Columnists

Red Stocking donors are in the giving spirit

A lot of things in our daily lives have changed this year.

But one thing that hasn’t changed is the generosity of folks in Noblesville who give to Tri Kappa sorority’s annual Noblesville Red Stocking Fund.

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

Tri Kappa distributes 100 percent of the money donated to the school children of Noblesville through Noblesville Schools and Noblesville Township Trustee Office, which distributes the funds throughout the year to the school children of Noblesville.

Money raised will ensure the children of Noblesville have shoes, clothing, school supplies, and shelter as well as medicines and other necessities. In 2020, more than 100 students and their families were assisted.

We here at The Times are always glad to help with this fundraiser, which kicked off its 16th annual Red Stocking Fund in the Nov. 10 edition, both in print and in the online edition that arrived in subscribers’ email inboxes.

Each donor completes a donation form that’s published in The Times and mails with the form a personal check payable to Noblesville Red Stocking Fund. With each donation, donors are invited to submit a greeting or message that is published in The Times along with the donor’s name. The amount donated is not published.

Tri Kappa’s goal is to raise $10,000 by Christmas.

And did I mention the generosity of our community? The sorority has already reached its goal with two more weeks to go.

The published list of donors has already had 84 contributors who donated a whopping $10,590.

Although the amount donated is never published, that total is an average donation of just more than $125 per donor.

Wow! What a good first, second, third and fourth!

“Absolutely,” agreed Mary Jane Polsgrove who with Anita Beck returned this year to their duties of the drive’s annual coordinators.

“Noblesville cares,” Polsgrove said.

That list of 84 donors (many of whose names I recognized) are published in each Wednesday’s print edition along with their special messages to the community.

Bob Minton donated in honor of his great-grandkids. John Kraft donated in honor of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Marshall Kraft anda second time for his grandsons, Axel Von Bivens and Gage Jagger Bivens. Jennifer Johnson donated in memory of Hazel Miller. Jo and Gary Rhodes donated in honor of Kinsey, Jacob and Aiden Moran. Don and Suzanne McMahon donated in memory of Robert Chadwell and Bette McMahon. Jake and Sandy Waterman donated in memory of Grandson Isaac Beeson. Ronda and Steve Hurst donated in loving memory of Carole Hurst and Dick Goodspeed. Carolyn Fitzgerald donated in memory of husband, Bill Fitzgerald, and son, Gary Fitzgerald. Nancy A. Massey donated in memory of her husband, David, and in honor of their grandchildren, Charlotte, Virginia and Gideon. Steve and Marilyn Anderson donated in memory of their parents. Jeff Zeckel donated in memory of Ben and Belle Zeckel and Wayne and Pat Donaldson. Bob and Stephanie Daugherty donated in memory of their dear friend, Jeannie Ecker. Margaret A. Roberts donated in honor of my grandchildren. Sally Crow donated to those who are missed, Linda, Phyllis, Cathie and Carol. Chuck and Sally Crow donated in honor and remembrance of Sam and Jean Campbell, Maurice and Thelma Crow, Marsha Fisher, Linda Crow and Mary Anne Campbell.

Lynn and Pam Lehman wished “Merry Christmas to all the children of Noblesville.” Don and Pam Orr, Mr. and Mrs. John H. Jones, Ron and Linda Williamson, Steve Snyder, John and Regina Staffsmith, all wish everyone a “Merry Christmas.”

“One-hundred percent of your contributions go to a worthy cause,” Township Trustee Tom Kenley has said. He 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,” he has 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, 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 had 157 donors, raising $11,778.

Last holiday season, more than $17,500 was raised and then used throughout the year for the students of the Noblesville community who are less fortunate. Since its inception, the Red Stocking Fund has brought in more than $191,500 to support this community fundraiser.

“Thank you to the community of Noblesville and beyond for the generous donations to the 2018 Red Stocking Fund,” she said.

“I asked to be on this committee as it helps those in need,” Polsgrove has said. “Giving and sharing are a passion of mine. It comes from my parents and grandparents. My grandparents had an independent grocery store and, during World War II, my grandfather made sure none of his customers went hungry.”

Pam Lehman, a retired athletic secretary for Noblesville Schools for 23 years, is the former longtime co-chairperson who with her husband Lynn Lehman, moved to Noblesville in 1984 and supported the fund since its beginning in 2006. She was involved 2011-17. I remember what Pam Lehman once told me: “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 every day.”

The original founder of the Red Stocking Fund, Vicki Smith, is a former member of Tri Kappa.

Beck, a former preschool teacher of 15 years for the Noblesville First United Methodist Church, loves to volunteer and took the reins from Smith when she stepped down.

Polsgrove said, “Much of the success of this project is owed to The Times. “We are so grateful to have a local newspaper that supports our local organization and promotes their projects which, in turn, support this community.”

Beck said it is fun 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 106th 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 sorority has recently been selling nuts and cheese balls for Christmas. And for many years, the chapter’s annual Breakfast with Santa was a most enjoyable and well-attended family event.

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 Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com. If you don’t have a donation form, checks may be made payable to Red Stocking Fund and mailed to Noblesville Red Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 162, Noblesville, IN 46061.