By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: August 2014
ESA members are preparing for their annual Bunco fundraiser set for August 23. Standing before the handmade donated quilt, which will be given away that night (L to R): Karla Applegate, Carol Applegate, Janie Stevens, Kay Kirkes and Gertrude Riddle.
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 ESA chapter is sponsoring its 7th annual Bunco fundraiser on Saturday, August 23 at the Inola Round-up Club, featuring an evening of competition, prizes, food and fun, all for a worthy cause.
This year’s tournament proceeds will again benefit 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. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Compassion Women’s Center in Inola, a new nonprofit pregnancy resource center serving Rogers County.
The Inola Ministry House, which provides free clothing and food to the needy, will also benefit, as Bunco participants who bring a non-perishable food item will receive a chance to win a basket of assorted gift basket items. The more food items you bring, the more chances you have to win.
Members of the ESA chapter not only raise money to help worthy causes, they have a good time doing it. And those who’ve attended past Bunco tournaments know they’re in for a treat. This year, to liven up the fun, the group is playing off their seventh anniversary.
“We’re doing special things for our seventh year,” says Janie Stevens, club president. “We’re going to give away crazy prizes, including things pertaining to 7 or 77 and so forth. For example, we might give a prize to the seventh person to register, or someone with seven kids.”
Local merchants and ESA members donate prizes, which include gift certificates to local businesses as well as an assortment of merchandise. Over 100 prizes are given away during the evening. “We’ve had everything from cases of pop to gift baskets to give away,” Janie adds.
Bunco participants may also purchase tickets for $1 to participate in a 50/50 cash drawing. The winner receives half of the proceeds, while the other half goes to the ESA. Six tickets for $5 are also available. Last year’s total was $476, with the winner taking home half.
Tickets are also being sold for a lap-size butterfly motif quilt. Tickets are $1 each or six for $5 and can be purchased before the event. You do not need to be present to win.
“We’re also selling tickets for a large hand-painted vase,” says Janie. “It’s an exclusive piece of art from Arizona donated by a former club member.” Tickets are also being sold in advance at the same price as the quilt. Again, you need not be present to win.
Participants are already pre-registering for the event because seating is limited. Those who pre-register will receive a handcrafted “goodie” tote bag, containing merchandise donated by local merchants and club members, as well as the Bunco rules and score cards. Each participant’s pre-registration fee of $15 also includes a free lunch of sandwich, chips, a homemade cookie, and water.
Cost is $20 at the door, with Bunco starting at 4 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m. A concession stand with sandwiches, chips, drinks and homemade desserts is available if you’re still hungry after your free meal.
If you don’t want to miss out on the fun, you’d better pre-register. Seats are going fast. To pre-register, call 918-637-0595 or email eat1@eau1eav1eaw1. If you live in Inola, you can also find promotional flyers around town with the registration form attached. “We’ve already had one person who pre-registered at the end of last year’s tournament,” Janie adds. “She didn’t want to miss out on the fun.”
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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 www.carolaround.com. 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.