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Following a rousing performance by an Elvis impersonator and a hearty Christmas lunch, a group of Vacaville youths took the mic Friday at McBride Senior Center and matched wits with a room full of spry senior citizens.
Winner after winner quickly depleted the piles of prizes hauled out for the occasion, but not to worry — a generous donor contributed bags and bags of hand-crocheted scarves and throws for the taking.
Nellie Collins, for one, had a grand time.
“It’s wonderful,” she said, seated with friends. “I love it and we’re happy to be here. Every year we come here.”
Chalita Villaspir said she was thankful for the involvement of the Vacaville Neighborhood Boys & Girls Club’s Torch Club youths in the seniors’ annual event.
“They’re giving us happiness for Christmas,” she enthused.
For their part, the youths were a bit shy but nonetheless excited to participate.
“It seemed like fun,” said Marlene Flores, 14, of why she joined the festivities.
A self-described bad bingo player, Flores nonetheless was all-in on the activities.
“I want to see who wins,” she said.
Meanwhile, Julissa Salazar, 14, merely wanted to lend a hand.
“I decided it would be nice to help,” she said. She’s also no stranger to the game, so she wasn’t too worried about calling out the words to the rapt audience.
The event was one of many community service events performed the Torch Club, a program for tweens and a sister to the older club kids’ Keystone Club.
“It’s basically teaching them leadership skills,” said Kamille White, the club’s director.
The Torch Club donated pastries for the event, too, and the kids also helped with beverage service, clean-up and whatever else was needed.
It was the youths’ idea to host bingo, White said, as they themselves like to play it so they thought the seniors might, too.
And they did, questioning calls and making moves like pros.
Competitive, officials said, described participants perfectly.
Perhaps another game may be in the works following Christmas break?
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By Kimberly K. Fu,, @ReporterKimFu on Twitter

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