By: Tom Fink | Category: Rogers County | Issue: July 2019
2018 Bunco winners take home baskets loaded with donated prizes.
The ladies of Gamma Pi ESA are ready to roll – roll the dice that is, with the return of the Inola Gamma Pi ESA Bunco tournament.
Slated for Saturday, Aug. 24 at 4 p.m., the Bunco tournament – now in its 12th year – is one of the group’s annual fundraisers, the proceeds of which go to benefit several organizations in the Inola area and around northeast Oklahoma.
“This is our yearly tournament, at which, we raise money for numerous local charities,” said Janie Stevens, Gamma Pi ESA member. “This year, we’re going to be giving the money we raise (from the Bunco tournament) to the Compassion Women’s Center, which helps provide pregnancy resources and prenatal care and counseling to women in Rogers County, Food 4 Kids at Inola Schools, which provides backpacks of food for children in need to have on the weekends, and, this year, the Rogers County Blue Starr Mothers.”
Gamma Pi ESA is a philanthropic nonprofit organization which hosts fundraisers to help with community needs, as well as regularly donating to schools, the local library and fire departments.
Bunco players compete to win prizes and raise money for local charities.
Outside the Inola area, the group also routinely raises proceeds to be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research and the Oklahoma School for the Blind in Muskogee.
The event itself will be an evening of fun competition, food, prizes, and fun to be had by all, whether they’re an experienced Bunco player or a first-timer.
“For every person that comes to play, we give them a welcome bag, filled with things donated from area businesses and merchants, and there are opportunities to win big prizes and gift baskets throughout the evening,” she said. “We have tickets available for a 50/50 cash drawing, basket raffles, and other chances to win great prizes.”
Charter members encourage event attendees to bring along a non-perishable food item for donation to the Inola Ministry House, which provides free food and clothing to those in need in the Inola community. Bunco participants who bring and donate a food item will be given a chance to win a gift basket – the more items brought, the more chances to win – with the basket being filled with items purchased by the ESA members themselves.”
Making her return as a special guest player for the evening is Tulsa radio personality, Carly Rush.
“We’re so happy to have Carly coming back again this year – she’s such a fun person, and having her there always makes the evening even more fun,” Stevens said.
Advance registration is $15 each for those who pre-register by Aug. 19, or $20 at the door, although early registration is “strongly encouraged.”
“We have limited seating, although we want to try and get everyone in who wants to come, it’s better to get your tickets early,” she said. “Registration allows you entrance, as well as a free lunch consisting of 1/2 sandwich, chips, cookies and tea, coffee or water, Bunco score cards and rules.”
As in previous years, the event will have a concession stand with homemade food and drinks available for purchase, and also as in past years, the evening will give attendees the chance to make memories for years to come.
“You know, back when I first joined, during the Rush, we played Bunco then, too,” she said. “It’s a game that anyone can play – women, men, adults, children, if they’re mature enough to pay attention and follow what’s happening – it’s a great opportunity for people to come and enjoy a game together while raising money for a good cause.”
So, although there may be weeks left until the Gamma Pi ESA Bunco Tournament, don’t roll the dice on whether or not there will be any registration left for this fun community event.
Pre-registration for the 12th Annual Inola Gamma Pi ESA Bunco Tournament ends Aug. 19. To pre-register, mail your registration (with payment) to Gamma Pi ESA, P.O. Box 183, Inola, Oklahoma 74036. The event will be held at the Inola Hay Capital Round-Up Club at 31236 S. 4230 Road in Inola (half a mile south of US-412).
How to Play Bunco:
For those unfamiliar with the game, Bunco is a simple-to-learn and easy-to-play dice game.
One game consists of six rounds – 1’s through 6’s, the first round of which, the player rolls for 1’s, the second round, for 2’s, the third round for 3’s, etc. The objective is for players and their partner (the person seated across from you) to roll more of a given round’s number than the competing team before the head table rings the bell. Play rotates clockwise from player to player, after a player doesn’t roll that round’s number on any of the three die, a “birdie” (three of the same die, but not the round being played) or a “Bunco” (three of the same die the round being played). Should a player roll that round’s number on any of the three die, they continue rolling until they don’t.
Once a team from the designated “Head Table” gets to 21 points, the round is over.
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