Residents at The Terraces at San Joaquin Gardens, a continuing care retirement community in Fresno, CA, gathered in February for a bingo game unlike any other.

The bingo cards held questions, such as “Where were you born?” and “What did you do on your first date?” The purpose was to help the residents connect with honor students from Fresno State who were visiting the community as part of an intergenerational mixer. 

The gathering was the brainchild of representatives from the school and The Terraces, explained Diana Sherwood, lifestyle director at the CCRC. The event was a success, with many students sharing contact information with residents to keep in touch after that night.

“The reality of the situation is that both groups are in the same situation … it’s the only time in life, I think, when you are surrounded by people your own age,” said Gloria Kunz, a resident who attended the event. “So much camaraderie was created by the whole event.”

Kunz, a former English teacher, connected with one student over their shared love of Shakespeare. Another resident who made a living as a farmer “matched” with a student studying agriculture. 

Sherwood said the group intends to plan more events.

“So many young adults had a great time, and are so willing to come back and build on that intergenerational relationship,” she said.