Neurodiverse Bingo event to take place this weekend in Penngrove

Local small business owners Isabelle (Beth) Gonzalez-Karcs and Alysha Rische are hosting their third event for the neurodiverse community this coming Sunday, July 14, at the Twin Oaks Roadhouse in Penngrove. Gonzalez-Karcs is a speech-pathologist with over 24 years of experience, while Rische is a transition specialist for the neurodiverse community.

Their upcoming event, called Neurodivergent Bingo, aims to build community between neurodiverse people in Sonoma County. Participants will play games and learn more about one another in a relaxed setting.

The event runs from 4 to 6 p.m. at 5745 Old Redwood Hwy., and is completely free. Prizes will be won, fun will be had and friends will be made! Food is available for purchase during the event, and parents and guardians of participants are invited to stick around and connect on the patio, although they are also asked not to participate in the event itself. Participants must be at least 16 years old to attend.

The schedule for the event begins with a welcome and introduction from Rische and Gonzalez-Karcs, followed by an Ice Breaker activity and then a round of Bingo. The group will then take a short break before playing a few more rounds of Bingo, until it’s time to wrap up and socialize at around 5:45 p.m.

The past two events put on by Gonzalez-Karcs and Rische have been Neurodivergent Speed Friending events, which received “glowing reviews” from participants, parents, staff members and patrons, according to the event organizers. The management of Twin Oaks, where all of these events have been hosted so far, have allowed Gonzalez-Karcs and Rische to use the area free of charge.

“We feel so fortunate that that Twin Oaks does not charge us for the space,” said Gonzalez-Karcs in an email.

As for why the duo are putting on these events, they say that they are simply passionate about creating a community for neurodiverse teens and young adults.

“People with visible and invisible disabilities really struggle with loneliness and isolation, even more so after the pandemic,” said Gonzalez-Karcs. “It is not easy for anyone to make friends and to feel like they belong in a community, especially as spread out as we are in Sonoma County. It is even harder with a learning or developmental disability.”

You can register for the event by scanning the QR code on the flyer, or by visiting this link.

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