Talk about a creative way to honor the class of 2020 graduates.
Veteran Hollywood TV producer and HBCU graduate, TeeJ Mercer, is launching a new venture called ‘TeeJ’s Bingo Nite: HBCU 2020 Grad Edition,’ a lively online Bingo game event to award 2020 grads with game and cash prizes, Black News reports.
Participants who play will have a chance to win prizes from a $1.3 million worth of career-launch professional services and products during the 4-day event.
TeeJ, a graduate of Howard University, has always been an advocate for HBCUs throughout her career in Hollywood. She relocated to Atlanta to green-light her new TV show about HBCU students until COVID-19 shut down production.
“I’m an extreme extrovert, known as the World’s Greatest Hugger, and here I am stuck in a new city; I can’t be social and I can’t hug anyone, so I was lonely and miserable,” she said. “My cousin set up a virtual family Bingo game and since I have an engaged following, halfway through, I knew I wanted to plan a game for my social media pals. One night. $10 prize pots of my own money. And 10 games.”
Now with a larger pool of players, TeeJ added in a DJ, dance breaks, and a chance for winners to plug their hobbies or small businesses. Within six weeks, she had given away over $10K in donated cash and prizes.
TeeJ expanded on her bingo game to include HBCU graduates who missed out on the opportunity to celebrate their academic accomplishments through a traditional in-person graduation ceremony.
“I started tapping family and friends hoping that I might be able to raise $100K. But with no fundraising, no ads, and no social media campaigns, I was literally brought to tears when I learned, we had broken over $1M in services and over $14K in cold hard cash…in under 4 weeks. Unbelievable.”
The $1.3 million donation in services will act as a gift to all who participate in the bingo games, not just winners.
According to Black News, prizes include everything from professional LinkedIn bios to subscriptions to a Black professionals’ dating site; masterclasses applicable for all majors taught by global leaders at Fortune 500 companies, and even an opportunity to work alongside a Grammy-winning music producer.
Using the hashtag #TeeJsHBCUBingo, the virtual graduation-replacement for 2020 grads will feature a social media collection of celebrity congrats videos and the live posting of winners on TeeJsHBCUBingo’s social channels.
HBCU Bingo will take place each Saturday in June at 7:15 pm ET/4:15 PT, on Zoom and Facebook Live.
To register to play, visit TeeJsHBCUBINGO.com
To watch, visit Facebook.com/TeeJsBingoNite