From Nancy Erickson

ACBL Board of Directors:

I read with interest Ken Monzingo’s column in the May District 22 Forum. Mr. Monzingo provided a comprehensive summary of the rationale for his motion to address the funding of future international teams. I was extremely disappointed by the apparent lack of support for his proposal by the Board of Directors.

For five years I have served on the Unit 533 (largest in D22) Board of Directors, including two years as its President. As a Unit we have wholehearted supported NAP, GNT, Worldwide of Bridge and International Fund competitions at the local club level through financial support of sanction fees to reduce player card fees. Additionally, we have committed funds for new player initiatives and educational programs to grow our membership, and conversely ACBL’s ranks. Our sole mission is to enhance the experience for our Unit members and our visitors. The Unit has expanded to two Sectionals yearly, and we support the Palm Springs Regional with a host of volunteers with our players attending in record numbers.

We face unique challenges as a resort community. Hosting Unit games becomes a costly venture as extra space in high season impacts our budget. Unlike ACBL we do not pass on those costs to our snowbirds, but work harder to assure our sectionals are successful knowing full well 50% of our revenue will go for ACBL’s mandated charges. We have never begrudged these costs, but we find it very disconcerting that your DICs, their assistants, our caddies and your support staff both locally and nationally work tirelessly for what we know is a fraction of their worth to the success of competitive duplicate bridge.

I share all of this with you for one reason. I believe your first and primary objective should and must be to your membership, not just a select few, and your outstanding staff who are the lifeblood of ACBL. For those of us in the trenches, the financial support of such a small group of elite players at such an excessive amount is disheartening.

I would strongly urge each of you to demonstrate your commitment to the membership you have been elected to serve, the vast majority who are players who regularly attend local club and unit games and who travel and participate at Sectional, Regional and National events. I believe redistributing the funds to the grassroots of ACBL is the prudent approach. Your membership deserves no less.

Do not let Mr. Monzingo be the lone voice in the wilderness.

Nancy Erickson
Past President Unit 533
ACBL Member L031438