2015-16 President's Annual Report
Kim Grant, President
Elections have gone well. The board will continue to make adjustments to the club representation areas as necessary to ensure all of our members are properly represented.
All seats on the board of directors are and have been filled for the last two elections! This is a change from the past. It is wonderful to have active, engaged and independent thinkers on the board! The board has had active debates and constructive compromise. The bottom line is we are having meaningful Communications -there is no rubber stamping going on; Congress and the legislature could take lessons from us!
First, you need to know that the ACBL Board of Directors voted to raise the costs that are associated with Tournaments. So even though we may have had increased attendance at sectional tournaments the increased costs have consumed any increased revenue. Despite that, all of our tournaments this past year showed a profit, some of them a small profit but never-the-less, a profit. A big "thank you" to all that helped in making that a reality. Let's set a goal to surpass our successful 2016 with an even more successful 2017.
Sectionals----At the request of the South Bend Club, the board voted in May to discontinue the South Bend Spring Sectional in April. Our unit will only hold 3 Sectionals in 2017 instead of our allotment of 4: Fort Wayne in May, South Bend in early August & Highland in October. As a result, we have a sectional available to any area of our unit that might like to pick it up.
The South Bend Summer Sectional Table Count for last year was down from the year before but still at a healthy number; a total of 136 1/2 Tables. I hope that in my report for next year that I can report that this weekend showed an increase from last year. Thank you to Tournament Chairman John Hamilton along with the South Bend Bridge Club for all the hard work you have done to put on this Sectional.
The Northwest Indiana Sectional had a very successful Sectional last year. Tournament Chairman Alan Yngve, along with Dave Bigler and Barbara Walczak, and their other team members from the NW Clubs did an outstanding job with this tournament. They moved the tournament from Merrillville to Highland which proved to be a very smart decision. Table count was increased by 42 1/2 tables or by 30%! Congratulations to the Northwest Players and organizers who requested the move and worked hard to make this our Unit's top sectional in both attendance and generating income. This year's Sectional will again be held in Highland at the Lincoln Community Center on October 14-16. Please plan on attending
The Fort Wayne Sectional showed a small increase in tables this year of 8 1/2 largely because it saw players from our unit outside Fort Wayne! Thank you to the people who came to the FW Sectional this year. It was nice to have you there.
The Fort Wayne Regional attendance was significantly down last year. We had 657 Tables but still managed a small profit of around $2000. There were several reasons for our downturn in attendance: Our Date was not optimal. We competed with the world bridge federation and with 5 other regionals that are typically larger than ours. The goal for the FW Regional this year is 850 Tables. That is the number tables we believe we need in order for the tournament to continue. More would be better! There are flyers here for the Regional, the dates for it are September 19-25. We hope you all will attend.
What does it really mean for us to hold these special tournaments; the regional & sectionals? It gives Unit 154 players the opportunity to get silver, gold and red points closer to home! But more importantly, it helps fund special benefits for our members. The board had to cut some significant things out of the budget over the last 2 years. The unit used to pay the cost of extra fees for StaC games; special game fees such as world wide bridge and others like that, financial assistance to teams that qualify and want to play in the NAP & GNTS at the District & National Level. All these have been discontinued for financial reasons. The unit continues to pay for the new member fees and awards for our members. The Regional is where our unit generates the majority of the money to fund what the unit does. The board would like nothing more than to reinstate the programs that had to be cut. Please help us fund them again.
Individual Responsibility to recruit new members
Bridge is a social game. All of our clubs are social clubs. To be social----people are needed. The average age of our Unit is nearly 75. We are not as young as we used to be. If you enjoy this game and want to leave a living legacy, recruit new and younger members. I challenge each and every one of you to engage and then to encourage 3-5 people in the next year to become duplicate players. Target people who are in their 50's and 60's. That is the most likely demographic to become duplicate bridge players. As Bill Searcy says, "let's be sociable".