A 70-year-old woman in Alamogordo, New Mexico is fighting for her right to play bingo after a nearly two-year ban. Her fight has lasted nearly two years, and she vows to not give up until she is granted the right to sit among her peers and enjoy the anticipation as letters and numbers are called out. Evangeline Shelland realizes that her ban is “indefinite,” but hopes her persistence will pay off.
Evangeline was approached by a supervisor at the Fraternal Order of Eagles club in Alamogordo in January of 2013. He advised that she had been driving erratically in the parking lot and have received letters of complaint from other patrons of the club. She states that there is no proof of her wrongdoing and she is innocent of the accusations that resulted in her indefinite ban, according to KRQE News 13. Evangeline, who has been a member since 1985, was hurt and upset by the unfair decision to ban her and vows to do anything necessary to gain access to play bingo again.
“It’s indefinite, I cannot attend Eagles bingo.I was hurt of course, you know, I was hurt and I’m still hurt, because I don’t think it’s right,”
The Associated Press reported that Evangeline has taken the issue all the way up to the Attorney General’s Office, only to be rejected once again. A represented reached out to her with an empathetic response, but declined to help her with the ban.
“while we sympathize with your desire to play bingo, we do not have any jurisdiction over this issue and are unable to force them to allow you on their premises.”
When the bingo club was reached by the local news, they refused to speak on the personal matter. The supervisor that banned her from the premises is no longer employed with the lodge. Although the Fraternal Order of Eagles club is a private club, they do allow the public to attend bingo events. Evangeline feels that she has been targeted unfairly and feels her rights are being violated, especially since the club never showed any proof of wrongdoing.
Evangeline doesn’t want monetary reimbursement for the wrongful ban, and she doesn’t want special treatment, either. Simply put, Evangeline just wants to play bingo again.
“I mean we’re retirees, we don’t have nothing to do but go to the bingo,” Shelland said. “If somebody’s got something against me, tell me to my face.”
Although the club refused to provide any details about Evangeline’s ban, they did state, off camera, that there is more to the story that they refuse to elaborate on.
[Photo Courtesy: The Huffington Post]