President's Message

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK

 

                                            FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER

 

          This is the month that we share our hearts with those we love.  We in the American Bridge Association are family and sharing love is something that we do routinely.  Let us take this month to be especially nice to one another and show the love that we hold.  A good thing is happening; our population is growing as we continue to bring in new members.  We are still losing members at the top and must put forth an extra effort to embrace those new members if we are to keep them.  Stop being abrasive to them at the table!  They don’t have the experience or the knowledge and it is up to us to help them learn it, not to abuse them to teach them.  We know and understand the love that is shared with our fellow bridge players and Valentine month is an excellent time to do something special to express it. Encourage your club to have a special LOVE GAME during the month and make everyone attending feel special.  Love is in the Air,let’s bring it to the Bridge Table.   

          The American Bridge Association was founded during a period in our Nation’s history when the social climate prohibited African Americans from participating in main stream bridge.  The challenges of the times were met by a group of tennis players who were bridge enthusiasts with a desire to play bridge in a competitive environment.  In 1932 they incorporated the American Bridge Association for the purpose of playing duplicate bridge and fostering service to their local communities.  The American Bridge Association is the oldest organized bridge association in America.  The challenges may have changed, but they are still there and are affecting our existence and ability to grow.  As age is taking its toll on us, technology gives the younger generation too many other outlets for entertainment.  If we don’t take an active role to let the values of the game be known, I fear that, like so many other things in our heritage, the art of playing bridge will be lost in the African American Community.  The arts of quilting and canning are almost extinct, while today you can see people sitting in the same room texting each other rather than simply speaking or talking to one another.  Social, analytical, problem solving as well as math skills are being lost and can all be improved by playing bridge.  If we are to survive, we must put forth a more concerted effort to increase our numbers. Help build your club and bring growth to the ABA.

          Thanks to the overwhelming efforts you put forth in 2016, we are going to consider the year a success.  We had to make tremendous adjustments to the year’s spending, but that along with your support of our two national tournaments definitely made the difference.  It was because of our declining numbers that we had to increase membership dues, but we aren’t out of the woods and still need your help.  We cannot afford a failed 2017 and membership dues alone cannot assure a successful year.  We need you to continue participating in your sanctioned games and definitely need your support of our Spring National in Reno and the Summer National in Lombard.  Your continued support of the administration that you have elected to serve you will surely enhance the longevity of the American Bridge Association.  We pledge the maximum of our efforts to foster a better association and a more enjoyable environment for you to play this game that we love.

 

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