PITTSBURG — A night of bingo will provide children with brand new school supplies.

For the first time ever, Victory Life Church and Westar Energy will partner up to host the Back2School Bingo Night at 6 p.m. on July 1. The event will take place at the church located at 681 U.S. Highway 69 in Pittsburg.

In exchange for a $10 donation, players will receive a bingo pack containing ten games and three cards for each game. All of the proceeds will be used to purchase school supplies for Victory Life Church’s annual Back2School Haircut event.

“The nice thing about bingo is there’s no physical requirements and there’s no age requirements, so regardless of your health or your athletic ability, you can enjoy a game of bingo,” said Westar Energy utility clerk Tonya Cliffman, who is organizing the event alongside Pastor Donnie Talent. “It was just a well-rounded event that we thought we could use as a moneymaker to buy those back-to-school supplies.”

No signup is required to attend the game night. Bingo prizes include gift certificates, gift baskets and products and services from local businesses including Chatters, the Mall Deli, Mpix, Home Depot and more.

“There’s a group of people out there that love to play bingo and I think it’s a great match to be able to say, ‘Hey, here’s a great opportunity to give to our community and here’s a great community to give some surprises and if you love bingo, so come and play,’” Talent said. “It’s a great match and I’d love to see it be an annual event.”

Back2School haircut event 
Victory Life Church’s Back2School 12th Annual Haircut Event will take place at the church from 2 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 12 at the church. To register their children, Talent said parents should call the church at 620-232-1150.

At the free event, each child will get free haircuts from volunteer hair stylists as well as a premade bag with hygienic items including socks, toothbrushes, shampoo and conditioner.

According to Talent, this year’s haircut event will have a country theme. Community organizations will host activities for the children, including bucket rides from Westar Energy and a paintball station from the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office.

Talent hopes to provide all of the children with free backpacks and school supplies, but whether that will happen or not depends on the amount of donations.

“In general, the original goal was just to think of a way to reach the community and we came up with an idea of free haircuts and from there, it has just grown,” Talent said. “We get to be able to provide some needs that they have and we get ready to send them off to school and it’s great. “It’s just wonderful.”

In addition to attending the events, community members, organizations and businesses can also drop off school supplies at any GNBanks in Pittsburg, Girard and Arma or Westar Energy’s Pittsburg service center located at 1909 S. Olive St. and any McDonald's locations in Pittsburg. Talent said socks can be dropped off at Pittsburg’s Goodwill, too.

According to Westar Energy’s press release, acceptable items include backpacks with no wheels, pencils, erasers, facial tissue, washable markers, crayons, plastic school boxes, disinfectant wipes, black dry erase markers, wide lined notebook paper, glue sticks and spiral wideline notebooks.

“We have a lot of ways to be a part,” Talent said. “This week, you can come and be a part of the first ever back-to-school bingo and know that you’re going to give a great cause. Everything is not going to New York or Atlanta. It’s everything right here for this community and for this group of kids.”

According to Talent, Victory Life Church will post news leading up to both events on Facebook event pages.