Funds raised for Discovery Academy, Morningstar
By Bella Butler EBS STAFF
BIG SKY – On Tuesdays passed at the Riverhouse BBQ and Events restaurant, Dick Allgood—veteran, business owner and legendary local—would sit proudly with his American Legion Post 99 fellows and call games of Bingo. His daughter, Alisa Allgood, remembers how much he reveled in the role, bellowing out “O-69” in an artfully comical voice. Dick passed away in February of 2020, but the community of Big Sky continues to find ways to come together to remember this local icon.
Last night, Dick’s spirit was vibrant and alive at the inaugural Dick Allgood Bingo Night, hosted by Outlaw Partners, publisher of EBS. Dick’s former Post 99 friends called out Bingo numbers from center stage to a 250-plus-person crowd, repeating his “O-69” wisecrack and other memorable bingo-themed witticism.
“With our inaugural Dick Allgood Bingo Night, tonight we are going to start an annual event that is going to represent the legends and legacies that those that have passed us here in Big Sky have left us,” Ennion Williams, Outlaw Partners VP of events, said to open the evening.
Directly in front of the bingo stage, Alisa and her table of friends and family enjoyed playing one of Dick’s favorite games as his picture looked on from nearby.
“It was really fun playing Bingo and seeing so many old faces,” Alisa said the following day. “I think … the highlight was just the tribute to my father.”
The energy and soul under the tent embodied community as people playfully competed against their neighbors, a lighthearted back-and-forth trash talk interspersed with boisterous toasts.
The evening kicked off with a few fun rounds of traditional Bingo, where winners claimed cash, gift cards and bragging rights. And the night peaked with a high-stakes blackout round, the winner awarded $1,000.
To wrap up the festivities, the collection of winners from the night sat shoulder to shoulder for a winner’s round, where JeNelle Johnson took 1st place and the champion’s trophy.
The night was not just a party, but a philanthropic one. A silent auction, 50/50 raffle and spontaneous donations raised funds for Morningstar Learning Center and the Big Sky Discovery Academy. Perhaps it was the competitive energy—or maybe it was the bar—but Bingo players were in a generous mood and continued donating to the schools in various forms throughout the event. Two local businesses, Big Sky Build and the Lotus Pad, each matched the 50/50 raffle.
“Last night was an incredible—and fun—show of support for early childhood education in Big Sky,” Morningstar Executive Director Mariel Butan wrote in an email to EBS. “Collaborating with everyone who contributed to this event was a great way to say we’re all in this together for our kids, who are the ones who really win when we’re able to support multiple enriching education options in our community.”
Scott Poloff, head of school at Discovery, echoed Butan’s appreciation for collaboration. “If you can get all the entities together and have one common vision,” Poloff said, “the community will support it.”