Steamboat restaurant owner uses Bingo Night to support suicide prevention
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Suicide prevention is a cause Brian Tessari, owner of Otto Pint in downtown Steamboat Springs, can get behind.
He has long supported the efforts of his good friend Jerrod Hindman, who is program director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Office of Suicide Prevention.
“He and some partners formed Man Therapy, and it’s just something that we have been supporting through the restaurants (three in Fort Collins and one in Steamboat) because there is so much need for men to know that they have an outlet,” Tessari said.
Man Therapy is a program that aims to prevent suicide among working men age 25 to 54 — a demographic that accounts for the largest number of suicide deaths in the U.S. Men in that group also are the least likely to receive any kind of support.
“It’s near and dear to me,” Tessari said. “Not only because of the association of one of my dearest friends who started it, but also because, unfortunately, I have had some really good people who have worked for me commit suicide over the years. So, it’s something that strikes home really, really closely.”
Tessari’s desire to help out in the Steamboat area has resulted in the launch of Bingo Night on Wednesdays at Otto Pint. The proceeds for the events, which have been held all fall, benefit Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, a local suicide prevention organization.
The final Bingo Night of the season will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5.
“It’s been a collaborative effort between REPS, Otto Pint, KFMU and Butcherknife,” said REPS Executive Director Mindy Marriott. “It’s been overwhelmingly positive, and really the community support has made the event what it has become.”
Marriott said REPS has received nearly $2,000 from the events. She said the money will be used for free therapy and counseling for anyone in crisis.
“So, everything the community has donated goes back to keeping our community a healthier, safer place,” Marriott said. “We did not know how this was going to be perceived. But, once people hear who REPS is and what our mission and our goals are, they are just so supportive. It’s has just grown, and it’s been amazing.”
Tessari plans to continue to host Bingo Night in the future, most likely during shoulder seasons.
“We get everyone from kids to people in their 80s, and everyone is having a good time,” said Raymond Gabriel, who volunteers as the bingo caller. “It’s pretty cool, and it’s a fun event. They are all having drinks, eating pizza and having wings.”
There is no cost to play bingo, but organizers are hoping that players will make a donation for their first bingo cards. Prizes include concert tickets, hats, T-shirts, sunglasses, gift cards and food discounts.
This week’s bingo night will feature a special holiday theme, and in addition to the opportunity to yell, “Bingo,” participants also have a chance to win prizes for best or worst holiday sweater or best or worst holiday costume.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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