March 2015 Bon’s Mots

By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative

This column is a tough one for me to write – there has been no ACBL board meeting on which to report, and no District 17 board meeting. The first D17 Board meeting of the year will be at the Tucson Regional on Saturday, February 28. New officers will be elected at this meeting and there will be a new president as Darwin Afdahl announced in his column last month that he is not running for re-election. Bridge, as life, is a series of transitions.


Darwin Afdahl Thank you, Darwin, for your able leadership during the past two years, You have been a warm, caring, and gracious president.
Bob Esch Another transition is occurring: Bob Esch is turning over leadership of El Paso Unit 159. He has been a jack-of-all- trades since he arrived in El Paso in 1962. He has run tournaments, been the unit president and secretary many times, was a D17 representative to the ACBL Board of Governors, raised money to purchase Bridgemates, and will continue to produce theUnit Directory. Thank you, Bob, for everything you have done in El Paso, for bridge, and for me. I hope you will continue to care, and send me your opinions and concerns.
Bill Kass A change is coming to the Albuquerque Unit 374 as well. Bill Kass, who has been the Unit 374 Regional Tournament Chair for 16 years, has said that 2015 was his last. Bill has been a very dedicated worker, and the success of the Albuquerque Regional is due, in large part, to Bill’s meticulous attention to detail, his caring attitude, and his ability to assemble an outstanding core of volunteers who have stayed with him, year in and year out. Bill also announced that he is not running for the U374 Board, after serving as U374 President for many years. Thank you, Bill.


Our D17 membership has grown since last year; at the end of January, 2014 we had 9257 members, and this year we have 9350 – a 93 member increase. Small perhaps, but an increase nevertheless. D17 remains ACBL’s third largest district; D9 (Florida) remains number one with 20,824 members, and D7 (North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and eastern Tennessee) is second with 13,244 members.
The following is a rerun from March 2014’s Bon’s Mots – thought our new members would be interested in knowing about their district. The ACBL consists of 25 geographical districts. We are District 17 which encompass the states of Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico, along with El Paso, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Cheyenne & Laramie, Wyoming; and a tiny part of Eastern Utah.

District 17 Board

The D17 Board of Directors consists of 15 members representing the district’s 23 units: two members from Phoenix, one from Mesa, one from Tucson, one Arizona at Large, two from Denver, two Colorado at Large, one from Albuquerque, one New Mexico at Large, one from El Paso, one from Las Vegas, one Wyoming at Large, and the District Director (me), who is a voting ex-officio member. There are three D17 board meetings a year, the first at the January regional (usually Albuquerque) or the February Tucson Regional, the second alternates between the Denver Regional in May and the Las Vegas Regional in June. The third is held at the October regional (usually Phoenix).

While the major function of the D17 Board is overseeing the district’s six or seven regionals, a mission statement was adopted on June 23, 2012 stating that the board is to serve the diverse membership of our units under the authority of the ACBL.
Go to to read the D17 Mission Statement. (Many thanks to David Zapatka, former D17 representative from Mesa, Arizona, who spearheaded a campaign to adopt the district mission statement.)

Garey Hayden

The Tucson Unit 356, District 17 and ACBL has lost one of its best, brightest and most elite. Garey Hayden passed away unexpectedly February 5. Garey was D17’s number one masterpoint holder with almost 47,000 points, and was eighth in all of ACBL. Garey’s most recent national accomplishment was winning the North American Swiss at the 2014 Providence Fall NABC on the Carolyn Lynch team, where he amassed over 300 masterpoints in that Fall National.
It would take this entire column to list Garey’s many bridge accomplishments, but it is the man, the friend, the partner, the husband and the father who has left a void in the lives of all who knew Garey. Rest in peace, you are missed.
Go to to read tributes to Garey.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at 719 593-0205 or email
See you at the Tucson Regional February 23-March 1.