Bon's Mots November 2011 Report

By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative

I have been asking for nominations for both the Aileen Osofsky ACBL Goodwill Committee and the ACBL Charity Committee, and have received two excellent candidates, but need more. Since my e-mail has not been overflowing with nominees, I thought an explanation of these committees is in order.

ACBL Goodwill Committee

The ACBL Goodwill Committee was organized in 1955, with John E. Simon as chair and Louise Durham as co-chair. Aileen Osofsky became the chair in 1985 and expanded the committee's endeavors, taking on promotion of active ethics, awareness of those with disabilities such as hearing loss, support for our junior programs, and the naming of a Goodwill Member of the Year. The Goodwill Committee and its individual members work to create goodwill for ACBL, and also sponsors the league's Active Ethics program, which educates ACBL members to the highest standards of conduct and propriety. All members of the Goodwill Committee receive, and are entitled and encouraged to wear, the official Goodwill Committee pin, and all are invited to a reception the first Monday evening of every NABC.
The Committee was renamed the Aileen Osofsky ACBL Goodwill Committee by the Board of Directors after Aileen's death in June, 2010. Rose Meltzer is the current chair.

ACBL Charity Committee

Members of the ACBL Charity Committee are expected to promote ACBL Charity Program participation in the units and sanctioned club games of their respective districts. As with the Goodwill Committee, all members of the ACBL Charity Committee receive, and are entitled and encouraged to wear, the official Charity Committee pin. It has seemed the Charity Committee does not have the stature of the Goodwill Committee, but a motion was passed at the Toronto board meeting that a task force be formed to develop strategies to raise the Charity Committee to a similar level of recognition.
Speaking of the Toronto board meeting, as promised in my last column, here are some highlights (or low lights) of interest.

Toronto Board Motions

A motion which came from the Board of Governors that, "Player conduct and/or misconduct occurring at any ACBL club is hereby made subject to actions by units, districts, or the ACBL to enforce any violations of the ACBL Code of Disciplinary Regulations. This is applicable to any action and/or conduct in violation of the Code." The motion was extensively discussed and failed 10-15. I voted against this motion because ACBL limits control over the operation of a club running ACBL-sanctioned games and issues other than cheating, payment of monies, or the issuance of masterpoints, are the jurisdiction of the club owner. Complaints about players at clubs could be quite enormous and asking units, then districts, then ACBL to handle all would be an immense task. It is my expectation that the local directors and club owners handle player misconduct.
There was a motion that districts may elect to hold GNT finals at multiple sites with competition via the Internet. District 18, which includes Western Canada, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming (except D17's Laramie & Cheyenne, of course) held their 2010 District Finals online. This was done as a trial on Bridge Base with the help and cooperation of Fred Gitelman. Although not without a few minor glitches, the endeavor proved a success, and the motion passed unanimously. Very specific and detailed conditions of contest accompanied this motion; these can be found on my website under Toronto Board Minutes.
Another motion, which I strongly supported, failed 12-13. That motion would have waived all entry fees for the NABC Final GNT events. The failure of this motion was a disappointment to me, as it would have benefitted our grassroots players. An encouraging sign is that the Board of Governors overwhelmingly voted that the Board of Directors reconsider this motion at their next board meeting at the 2011 Fall NABC in Seattle later this month.

2012 GNTeams

Speaking of GNTs, the club qualifying period has begun, and I encourage players to form their teams, qualify at their clubs and go the Denver Regional in May for the District Finals and win their flight. Winners of each flight will go to the 2012 Spring NABC in Memphis to compete nationally. This is the national you don't want to miss; there will be celebrations of ACBL's 75th anniversary and the opportunity to visit the league's fabulous new headquarters in Horn Lake, Mississippi. There will be shuttles from Memphis to Horn Lake (a very short trip). Darryl Helton, our District GNT Coordinator, is making a special effort to "get the word out" about the GNTs. Plan now to participate!
Again, I solicit your nominations for the ACBL Goodwill and Charity Committees. Although these are not active positions, it is an honor to be selected to these appointments. Briefly, a Goodwill Committee nominee promotes bridge, practices active ethics, and creates amity for all. A Charity Committee nominee is one who actively supports one or more charities, not necessarily just in the bridge clubs. Contact me at or by phone: 719 593-0205.