Wallace Vernon is one of the men behind Killeen’s largest bingo complex on Hallmark Avenue, a venue that helps fund about 20 charitable organizations.
Vernon, 83, is a retired accountant who has trouble not working. For more than four decades he has been involved with area Boys & Girls Clubs, creating a charitable bingo operation that provides more than $2 million annually to numerous charities with a focus on children.
To name a few, proceeds from the eight bingo halls he voluntarily provides accounting work for provide funds to the Bell County Children’s Advocacy Center, the Lions Club, the Greater Killeen Free Clinic, the Bell County Museum and several others.
In addition to providing charity work, the bingo halls employ roughly 100 people across Central Texas.
Four locations are in Killeen, two in Copperas Cove, one in Georgetown and one in Bryan.
“None of this stuff I could do alone,” said Vernon, who was recently awarded the Roy J. Smith award by the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce. It is an award reserved for individuals who have shown a lifelong dedication to improving the Central Texas area.
Vernon had to be strongly urged to accept the award, according to John Anderson, director of enterprise at the Charitable Bingo operation.
Vernon said he typically shuns the spotlight in favor of promoting the organizations with which he is involved.
Top of the list is the Boys & Girls Club, which helps provide after-school programs to roughly 1,500 students each day, Vernon said.
“That’s what our good Lord tells us to do, to help those around us,” Vernon said.