By Al Levy
Board of Directors and management govern the business of bridge in North
America. This might be
characterized as the brains of the organization.
I would like to describe the heart of our organizationÖthe many
volunteers who contribute their efforts to bridge. This includes the Unit and District Board members who run the
local affairs of the ACBL and the many well established players who contribute
to the general success of bridge.
members generally take for granted the well-run local bridge activities that
they participate in. The success of
these activities are greatly due to the efforts of the many volunteers from the
over 300 Unit and the 25 District organizations that conduct the business of
bridge in their jurisdictional areas. As
I visit tournaments I see an amazing thingÖthe enthusiasm, dedication and
expertise of these local organizers. The
results of their dedicated efforts are many, including: well run Sectional and
Regional tournaments; great entertainment, giveaways, lectures, etc. at NABCs;
excellent local publications; informative Unit and District websites;
cooperation between neighboring organizations in scheduling their many
activities; raising money for charities; teaching in schools through the
ACBLís School Bridge program; healthy interactions with bridge clubs; and the
many enjoyable special events.
was particularly impressed with the mentor programs run in the Houston and
Cincinnati areas. Both areas have
well-organized programs where experienced players mentor newcomers over a long
period of time. Contact Elena
Hickman, at Elena8827@aol.com, in the
Cincinnati area, and Betty Starzec, at Betty.Starzec@acbl.org,
in the Houston area, for more details. These
programs are very well received and greatly help in converting newcomers into
of my priorities this year is to promote the ACBLís School Bridge Program.
Everywhere I go I see local bridge teachers getting involved in this
program. Carol Mathews is an
excellent example of an ambitious teacher who has been using this material to
teach hundreds of students on Long Island, NY, and is now working on a teaching
program in summer camps.
addition, there are many other ACBL members who lend their talents to our game.
Chip Martel, Nick Nickell, Aileen Osofsky and Kitty Cooper are prime
examples. Chip, the 2000 ACBL
Honorary member is the co-chair of the ACBL and WBF Laws Commission and serves
on many other expert committees. I
particularly appreciate Chipís advise on the World Computer-Bridge
Championships that I coordinate and the Internet Advisory committee that I
chaired. Nick, the 2003 ACBL
Honorary member is a goodwill ambassador for bridge and has supported so many
bridge activities. Truly a man who
gives back to the game he loves. Aileen
Osofsky, national Goodwill committee chair, has served unselfishly for many
years. Kitty Cooper, through her
bridge teaching efforts in the Albuquerque school system, has done an
outstanding job of developing promotional material and lesson plans which are
now used in the ACBLís School Bridge Program.
serve on various bridge committees, including Appeals, Hall-of-Fame and the Laws
Commission to name a few. Many
experts give Intermediate/Newcomer lectures at Regionals and NABCs.
Volunteers serve as trustees of our Educational and Charity Foundations.
The list goes on and on. The
number of enthusiastic ACBL members who give back to our game is high and their
enthusiasm is even higher. Our game
must be very special for so many busy people to devote so much time and effort
to its affairs.