District 25
NEBridge - From the President's Table

From the President's Table

April 29, 2024

You’re the BEST!

As you can probably tell from the content of these messages, a lot has been going on these last few months. While we appreciate all the people who have been stepping up to join our leadership team, it’s still a ton of work - but it’s so worth it, thanks to YOU! So many people have been so generous of spirit, taking the time to share their appreciation for our efforts and compliment the positive changes we’ve been making. It’s restoritve and energizing. Keep it up! Don’t forget, we also want to hear your thoughts on what might not work for you and your suggestions for improvements. Thank you for making the New England bridge community THE place to play our favorite game.

Speaking of Our Bridge Community
I attended the ACBL-Wide Club Managers Zoom meeting a couple of weeks ago and connected with the folks from Unit 176 in Texas. It seems they store all their tournament supplies in a trailer and the trailer was stolen, leaving them faced with a huge unexpected expense. I’m happy to report, the good people of District 25 came to their rescue. Since we were just blessed with the gift of new bidding boxes, we decided to pay it forward. A team of dedicated volunteers (including our tireless caddies) rehabbed our old boxes and we sent 576 boxes, enough for 144 tables to Texas in time for their regional. We cleaned each one and replaced missing cards, packed them up for the long journey and off they went - the very appreciative folks in Unit 176 just paid the shipping costs.  It was so inspiring to be part of a collegial and cooperative project with another District.

What a Spectacle
Who knew? The Spectacle Regional in Southbridge turned out to be one of our BEST tournaments ever!  I can’t begin to tell you everything that made it so, but as you’ll see from a few of my pictures, everyone had a smile on their face thanks to the great vibe. The Bridge Olympics was a smash hit and I have to share a little secret. I found my new favorite partner, Horace Gower, our favorite Tournament Director from Maine. It’s been my pleasure to work with Horace since I became a TD over 25 years ago and he’s been so helpful along the way, but we never played bridge together until the Olympics. We decided to partner up and play what I call, “1950s Little Old Lady Bridge”. That’s right, only Stayman, Major Suit Transfers and regular Blackwood. I’m happy to report this boring system helped us old-timers beat the young whippersnappers with all their new-fangled systems. The Olympics gave us the opportunity to play some great bridge in a relaxed and rollicking environment and still be finished in enough time to recuperate for the following day. We’ll be experimenting at least one more time in Warwick, so plan to play. But, if you happen to sit at a table with Horace, watch out, his brain is working at devilish speed behind that engaging smile. 

Fun & Frolic 
Tuesday Night Fun and Frolic is coming to Zoom on TUESDAY, May 14, 6:30-7:30. Plan to join Denise and me for a lively hour of insight and conversation. This month’s program features a celebrity guest!  Don’t miss your chance to ask questions or share your thoughts and ideas - not to mention, we always share some inside scoop! This is a great time to ask any questions you might have about the hotel or events at the Granite State Get-Away. You have to hear all about our Bracketed PAIRS event so you can make your plans to play.

Bridge Get-Away to the Granite State 
We’ll be returning to the Nashua Sheraton, June 11-16, for a week of interesting, fun and social-yet competitive- events. There will be so much going on, I have to send you another email to cover it all. Until then, here’s a couple of teasers. The PRO-AM (Four-is-Enough style) returns with a Hawaiian theme. You definitely don’t want to miss that experience. Our $1/Round Zip KO Party will again feature fabulous bar food and more laughs than should be legal. Bridge Fest returns with featured presenter Bill Segraves, bringing you a JAM Session! Hmmm. Sound interesting yet? 

This is the tournament we’re bringing you Bracketed PAIRS. This has been over a year in the making and will be the most exotic and exciting event we’ve spawned - even by District 25 standards. Bracketed Pairs is going to become the next big thing in bridge -  I guarantee it!!!  Please plan on attending Fun & Frolic and hear all about it.

Club Corner 
Bridge at all levels flourishes when our clubs flourish. To that end, one of our integral initiatives is forging a new relationship between the District and its clubs. You’ve probably heard we added a Club Special Events Guru to our team. He’s going to help clubs maximize the extra point games our clubs can offer.   Since then, we gave another 50 tables of rehabbed bidding boxes to clubs and teachers who requested them. Best news yet, in Nashua we’ll be hosting our first ever Club Owners & Managers Meet & Greet, did I mention there’s wine and cheese with that? It’s my sincere hope we’ll be able to collaborate on new and interesting ways to support each other.  

In the meantime, the Royal STaC is coming in May 20-26. This is an awesome event which has become one of my personal favorites. It’s a great way to earn a substantial number of RED-SILVER & GOLD points, right from the comfort of your club.  Unfortunately, the ACBL has substantially raised the sanction fee. We appreciate our club owners' dedication to making their clubs special places to grow New England’s bridge community and want to support their efforts, so we’ll be returning $2/table for Royal STaC sanction fees to every club that requests a rebate via email. Thanks again for all you do!!

You might not believe this, but I really thought I didn’t have too much to say this month. I guess I was wrong. Hope you enjoyed the scoop and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Until next time….don’t forget to make a date and play in Nashua.

President, New England Bridge Conference

P.S. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your inbox. The second issue of Community Connections is due to arrive in May.

March 17, 2024

Happy Spring….well, close enough.  As the world starts to awaken from the dark and dreary, our bridge world is following suit! There are so many exciting things going on, I’d just like to steal a couple of minutes to keep you in the loop.

Huge News - The Harvest Regional Returns
Let’s start with some really awesome news.  I am excited to announce that New England is heading to Connecticut for a regional, the first in 5 years!  Thanks to a tremendous team effort, the Harvest Regional will be held November 18-23 at the Holiday Inn in Norwich. This has been a long and challenging time for our leadership team and we really owe a great debt to everyone who worked to make this happen.  I’d like to extend our sincere appreciation to the Presidents of both District 2 and 5. Our new week happens to fall at the same time District 2 is holding their tournament and District 5 was hosting one on another week we were considering during the search process. Both graciously approved our request to schedule our regional at the same time as theirs. It’s been a pleasure to work with leaders who care about local bridge players and are dedicated to helping tournament bridge thrive. Do me a huge favor. When your bridge playing takes you outside of New England, please remember their collegiality and goodwill when deciding where to travel. I’m quite sure it’s evident in their hospitality!

Community Connections
Watch your inbox for an exciting arrival. The first issue of our new district newsletter is on the way. Thanks to Vermont’s own Stuart Showalter for taking up the mantle of editor-in-chief.

Fun & Frollick
Tuesday Night Fun and Frollick is coming to Zoom on March 26. Plan to join Denise and I and share all or part of an hour dedicated to answering your questions and hearing your thoughts and ideas - not to mention, we’ll be sharing some inside scoop! This is a great time to ask any questions you might have about the hotel or events at the Spectacle Regional.

Speaking of the Spectacle Regional
It’s going to be HUGE! There is still time to make your reservation at the most interesting hotel on our rotation. It’s my personal favorite. You can click the ad below to see the full schedule BUT you can’t miss the BRIDGE OLYMPICS! it’s the worldwide premiere of your chance to win more GOLD in a super fun and friendly event. 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?

Another Calendar Accomplishment
In other scheduling news….again for the first time in many years….all our regional flyers and schedules have been posted through the end of the year. We realize this have been a long time coming and thank you for your patience. We’re now diligently working on getting you the information for 2025! 

Sanctioning Workshop
Okay, this might be a little on the boring side, but it’s big news nonetheless. Thanks to our collaboration with the ACBL, our units will be participating in a first-ever Sanctioning Workshop to train our coordinators and Unit Presidents on the often complicated process. We’re working in partnership with the ACBL and hopefully ours will become a model training program for the entire ACBL.

Non-Life Masters: Time for a Commercial Announcement
The Fairy GOLDmother will be hosting our annual NLM<500 GOLD Point Teams on Sunday, April 7 on BBO. Also known as the Flight C GNT, this is one of the best ways to earn those GOLD points while playing in your comfy clothes in your favorite chair. Details hit your inboxes this week and are available on the website. If you need partners or teammates, please let me know ASAP. Pre-registration is required.

Want to Have Some Fun and Make a Difference...
The BEST news ever….we’ve been laughing more and freaking out less! Our team really is having a great time getting to know each other, sharing some much deserved success and seeing the fruits of so many labors flourish. Please consider joining us. We really do have a place at the table for your and your talents, whatever they may be.  Fun and camaraderie are just an email away.

Until next time….don’t forget to make a date and play in Southbridge.

D25 President

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!

D25 President


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,

Susan Miguel

D25 President & Fairy GOLDmother 


"There is nothing impossible to they who will try.”

Alexander the Great