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Tri Kappa Bingo Night Sells Out

I grew up playing Bingo at family reunions. But it’s nothing like the Bingo game I attended on Monday night at the Noblesville Moose Lodge.

Bingo players are serious. They own their own Bingo daubers, which are specialized markers to mark the Bingo card numbers. They watch a flashboard for the Bingo patterns required to win. And they play a different Bingo card for every game.

For many, playing Bingo is exciting. It brings people together. And sometimes, players are lucky enough to win a little money.

I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who doesn’t like to play Bingo. And Noblesville Tri Kappa sorority’s Beta Epsilon Chapter was banking on that very notion when members decided to have a Bingo fundraiser.

The first Noblesville Tri Kappa Bingo Night is tonight at the Noblesville Moose, and the $30-per-ticket 250-seat benefit has been sold out for days.

There will be lots of door prizes, a Stearman biplane ride raffle, a 50/50 raffle and several basket giveaways. The fundraiser benefits the chapter’s many Noblesville High School scholarships and support for Noblesville Schools, Prevail, Noblesville Township Trustees Office, Riley Children’s Health and more.

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
Noblesville Tri Kappa Beta Epsilon chapter members Kristen Garber (left) and Sandy Kern get some practice playing Bingo on Mondays at the Noblesville Moose Lodge, where tonight they’ll be volunteering and playing Bingo at the first Noblesville Tri Kappa Bingo Night, which is sold out.

And what better way to raise funds and bring awareness to the sorority than to have a Bingo Night, said Jennifer Warner, whose goals as president include increasing community awareness of Tri Kappa.

While learning more about Tri Kappa Bingo Night, I had the opportunity to go and watch a couple of Tri Kappa sorority sisters — Noblesville’s Kristen Garber and Sandy Kern — who love to play Bingo Monday nights at the Noblesville Moose.

“It’s a fun game of chance,” said Garber, 52, a six-year member of Tri Kappa and former board member and treasurer of four years. She’s known of Bingo since childhood but didn’t play regularly until she started going to the Moose on Monday nights about a year ago. Even her husband, Dave, attends and plays a few games. (They were married at the Moose in 2015.) She even has her own brightly colored Bingo dauber bag, which has pockets for storing daubers for her and her friends.

What’s the Bingo fascination?

“I enjoy games, but the lure is seeing my friends and spending time with them each week,” Garber said.

Players have to pay close attention. The caller reads Bingo numbers quickly. And players mark the numbers on their “boards.” The Moose Lodge Bingo hall has “special pattern” games that require players to “bingo” with a special design, a straight line, a diamond or some other pattern, to win a game.

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
Kristen Garber and Sandy Kern of Noblesville play 12 Bingo cards on a board at once, so they have to pay close attention, during Bingo on Monday at the Noblesville Moose Lodge, the venue for the first Noblesville Tri Kappa Bingo Night, which is sold out for tonight.

Before I went to the Moose, Garber had already earlier in the evening won a Bingo game and some cash, which is paid out to winners throughout the night.

Garber said she’d be volunteering at her sorority chapter’s Bingo Night fundraiser today, and she has many family and friends who’ll attend. Men and women, ages 18 and older, will be at tonight’s Bingo Night. (Bingo is considered gambling and in Indiana players must be age 18 or older to play.) Players at the Moose pay $25 each Monday night to get in on the games.

Sorority sisters Garber and Kern were sitting together playing Bingo on Monday night at the Moose. They’ve known each other since grade school, both graduated in 1988 from Noblesville High School, where they were in marching band together but didn’t become great friends until they were adults and Garber joined Tri Kappa under Kern as a sponsor. Kern is a Tri Kappa of more than 22 years, actually joining in 1988, her senior year of high school, with her Tri Kappa mom, Flora Richard, but wasn’t active for eight years when she was first married and was living out of state. She is a past president of Tri Kappa.

Kern and Garber sit together with other friends every Monday night to play Bingo.

During one game, they played 12 cards on a board at once, so they had to pay close attention. But they only marked the called Bingo numbers that are in the “special pattern” game they were playing at the moment. “I had to learn all of this from her,” Kern said, pointing at Garber, who sat next to her. “Be sure you come with someone who is experienced,” said Kern, who has been playing Bingo at the Moose for only two months.

“Some people mark everything, but once you start learning it, it’s easier not to,” said Garber.

(The Times photo by Betsy Reason)
Bingo players watch a Noblesville Moose Lodge flashboard (above) for Bingo patterns required to win Bingo games.

They could also buy extra Bingo “boards” if they wanted.

They have their own strategy to keep track of all of their Bingo cards and the pattern for each game, Garber said, “But really, it’s a game of chance, if you have the numbers in the right place.” And if you call out “Bingo” before anyone else.

They play three hours each Monday, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and they continue each game until there is a winner. “They won’t stop until somebody calls a ‘Bingo,’” Garber said. Sometimes there are multiple winners at the same time, and they’ll split the cash winnings. But once there is a winner, the game stops, and moves on to the next Bingo game.

Garber said tonight’s Tri Kappa Bingo Night fundraiser will be similar but will have nine games with special patterns. “It’s for anybody. It’ll be slower paced,” she said. “Only four boards instead of 12.”

She said they decided to do the Bingo Night this year as something different.

But as far as Bingo goes, anytime, Garber said, “I like to play games, so it’s a fun thing to come and hang out with my friends.”

Noblesville’s Beta Epsilon chapter is among three Tri Kappa chapters in Hamilton County and was chartered in March 1915. The chapter celebrated 107 years this month. Other chapters are in Carmel and Fishers.

To learn more about Noblesville’s Tri Kappa chapter, visit https://www.trikappa.org/

– Contact Betsy Reason at betsy@thetimes24-7.com.