September 2015 Bon’s Mots

By Bonnie Bagley
National Board Representative

 comprehensive marketing study was commissioned by ACBL in 1986 to determine our long-term membership forecast. What was the forecast of the marketing study? Doom and gloom – ACBL membership would be 111,600 by 2005. In the 1980s, ACBL membership was 180,000. While it is true that current membership of 168,208 is less then it was then, today’s is the highest number we’ve had since 1997, and certainly not the disaster predicted.
Why is our membership so robust? Our dedicated club owners, teachers, volunteers, directors, ACBL staff and governance – all who love the game and work diligently to share the joy of bridge.
Can we rest on our laurels? No! ... and we are not. ACBL has active, productive programs to teach and market bridge to youth, middle-agers and baby boomers.
Can we do better? Of course ... and we will!


hen I first joined the District 17 Board in 2000 (as Colorado at Large representative) I met the lovely El Paso D17 rep, Ruth Pepe. It’s hard to realize we only served two years on the board together, as she was a close friend, and always remained involved and interested. Ruth was introduced to bridge when she dated her future husband Joe, a career Army officer.
After Joe’s retirement, Ruth became a dedicated bridge volunteer: El Paso Unit President, D17 NAP Coordinator (while on the D17 Board), chairing tournaments, and providing bridge columns. She was an “energizer bunny” who struggled with many health problems, but always made it back to the bridge table.
Ruth passed away July 14, a great loss to the El Paso Unit, her many friends and me personally. Ruth was always there.
Rest in Peace, dear friend.


he District 17 Flight B team is an example of the present. The winners of D17 Flight B GNT were Greg Foltz and Dawn Foltz, Fort Collins, Colorado, and Richard Jacobson & Mark Robertson, Phoenix, Arizona. Upon winning, the team added Greg Herman and Burke Snowden, Fort Collins, Colorado, for the competition at the National GNT Finals in Chicago. This team took second place in the National GNT Flight B Finals. What an accomplishment! The highest any D17 GNT team has ever placed.
Congratulations – we are so very proud of you.
Why is this team an example of the present? They love the game and do not give up. Dawn, Greg and Greg were on the winning 2014 D17 Flight B GNT team, with Bill Stoltey, also of Fort Collins. They competed at the National GNT Finals in Las Vegas and were determined to better their showing this year. Richard and Mark placed second in this year’s D17 Flight B NAP and competed in the National NAP in New Orleans.


Greg Herman and Burke Snowden belong to the future, as well as the present. Greg is a college student and Burke is entering his senior year in high school.

he winners of the 0-5000 Mini-Spingold are the future also. The Team Zolotow consisted of Steve Zolotow and Anam Tebha, Las Vegas, Christian Jolly, Huntsville, Alabama, Oren Kreigel, Skandia, Michigan, and Sean Gannon, Decator, Georgia. Congratulations! Anam, just graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with majors in Microbiology, Chemistry, and Psychology. Anam is on a team going to Opatija, Croatia the end of August to participate in the 4th Open Youth Bridge Championship. Christian, a soon to be graduate from the University of Alabama with degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science is on the team going to Croatia, as well as Oren, a junior at the University of Chicago majoring in Political Science, who will be partnering with Anam.
Christian’s partner is Alex Hudson, Raleigh, North Carolina, who at age 25 is the “senior” on this team. Alex, who has a full time job, is currently 19th on the Barry Crane 500. This is Alex’s last junior event.
Another future player is Belinda Rust, Denver, Colorado, who is leading the 100-200 ACBL Mini-McKenney. With players like Ruth, Dawn, Greg, Richard, Mark, Burke, Greg, Steve, Anam, Christian, Oren, Alex, Belinda and the legions of enthusiastic club players our future is bright.

lease see my report on the Board of Directors meetings on page 9. Do not hesitate to contact me with concerns, complaints and compliments: email

See you all at the Taos Regional, September 21-27.

be Grand Life Master qualifiers after 2013, due to declining attendance in both events. Also due to declining numbers, effective January 2014, the following will no longer be on the NABC schedule: the National 199er Pairs (Summer NABC), the National 99er Pairs and the Non-Life Master Pairs (both Fall NABC).

Please visit my website: for the complete minutes of the jam-packed 2013 Summer ACBL Board meeting motions; the above is only a small portion of what was covered.

Contact Me

I look forward to seeing you at the USBF/D17 Taos Regional, September 9-15. What a treat for us! Contact me at or by phone at 719 593-0205. I appreciate your input.