Minutes of the Meeting of the Board of Directors of Unit 364
Date: April 28, 2018
Hotel Colorado, Glenwood Springs, CO
Present: Keith Nichols, Leah Williams, Gretchen Bunnell, Helen Bledsoe, Bert Solomon and Karen Kribs
Absent: Don Squires and Diane Morgan
The meeting was called to order by President Keith Nichols at 1:50 pm.
Keith asked Helen if she had been able to organize the old set of boards which were given to her. Helen reported that there is one board missing from the set and that additional boards can be purchased in groups of four. Keith authorized Helen to purchase the replacement for the missing board and directed Leah to reimburse Helen for the purchase.
Minutes. Karen had circulated the minutes of the last meeting by email. The reading of the minutes was waived. Bert moved that the minutes be approved without correction. Gretchen seconded the motion and the motion passed.
Treasurer’s Report. Leah handed out the report. Present bank account balance is 26,313.50. Keith noted that the Unit is doing well financially.
Report shows grant for $500 from District 17. Sharon Snyder had applied for this grant to subsidize her beginner lesson program and the proceeds have been disbursed to Sharon.
Don Squires found a trailer in Durango. It is a new trailer in perfect condition and completely waterproof. The Unit paid $2574.83. Will save $70 per month for rental of storage locker so the trailer should pay for itself in about three years.
Gretchen moved to accept the Treasurer’s Report without correction. Helen seconded the motion and the motion passed.
Keith showed two new card tables for our consideration, one with a soft vinyl top and the other with a hard, solid top. The hard top tables would be more durable, but some players think that it is difficult to pick up the cards from the hard top tables; others think the cards slide to much on the hard top. Karen was concerned that the soft top tables could be damaged during moving.
Heide Shoenstein is in charge of the Peach tournament. She has lots of help lined up. Everything is on track so far.
Bert handed out budget for the new Vail sectional. He expects that the tournament will be a big money maker. There are some challenges. He will have to rent chairs and school is requiring us to hire someone to work in the kitchen.
Jim Churchill is beginning to work on the Black Canyon tournament.
Barry Hillmer will again chair the Four Corners tournament. Wayne Caplan and Don Squires will help.
Barbara Larkin will organize a Unit game in September in Delta. It will be held at Heddle’s Recreation Center.
Keith announced that the new trailer is outside and can be seen after the meeting.
Discussion ensued regarding support for persons giving beginner bridge lessons and for persons getting certified as club directors.
Jeanette Roberts wants to do a 6 week beginning bridge course in Montrose and is asking for $475 to cover the costs. A copy of her request is attached and hereby incorporated into the minutes. Her request was approved.
Macia McCalden wants to do a mentor game and get support from the unit. She is requesting that the Unit pay the card fees for the Mentors and that the Mentees would pay their card fees, except that Mentees with 0-5 master points would play for free. She has requested $300 in support to pay for the mentors and the 0-5 MP mentees. These fees total less than $300, she will return the unused portion. A copy of her request is attached and hereby incorporated into the minutes. Her request was approved.
Paul Hackbert has requested reimbursement of fees for the Directors Course for himself and for Heidi Schoenstein. They have both passed the Club Director’s test. A copy of his request is attached and hereby incorporated into the minutes.
Keith pointed out that there is an item in the Policy Manual for the Unit which states that the Unit should support persons being certified as directors.
Bert moved that we approve reimbursement for directors course and study materials for persons who pass the Club Director’s test during fiscal year 2018-19. Keith seconded the motion and the motion passed. The request from Paul Hackbert was approved.
Sharon Snyder has written to the Board requesting $2000 to subsidize her beginner lessons and to help pay for equipment and supplies. A copy of her request is attached and hereby incorporated into the minutes. No action was taken on her request at this time.
The Board had a lengthy discussion regarding support for teaching and new player development. While the board is generally inclined to support lessons for beginner players, there was considerable resistance to the idea of financial support for the purchase of expensive equipment which would belong to others. This discussion will be continued at the next meeting.
The meeting adjourned abruptly at 2:50 pm to allow Board members to return to the tournament.
To the Unit 364 Board Members:
“The mission of the ACBL is to promote, grow and sustain the game of bridge and serve the Bridge related interests of our Members.” In the “purposes” section of both the ACBL and District 17 By-Laws, both organizations strive to promote the game we love by promoting Bridge activities, including but not limited to teaching groups to meet local needs. Our own Unit’s objectives state the idea of retaining our members and actively recruiting new ACBL members.
Grand Slam of GJ (GSGJ) is now sanctioned with a teaching Bridge Club leg. Prior to this formality, a large group met at the Masonic Lodge weekly for lessons and a quick game to practice what they had learned. This group of “newbies” has grown from 20 people to more than 50 interested players. Most of these new people had various degrees of Bridge knowledge, but a handful came with absolutely no knowledge of the game. With lots of hard work and out-of-pocket expenses on our part, Grand Junction now has an amazing whole new group of duplicate Bridge enthusiasts, many of whom are new ACBL members.
Not only are these folks learning how to play the game, but they are being taught active bridge ethics, table presence and zero tolerance policies. These new players are duplicate savvy in every respect.
We encouraging our newbies to attend at least one session of the Peach Sectional just for the experience. We taught them how to use Bridgemates, explained time limitations and table movements and assured them they need not panic if the tournament director was called to their table. Bill Michael later described them as “the best group of newbies” he has worked with in years. Twelve pairs actually won master points!
Since the tournament in 2017, twelve of these folks have joined the ACBL: Kirk and Janine Rider, Dot Hoskins, Shari Aggson, Kristi Smith, Randy Spydell, Laurian Unnevehr, Jim and Susan Maclean, Sherri Helms, Joella Krall and Jean Sewell. Prior to the tournament four people from this newbie group had joined the ACBL: Tom and Polly Parrish and Mike, Sewell. It is anticipated that more from this group will soon join. This is a true success story by anyone’s definition.
New Dimensions offers six short classes to seniors to enrich their life experiences and is taught by me. Until these people find their “Bridge legs,” they will need additional classes and orientation lessons about duplicate play. This is provided by our teaching leg of Grand Slam. We currently have 2 plus full tables in our weekly teaching group and are ready to start another class.
We also provide private lessons as requested. We participate in the Common Game which is also an excellent tool. Hands are reviewed every game. We are starting another teaching session that will require that the students have read the beginners article in the Bulletin which should encourage them to join the ACBL. We have five instructors, one Director and another Director preparing to take the course. I also anticipate that some of the seasoned new players will want classes on “new-to-them” conventions, intermediate-advanced bidding, play of the hand and defending contracts.
We have seen beginner players move from last to placing on a regular basis so we know our efforts are successful. People that have been away from sanctioned clubs for a long time are coming to our games.
No one is compensated for the their time or materials. This is a labor of love for the game and an effort to keep our brains exercised. As you can imagine there is a tremendous amount of seed money and continued expenses to this program. We have not even started to pay people back for their initial financial investment. We have kept the cost of the game down to $5 but that is barely covering the operational expenses of the game and does nothing to support the teaching leg.
To adequately teach duplicate Bridge, materials such as convention cards, reference/teaching books and pre-dealt Bridge hands using a dealing machine covering the day’s lesson are needed.
Teachers are using their own paper, ink for print outs. One teacher even bought an overhead imaging device. The use of Bridgemates is easier for people than hand scoring and is one last thing they need to learn. Duplicate boards are very necessary for multiple tables of students.
Therefore, I am asking the Unit Board for $2,000.00 to be applied to anticipated expenses associated with teaching new Bridge players and cultivating new ACBL members.
Anticipated expenses are as follows:
$ 1575 ( fraction cost of $5500 dealing machine)
$ 65 (software to generate specific teaching hands)
$ 200 ( paper and printer ink supplies for handouts)
$ 160 (teaching materials including, but not limited to, books, pamphlets, convention cards)
We are also interested in hosting/chairing a 199 tournament for 2018.
We have proof that this program is highly successful!— more than a dozen, and still growing, new ACBL members in Grand Junction are the direct result of our efforts. We are confident that by this time next year we can double this number. And, these people are potential tournament players at our Sectionals. Please help us in our effort to keep Unit 364 and our Unit Sectionals successful now and into the future.
Sharon Snyder, Grand Slam of GJ