Balls Out Bingo have just released their 2020 calendar, with the aim of raising money for good causes.
The calendar features some Brisbane men posing for top photographer John Bortolin, who has been putting the product together for a couple of years to raise money for the Queensland AIDS Council (QuAC) which supports LGBTIQ health.
The models are all ‘ball boys’ who feature at the bingo nights, hosted by award-winning compere Gayleen Tuckwood. A report by the Star Observer explains Gayleen won the 2017 Young Achievement Award and Belle of the Ball at Brisbane’s 56th annual Queen’s Ball Awards, and she hosts the popular bingo nights with a different ‘ball boy’ each week.
The night itself, held at the Sportsman Hotel, is also an award winner, picking up the Queens Ball Award for Regular Event of the Year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Bingo is a hugely popular pastime in Australia and it’s believed to be ahead of other pursuits such as poker, according to a government report. One version that is quite common is 90-ball, which is played at Balls Out Bingo amongst other places. Foxy Bingo’s detailed overview of the 90-ball version describes how the game is played on ‘strips of six tickets’ unlike other variations such as 70-ball. This is also the version played at the popular Club Southside in Mount Gravatt as well as a host of other Brisbane locations.
Balls Out Bingo has a unique twist though; whilst it delivers the usual bingo sensation, it’s aimed at the LGBTIQ community and the calendar is an offshoot of the work they’ve done in the past to support relevant charities. The boys featured are all local, as Jan Thwaites of the QuAC explained to QN.
“These are all community guys, they’re not professional models, but if you look at the calendar, you’d think that they are. Our photographer, John Bortolin, just brings out the best in the guys.”
Last year’s Balls Out Bingo calendar raised $6000 on its own and Bortolin explained how he dedicated his work to Rhys Nicholson, a Manscapes model from his previous calendars who committed suicide.
“It makes me more determined to make a change for men who suffer from mental health issues,” explained Bortolin. “Whether it be from raising awareness through my posts and sales of the calendars or making these guys feel better about themselves.”
Balls Out Bingo certainly goes from strength to strength in bringing the LGBTIQ community together as well as doing its bit for good causes.
If Ball Out Bingo isn’t your scene, then why not check out our guide to some of the best rooftop bars in Brisbane instead?