From the President's Table
February 13, 2024
An Update from the President’s Table
Mansfield was Indeed SUPER...
WOW! That’s all I can say. We didn’t know what to expect when we added the Super Sectional & NLM < 750 Regional to our schedule at the last minute.…new site, new date, new format...but WOW! It turned out to be a blast. Judging from the unprecedented number of glowing emails hitting our inbox, the players agree. The playing space was spacious, the directors were fun, the hotel staff was gracious and accommodating and the snacks were unbelievably yummy - even the healthy ones. Checkout the proof below. Our “Come Back to Bridge" promotion attracted quite a few people who haven’t played since 2020 and we hosted just over 313 tables. We’re now looking forward to making this event a regular part of our rotation. Not to mention, we’re bottling the “vibe” and bringing it to Southbridge in April.
We’re Having a Contest - and Need Your Entry...
We’re about to launch a District 25 newsletter. It’s a work in progress and the format will probably evolve over time, but Stuart Showalter from Vermont has gracious agreed to be our editor-in-chief. First things first - we need a name. Please send us your ideas for a pithy moniker that will entice everyone to anxiously anticipate its arrival in their inboxes. Winner will receive a free entry in Southbridge.
Our Next BIG Thing...
Watch your inboxes and the website for details on the BRIDGE OLYMPICS, coming to Southbridge. Here’s your chance to win more GOLD in a super fun and friendly event, never before played anywhere on the planet. The ACBL gave us special permission to run this experiment, so let’s make it a HUGE success. Here’s the concept. We’ll be hosting four different evening events - guaranteed to be fun and finished early. In addition to the “normal” masterpoints, each player will earn “Event Points” based on their performance. These event points will be tallied at the end of the week to determine our overall champions and winners of bonus GOLD points. It’s similar to a side game series, but with a mix of team and pair events. Plan to play. Did I mention we’ll have great snacks?
BIG Things Also Happen Away from the Table...
I’m passionate about creating strong, supportive relationships between the district and our units and clubs. Working with each other is the key to unlocking everyone's success in the post-Covid world. To that end, we’ve launched a few new initiatives to make that a reality. This month we’re launching our first Unit Presidents' Meeting and we have an exciting agenda. Jen Reidy has come aboard as our District Membership Liaison and she’s ready to help our units with getting the most out of the ACBL’s new 5/5/5 Program. We’ve also partnered with the ACBL to create a sanctioning workshop for our units to receive some long awaited training and support. Cathy Cooper is now serving as our District Tournament Coordinator and has been doing an awesome job helping everyone get organized and on track for what’s becoming a full slate of New England bridge events. Club owner and managers, don’t feel left out - we’re looking to partner with you next!
Something NEW at Clubs...
Thanks to John Pieper, our new Club Special Events Liaison, there's another new event on our schedule. Mark your calendars now for D25 EXTRA WEEK: Extra Masterpoints, Extra Fun & Extra Community support! The menu of these special extra point games will be offered November 12-15. Watch your local club news for details.
Want to Have Some Fun and Make a Difference...
Join us! As you can tell, we’re off to an ambitious start and while it is lots of work, we’re having so much fun. As the old saying goes, many hands do make light work - and add to the camaraderie. If you have an area of interest, a pet project or just want to join a team a fun, dedicated bridge fanatics, please let us know. We’d LOVE to have your join us.
Until next time….don’t forget to make a date and play in one (or two) of our GNT events!
January 28, 2024
On behalf of the entire New England Bridge Conference leadership team, I’m pleased to be the last person wishing you a Happy New Year. Okay, I realize that seems a little weird, but something just occurred to me. As the cold, wet winter weather starts to permeate our days with gray, it’s the perfect time to get back in touch the joy, excitement and promise the holiday season brought. We wish each of you and your families a 2024 filled with health, happiness and many challenging days at the bridge table.
Although the calendar has yet to turn its first page, we’ve been busier than ever and have much in store for 2024! You're going to see lots of exciting and creative additions to our tournaments.
Imagine, playing only against other pairs with your same experience level and earning GOLD points - even if you're a player under 100 points! It’s coming this June in Nashua. Watch for details. Ever wonder what it would be like to compete in a pentathlon at the bridge table. Your chance to become a Bridge Olympian is coming to Southbridge in April. Until then, you can join us at the SUPER POINT Sectional & NLM <750 Regional which starts on Tuesday in Mansfield. Never before has so much SILVER been showered on so many people.
We're also excited to report that we’ve established a newfound cooperative partnership with the ACBL, based on a mutual interest in fostering the resurgence of bridge and nurturing our clubs and players. Wait until you see what we can accomplish when our players, clubs and units join us in a building a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s going to be an awesome ride. We’re glad you’re taking it with us.
To that end, we have one disheartening item to report and we need your help. The sanction for our Marlboro regional, scheduled for November 2024 has been cancelled. As was the case last November, the tournament was scheduled opposite the regional in District 4. Since they were the traditional “owners” of that week and Marlboro is within the newly created 425-mile required distance between regionals, they have exercised their prerogative and denied us permission to hold ours. Please know that while the ACBL has been our partner in trying to negotiate a reasonable solution, District 4 remains recalcitrant and we now find ourselves working on Plan B. Here’s where we could use your support.
If you have a suggestion for a potential venue, please share it with us ASAP. We’re looking for late October/early November (except for Halloween week) and need a facility with at least 8,000 square feet of ballroom space. We’ll leave no door unopened. People of Connecticut, this is your chance - we’d love to find a new home in your neck of the woods.
In the meantime, we’re working on alternatives. Who knows, Plan B, Plan C or Plan D, might just become the next BIG THING!
We so enjoy sharing our time at the table with you. If you have any thoughts on how we can make your bridge experience more entertaining, challenging, sociable or just way more FUN, please share your ideas with us. Not to mention, if you’d like to become part of the team that makes it all happen, we’ve got a spot for you.
All the best,
D25 President & Fairy GOLDmother
"There is nothing impossible to they who will try.”
Alexander the Great