He then began to call the numbers as they simultaneously appeared on an electronic board.
May explained that the church offers a variety of bingo games, including Single Card, Bonanza, Block of Nine Jackpot, Lightning, Lucky Seven, Quickie, Crazy Letter T, Extra Special Double Sheets, Ukie and Pony.
While this week’s jackpot stood at approximately $300, last week, one lucky player went home with $500.
Yanishak continued to call out the numbers to the eager group of players as "Bingo!" was called from the audience.
“Bingo has been called, and it looks like we have three winners. The winning number is 34. There are three winners in the Quickie game, with each receiving $8,” Yanishak said.
He then cleared the board and continued on with game three.
Presentation of Our Lord Ukranian Catholic Church is located at 1564 Allentown Road in Towamencin Township. The church offers weekly bingo on Wednesdays, along with a home-cooked meal prior to the start of the game. Doors open at 5 p.m., and games commence at 6:45 p.m.
Pierogies are offered for sale at $6 per dozen. Nut and poppy seed rolls are available at Christmas, and Paska may be purchased at Easter. Kielbasi is offered at various times throughout the year. Call 215-362-9599 for more information.