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Charity Bunco Tournament Returns to Inola

The annual Bunco tournament hosted by Gamma Pi ESA will benefit the Food 4 Kids program.

By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: August 2013

Gamma Pi ESA members with the handmade embroidered quilt to be given away at the Bunco tournament (L to R): Carol Applegate, Gertrude Riddle, Barbara McClure, Janie Stevens, Kay Kirkes and Karla Applegate. The quilt is on display at the Inola Library.

Gamma Pi ESA members with the handmade embroidered quilt to be given away at the Bunco tournament (L to R): Carol Applegate, Gertrude Riddle, Barbara McClure, Janie Stevens, Kay Kirkes and Karla Applegate. The quilt is on display at the Inola Library.

Nothing creates more excitement in this rural Oklahoma ­community than a friendly game of Bunco, especially when it’s for a good cause. The Inola Gamma Pi Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) chapter is sponsoring its 6th annual Bunco fundraiser on Saturday, August 24. The Inola Round-up Club will once again be the place to spend a ­wonderful evening of ­competition, prizes, food and fun, all for a worthy cause.
    The club chooses a different organization or charity to benefit from the funds raised each year, and this year’s recipient will be the Food 4 Kids program at Inola Elementary School. Sponsored by the Salvation Army, the program provides backpacks containing food for underprivileged children to take home on the weekends. “Last year,” says Janie Stevens, club member, “we presented half of our funds to the program while the other half was donated to the firefighters. This year, we decided to donate the entire amount raised to the children.”
    The Inola Ministry House, which provides free clothing and food to those in need, will also benefit, as Bunco participants who bring a non-perishable food item will receive a chance to win a basket of assorted gift items. The more food items donated, the more chances you have to win. “We’ve had themed baskets in the past, including a Made in Oklahoma basket full of items,” says Stevens. Although this year’s basket doesn’t have a particular theme, you can bet these resourceful women will have it packed chockfull of unique items.
    Local merchants as well as ESA members donate prizes, which include gift certificates to local businesses as well as an assortment of merchandise. Over 100 door prizes are given away during the evening, plus about 30 prize baskets. “We’ve had everything from cases of pop to gift baskets to give away,” she adds.
    Bunco participants may also purchase a $1 ticket to ­participate in a 50/50 cash ­drawing. The winner receives half of the proceeds while the other half goes to Gamma Pi.
    In addition, the club is ­selling tickets to win overnight accommodations at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, plus ­dinner for two at McGill’s. “The dinner alone is valued up to $100,” says Carol Applegate, head of the Bunco committee. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5.
    Tickets are also on sale for a full/queen-sized hand-embroidered quilt (shown in photo) made by club ­member Gertrude Riddle. “I spent 15 months making the quilt,” she says. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. The quilt is on display at the Inola Library.
    Participants are already pre-registering for the event because seating is limited. “Last year, we ran out of goodie bags,” says Applegate. “While you can pay at the door to participate, pre-registration not only means you get a goodie bag, but you are assured a seat at a Bunco table.” The ­handcrafted goodie tote bags, made by club members, contain merchandise donated by local merchants and club members, as well as the Bunco rules and score cards.  All participants also receive a lunch of a half ­sandwich, chips and water,   ­coffee or tea.
    An area celebrity has been joining the Bunco excitement for several years and will be participating again this year. Carly Rush, a morning radio host on 98.5 KVOO, has ties to Inola. Rush was honored with two ­other KVOO crew members as the Academy of Country Music Medium Market Personalities of the Year for 2013. “She always livens things up,” says Applegate. “She is an enthusiastic player, encouraging others.”
    Cost is $15 at the door or players can pre-register for $12.50 until August 19. ­
Pre-­reg­­ister by calling (918) 637-0595. Bunco will start at 4 p.m. and will end around
9 p.m. Concessions including sandwiches, chips, drinks and homemade desserts will also be available if you’re still ­hungry after your free meal. “Everyone always has fun,” says club ­president Karla Applegate. If you don’t want to miss out on the fun, you’d better pre-register. Seats are going fast.

For more information, contact

Gamma Pi ESA

(918) 637-0595

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About Author Carol Beck-Round

After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.

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Alpha Rho Chapter ESA

For more information, contact:

Alpha Rho Chapter ESA

(918) 251-0617

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