Dear District and Unit Board Members in District 2 and Bridge Friends,
This is the time of the year when I have the pleasure to announce my lifetime appointments to the ACBL Goodwill and Charity Committees. My 2005 appointments to the ACBL Goodwill Committee are:
My 2005 appointment to the ACBL Charity Committee is:
Most members of the ACBL Board of Directors traveled to Orlando on November 12 to attend a weekend strategic planning session. The groundwork for long term priorities and strategies for the ACBL was laid out. ACBL management will flesh out these strategies and the process will continue next March.
The downside was that I unfortunately had to miss the Niagara Falls Regional. My congratulations to all the organizers and volunteers who helped make the tournament a resounding success.
The planning session was followed by regular ACBL Board meetings and the NABC. The Orlando World Center Marriott Resort & Convention Center is a beautiful place. It is the largest Marriott in the world, with over 2000 rooms, multiple swimming pools, a golf course, and ideal playing facilities where all the events were held on the same floor. Everyone appreciated the free coffee and orange juice that Florida tournaments are famous for. There were 14,641.5 tables in play, which made Orlando the third largest Fall NABC in history.
Triple congratulations to Gavin Wolpert, Thornhill, who won the three-day NABC North American Swiss Teams championship, announced his engagement to Jenny Ryman, Stockholm, Sweden (who placed 10th in the Bobby Nail Life Master Pairs), and recently became an ACBL Diamond (5000+ points) Life Master! Wow! Vincent Demuy, Laval, QC was Gavin's partner in the North American Swiss Teams. The two young stars will represent Canada next summer at the 10th World Junior Bridge Championships in Sydney, Australia.
Two hundred and thirty-five players from District 2 won masterpoints in Orlando. The Top 25 District 2 Masterpoint List can be found at the end of this report. Here are the District 2 players who made the overalls in NABC events:
Gavin Wolpert, Thornhill, WON the North American Swiss Teams, 29th Open Board-A-Match.
David Grainger, Etobicoke, 4th North American Swiss Teams, 20th Bobby Nail Life Master Pairs.
Joan Eaton, Willowdale, 4th Marsha May Sternberg Board-A-Match.
Arno Hobart & George Mittelman, 9th Reisinger Board-A-Match. George was also 21st in the Bobby Nail Life Master Pairs.
Leslie Amoils, Toronto, 21st Bobby Nail Life Master Pairs, 29th Edgar Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs, 30th Open Board-A-Match.
David McLellan, Thunder Bay, & Bill Treble, Winnipeg, 28th Edgar Kaplan Blue Ribbon Pairs. Bill was also 28th in the North American Swiss Teams.
Daniel Lavee, Thornhill, 30th Open Board-A-Match.
The following District 2 players WON Regional events:
Don Piafsky, Toronto, won the Charity Pairs with his son Barry, New York City.
Doug Baxter, Toronto, & Ron Bishop, Thornhill, won the final Sunday Noon and 6 Swiss Teams.
There were many District 2 players who WON their brackets in various KO events. Congratulations to all of them:
Glen Harmer & Pushpa Satinder, Thunder Bay; Merryl Chin, Don Mills; and Andrew Risman, Toronto, were all triple winners!
Jean Dilcock & David Kroft, Thornhill; Joan & Tony Viidick, Waterloo; and Gail Lambacher, Oakville, were all double winners!
Jim Ball, Wendy Richardson, Len Charney, Malcolm Yurkowski, Colin Ward, Ken Sired, Allan Mowat, Winnipeg; Paul & Joo-Hee Janicki, Fred Lerner, Ian Findlay, Markham; Jim & Debbie Howie, Etobicoke; Barbara & Peter Minogue, North Bay; D. & Frances McCrady, Scarborough; Julia Price & Dixie Lee Birnie, Toronto; Sheila Puz, Kitchener; Bob Hollow, Madoc; Barry Senensky, Thornhill; Adela Mitchelson, Thunder Bay; Barbara Foell, Waterloo; Bertram Booth, Willowdale.
The ACBL is in excellent financial health. The 2005 budget that was approved would entail about a $300,000 loss but would keep the ACBL well within its financial guidelines. Carried 21-4. I voted in favour.
In my summer NABC report I reported the 2005 dues increase but stated that there would be no increase in NABC entry fees or sanction fees. Tournament Director (TD) session fees were proposed to increase by 7% across the board. There have been some changes to the above, as well as some other budgetary items:
|Associate National TD||123.25||134.00|
|Regional DIC Supplement||15.00||ZERO|
|Sectional DIC Supplement||8.00||ZERO|
|Prog. Sect (qualifying)||2.80||2.65|
|Prog. Sect (final)||3.22||3.04|
|Non Life Master||$3.50||$3.85|
|Life Master Service Fee||2.75||3.52|
Within the next year there should be a new "BridgeIsCool" website, celebrity endorsements, and expanded media coverage. This is a $200,000 commitment (out of ACBL's $1 Million + annual marketing budget) towards marketing the game to younger players. It is in addition to all of ACBL's existing junior programs.
The hard reality is that ACBL Junior membership has remained stable at about 750 members during the past decade. Meanwhile the average ACBL member is now 68 years old. The ACBL 2005 budget commitment to hire a professional outside marketing firm is a major shift in priorities that I believe is a very positive move.
In my opinion, including inactive, unpaid Life Members is misleading. There are from 10-13,000 US members in this category and perhaps a little over 1,000 Canadian members. A related problem arises when it becomes time to pay the World Bridge Federation dues of fifty cents per member. How should the ACBL define its membership? Dues paying members? Unpaid Life Members who are active but do not pay their dues? Inactive Life Members? I expect a motion to be presented early in 2005 that would eliminate Inactive Life Members from the roster. I will support it.
There is much to be thankful for in the past year. ACBL finances are robust, membership is stable, and tournament attendance is generally up. ACBL players appear to be happy and active.
I have long been involved with junior player issues. The ACBL must make a breakthrough in this area and 2004 was very promising. A discounted junior player entry fee policy was approved. A major Bridge in Schools marketing initiative has been approved for 2005. Clubs will have the option of holding many more special games to award more masterpoints while collecting funds towards the junior program, international programs, and charity events. All are worthy causes. Unit rebates will increase starting January 1, 2005.
Personally, in 2005, I will continue to serve as a Trustee on the ACBL Educational Foundation as well as remaining a member of the ACBL Executive Committee. I will be the NPC of the Canadian junior team that will compete in the 10th World Junior Bridge Championships in Sydney, Australia next August. It will be an exciting and fun year!
Please consider planning a vacation around one of the ACBL's NABCs in 2005 – Pittsburgh, Atlanta, and Denver. There is no better place to experience the excitement of bridge and to meet old friends or make new ones.
The Holiday Season is upon us. I wish all of you a happy, healthy, and peaceful New Year.
I am looking forward to seeing many of you at the City of Toronto sectional at the Fairmount Royal York Hotel, January 7-9, 2005. See you there.
The cooperation of all unit Presidents and Secretaries in distributing this report to their members is greatly appreciated. This report may also be viewed on my web site at:
Top 25 Masterpoint Winners From District 2 at the Orlando NABC
|1||190.34||Gavin Wolpert||Thornhill ON|
|2||111.16||David Grainger||Etobicoke ON|
|3||100.68||William Treble||Winnipeg MB|
|4||87.61||George Mittelman||Toronto ON|
|5||82.04||Merryl Chin||Don Mills ON|
|6||78.93||Robert Hollow||Madoc ON|
|7||78.10||Andrew Risman||Toronto ON|
|=8||77.84||Debbie Bennett||Scarborough ON|
|=8||77.84||Hans Jacobs||Aurora ON|
|10||74.11||David McLellan||Thunder Bay ON|
|=11||73.40||Paul Janicki||Markham ON|
|=11||73.40||Ian Findlay||Markham ON|
|13||72.23||Allan Mowat||Winnipeg MB|
|14||69.64||David Kroft||Thornhill ON|
|15||68.38||Arno Hobart||Toronto ON|
|16||67.56||Fred Lerner||Markham ON|
|17||66.82||Leslie Amoils||Toronto ON|
|18||64.37||Jean Dilcock||Thornhill ON|
|=19||60.95||Pushpa Satinder||Thunder Bay ON|
|=19||60.95||Glen Harmer||Thunder Bay ON|
|21||56.22||Doris Opdenvelde||Toronto ON|
|22||54.50||Barry Senensky||Thornhill ON|
|23||54.41||Janine Bibb||Toronto ON|
|=24||53.32||Elizabeth Gallagher||Oakville ON|
|=24||53.32||Sheldon Pearlman||Toronto ON|