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home : columnists : columnists January 17, 2018

11/20/2017 4:00:00 AM
Tri Kappa gets with The Times

By Betsy Reason

Every year at this time, Tri Kappa sorority asks us at The Times newspaper to partner up in the promotion of the Beta Epsilon chapter's annual Red Stocking Fund drive.

And every year at this time, I ask the drive's coordinators, Pam Lehman and Anita Beck, along with Noblesville Township Trustee, to put on their red Santa hats to snap a photo to promote the drive.

We here at The Times are always glad to help with this fundraiser.

Money raised ensure the children of Noblesville have shoes, clothing, school supplies, and shelter as well as medicines and other necessities. In 2017, more than 200 students and their families were assisted, I'm told.

Noblesville Township Trustee Office distributes the funds throughout the year to the school children of Noblesville.

"One-hundred percent of your contributions go to a worthy cause," said Township Trustee Tom Kenley, who has served in the position since 2015 and whose first task is helping the needy in Noblesville Township.

"We really appreciate the Red Stocking Fund. It allows us to help needy Noblesville students in many ways that we could not otherwise. The Tri Kappa fund supports the free shoe giveaway hosted by the Shoe Carnival and the free clothing event at Kohls," he said.

Tri Kappa doesn't control how the Township distributes the funds.

"Occasionally, families have a need that cannot be covered with taxpayer dollars. The Red Stocking Fund allows us to help," Kenley said.

Some examples? "Possibly a month's rent, an electric bill, school supplies or clothing, plus other necessities," he said.

Every year since the fund drive's beginning, Tri Kappa has met or surpassed its $10,000 fundraising goal.

During its first year, in 2006, the Red Stocking Fund began with 157 donors, raising $11,778. In 2016, the fund raised $15,055 from 205 donors, Lehman said.

She and her husband Lynn Lehman, moved to Noblesville in 1984, and she was the athletic secretary for Noblesville Schools for 23 years.

"I think when you work in a school setting all your career, you care about the paths the students travel. You see the hardships some of them face everyday," Lehman said.

The original founder of the Red Stocking Fund, Vicki Smith, is a good friend of Lehman and also a former member of Tri Kappa.

"My husband and I have supported the Red Stocking Fund since the beginning in 2006," she said.

Anita Beck, another friend and Tri Kappa member, took the reigns from Smith when she stepped down. Beck, a former preschool teacher of 15 years for the Noblesville First United Methodist Church, loves to volunteer.

"Anita asked me to come on board in 2011 and, eventually, I became the chairman," Lehman said. "I felt this was something I could promote, as well, and represent Tri Kappa."

So this is how the fund drive works. Each donor completes a donation form that's published in The Times and mails with the form a check to Noblesville Red Stocking Fund. With each donation, donors are invited to submit a greeting or message that will be published in The Times, along with the donor's name. The amount donated is not published.

Lehman and Beck said it's fun for them to read all of the donor names and each of the greetings as the donations come in.

The Beta Epsilon chapter of Tri Kappa, celebrating its 102nd year, is busy year-round raising funds and helping the community.

The chapter annually in March sells handmade chocolate and peanut butter Easter eggs.

And the first Saturday in December, we love to attend Tri Kappa's annual Breakfast with Santa, which is always the first Saturday and offers music, crafts and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. This year's event, with seatings at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 2 at Forest Park Inn, is currently taking reservations, at (317) 773-3006. Cost is $10.

Also, through the years, the Noblesville chapter has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships to deserving Noblesville students.

For all of these reasons, The Times newspaper is glad to help Tri Kappa reach its goals.

-Contact me at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.

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