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Western Section - Open Meeting

The meeting was called to order by Vice President Agnes Snowden, at 9:10 a.m. VP Snowden gave the opening inspiration. VP Snowden asked Secretary Simms for the Officers Roll Call. Officers present: VP Agnes Snowden, Secretary Ida Simms, Financial-Secretary/Treasurer Gloria Lee Ray, Acting Parliamentarian Robert Dunn, and Acting Sgt at Arms, Ms. Gertrude Wright; Secretary Simms stated that so far 51 members have signed the attendance roster, so there is a quorum. VP Snowden asked for the minutes of the meeting dated May 29, 2011. Secretary Simms stated that the minutes were previously distributed to the all Club and Unit Presidents and, unless there are corrections or additions, moved that the minutes be approved as distributed. The minutes were approved, as submitted.

Financial Secretary-Treasurer’s Report
Ms. Lee Ray stated that the Opening Balance as of May 18, 2011 was $4,290.83. Total Income during the current reporting period was $4,935.00. Total Expenses during the current reporting period was $8,011.71, thus the total cash balance on hand is $1,214.12. The total bank balance as of October 20, 2011 is $1,214.12. The total income for the 2011 Spring Tournament in Milpitas, CA was $4,865.00; total expenses for the 2011 Spring Tournament was $5,449.31 thus there was a total loss of $584.31 for the 2011 Spring Tournament. Ms. Lee Ray asked if there were any questions concerning the report. Ms. Margaret Ware asked why the WS paid for a room the Bus Driver. Secretary Simms explained that the Western Section agreed to help defray the expense of the bus for LABU because LABU brought the bridge supplies, including the tables, bidding boxes, etc. on the bus that they rented to transport members to the tournament. Western Section was unable to rent supplies from the usual source in Northern California because the supplier had already contracted with the ACBL to provide supplies to them for a big tournament that they were holding at the same time as our Spring Tournament. Further, if LABU had not brought the supplies on their bus, the WS would have had to pay to have the supplies shipped from Los Angeles to Milpitas. There were no further questions and Ms. Lee Ray presented the report to VP Snowden.
 
Vice President’s Report
VP Snowden reported that the ABA National President stated that membership in the Western Section is significantly therefore we need to focus on increasing our membership. In 2008 we had 398 members, in 2009 we had 370 members, and in 2010 we had 344. Thus, we need to reverse this downward trend. She further stated that the Los Angeles Bridge Unit has been working very hard to bring in new members through the new players classes that Shirley Lee, Ruby Luke and Gayle Dennis have been conducting throughout the year. She stated that since she has not received any membership reports from the other clubs, she is unaware of what they are doing toward recruiting new members. Our Goal for 2012 is Recruit, Retain and Reclaim. VP Snowden reported that the ABA National Tournaments for 2012-2013 is as follows: Spring – 2012, Tampa, Fl; Summer – 2012, Indianapolis, IN; Spring – 2013, Norfolk, VA. VP Snowden stated that she hopes that the WS will have a bigger turn out next November for our Fall Tournament. James Lee asked if we are committed to the Riviera Hotel for that tournament. VP stated that she has not yet signed a contract with the Riviera but it has been discussed. She also stated that many WS members have told her that they like the Riviera because they can stay in the same Tower where the Playing Area is located. There was discussion regarding returning to the Riviera. Several members reported that they have been receiving negative comments from non Western Section members indicating that they do not like the Riviera and that they do not want to come back to the Riviera for a tournament. It was suggested that the WS look at other hotels to try to get better accommodations and room rates. It was also suggested that WS should have a Site Selection Committee to explore other venues. VP Snowden stated that the major problem that the WS encounters in trying to change locations, is that we have no Credit Rating. Therefore although the other hotels have not been willing to work with us, the Riviera has been willing to accommodate us our prior years payment, and because VP Snowden put up her personal credit card as a guarantee for the Tournament. VP Snowden further stated that before we look into trying to move the tournament to another hotel, we need to establish a credit rating. She stated that perhaps someone working with the Budget Committee and the Treasurer could find out how we can establish a credit rating to that we can talk to other hotels.
 
Julia Lee stated that at a previous meeting the VP indicated we had a signed contract with the Riviera Hotel through 2012, but didn’t know who signed it. VP Snowden stated that she knows who signed it, however it was not her. Julia Lee asked the question, if we have a signed contract, wouldn’t that obligate us to return to the Riviera in 2012 and preclude us from looking for another hotel to hold the 2012 Tournament. VP Snowden reiterated that she did not sign the contract, Charles Townsel signed the contract. VP Snowden further stated that she will talk to the hotel convention manager to see what can be done. Harley Wyatt suggested that the new administration should look into it and also serve on the Site Selection Committee. VP Snowden stated that the new officers, if any, will not take office until January 1, 2012. Faustina Floyd asked if VP Snowden has a copy of the 2012 contract. VP Snowden stated she has it but she does not have it with her at this meeting. She stated that she can get a copy from the Business Office.
 
Gloria Webb encouraged the Clubs to hold fund raisers at their respective Clubs for the Western Section to help defray Western Section’s expenses for the Spring and Fall Tournaments. VP Snowden reminded the members that a vote was taken at our 2011 Spring Sectional in Milpitas, to discontinue holding the Spring Sectional. James Pruitt, Election Committee Chairperson, asked to interrupt the meeting briefly. He informed the members that voting will close at 10:00 a.m. which will be in thirty minutes. VP Snowden thanked the Chairman. Charlene Carodine questioned whether committee members of the “Ad Hoc” Site Selection Committee” if formed, will receive travel expenses. VP Snowden stated that at the present time we cannot make a decision regarding this matter. Pat Barnes reiterated that Clubs should follow-up on the recommendation from Gloria Webb to hold fund raisers for the Western Section to help defray tournament expenses. Emma Johnson stated that LABU held a “Money Game” fund raiser for the WS, and suggested that other clubs do the same.
 
Tournament Committee Report
Chairperson Thelma Lee stated that the Bus Driver received a room because LABU brought the tournament supplies on the bus, therefore WS agreed to compensate them by providing a room for the Bus Driver. She also stated that the Tournament is going well, that she has endeavored to keep the expense of the tournament low, by cutting costs wherever she can, such as she, herself is serving as Awards person and Caddy Mistress, thus the Section did not have to hire two extra persons.
 
Head Director’s Report
Director Gloria Webb reported that we have 116 tables in play so far, and this does not include the Knock Out. She stated that there will be approximately 130 persons in the Knock Out. She requested players to cooperate with the Directors by coming to the games on time so that we can start on time and finish the games timely. She concluded her report. Emma Johnson requested that the Directors do not put playing tables in front of the Director’s table because conversation at the Director’s table it is distracting to the players.
 
Budget & Finance Committee
Charlene Carodine Chairperson – No report
 
New Players Committee Report
Stephanie Young reported that we have a good turn out of New Players. She reported that we have seven (7) tables of New Players in play. She also stated that the Committee will host a “New Players” reception this evening from 5-7 p.m. Everyone is invited. She thanked LABU and the Desert Wins DBC for the great job they are doing in recruiting and teaching the New Players. She reminded everyone, particularly the more experienced players, to practice good etiquette at the table during the play, especially when New Players come to the table so as not to scare them away from bridge but to encourage them to continue learning and to become expert bridge players. She concluded her report.
 
Staff Development
Ms. Gloria Webb Chairperson – No Report
 
Constitution and By-Laws Committee
VP Snowden stated that we do not have a Constitution and By-Laws Committee Chairperson, however if someone would like to volunteer to chair that committee, please let her know. Diane Marbury volunteered
 
Life Membership and Merit Award Committee
Chairperson Shirley Lee reported that the committee has developed a written procedure that the committee could use to select nominees for the Life Membership Award and the Merit Award. The procedure will put in place a more streamlined system of selecting the prospective nominees and it will be in writing, for all subsequent Committees to follow. Further, since we have discontinued the Spring Sectional, the nominees will have to be selected at the Fall Sectional in order to meet the deadline of July 15th of the following year, to get the information to ABA National Life Membership and Merit Award Committee for review and consideration. She stated that this procedure was presented to the Sectional Committee and the Committee voted to recommend the procedure to the general body for adoption. She read the procedure and moved that it be adopted (copy attached); Diane Marbury and Pat Barnes 2nd the motion. There was discussion. Faustina Floyd asked who will review the applications. Shirley stated that the Committee, composed of a representative from each Club, will do the work of reviewing and selecting, based on the criteria set forth by the ABA National. The Committee will make the selection by secret ballot and will submit their decision to the general body. Harley Wyatt stated that in the past, the Committee reviewed the applications and submitted all of the names to the general body for a vote as to who will be selected. Shirley Lee stated that there would be no need for a committee if we followed that procedure. Furthermore, by using this procedure a selection is made based on merit rather than popularity. VP Snowden added that the procedure presented will not only create a procedure that is fair and in writing, will streamline review process, but will also conform to the procedure followed by the ABA National Life Membership and Merit Award Committee. The Question was called, and the members voted. There were 39 votes for the motion, 5 votes against the motion and 5 abstentions. The motion carried. Chairperson Shirley Lee stated that the Committee met yesterday and reviewed the applications of the candidates whose names were submitted for the 2012 Life Membership and Merit Award. The names submitted for Life Membership are: Rosa Hawkins, Los Angeles, Gertrude Wright, Sacramento, CA, and Shirley Lee, Los Angeles, CA. She stated that the Committee voted for Shirley Lee; the names submitted for Merit Award are: Ruth Young, Los Angeles, CA, Ina Jean Smith, Sacramento, CA, and Bill Johnson (William A. Johnson), Los Angeles, CA. She stated that the Committee voted for William A. Johnson. She moved that the report be accepted; Pat Barnes and Edith Morgan 2nd the motion. Discussion, Harley Wyatt questioned the procedure used for the selection of the nominees. Shirley Lee stated that the Committee followed the procedure already in place for selecting the nominees. The Committee reviewed the applications to determine if the nominees met the criteria and had a secret vote to select the winners. There was more discussion regarding this issue. Bette Coleman asked if the criteria for these awards was ever submitted to the general body. Shirley Lee responded yes. The Question was called and a vote was taken. The majority of the body voted to accept, there was one vote against, and no abstentions. The motion carried. Shirley Lee concluded her report. James Pruitt, Election Committee Chairperson made a brief interruption and advised the membership that voting is closed.
 
Scholarship Committee Report
Andreda Pruitt reported that we had three for the 2011-2012 school year we had three scholarship recipients. We had two openings and one continuing. We had three applications. One reapplied and we had two new applications. All have received their stipends of $1,000.00 from the ABA Foundation. The names of the recipients are: Karra Manier, 2nd renewal, Candace Robinson, new, and Lauren Robinson, new. reapplied for continuing scholarships. She stated that next year, if the two new recipients reapply, we will have one opening for a new application. She further stated that application forms are available and if anyone wanted more information to contact her. She concluded her report.
 
Appeals and Ethics Committee Report
Chairperson Robert Friend reported that it is mandatory that players must give a complete answer to a question by an opponent regarding a bid or a played card. Additionally, all players must have a convention card that is filled out completely and must show it if an opponent asks to see it. He also stated that all players should read the Rules of Conduct regarding the games so that they are informed as to their individual responsibilities when playing. He concluded his report.
 
Recommendations Committee Report
Julia Lee reported that the ABA National Recommendations Committee met at the Summer National. They reviewed 5 or 6 recommendations and voted on the recommendations. The results are published in the ABA Bulletin. She stated that all recommendations must be submitted in writing, if anyone has a recommendation that they would like to see implemented, to submit it to her or to the ABA National Recommendations Committee Chairperson, Mary Young. Julia Lee concluded her report. VP Snowden stated that Mary Young, who is also the ABA National Vice President, is attending this tournament.
 
ACBL Liaison Committee Report
Chairperson Doris Ayers – No report.
 
Web Master Report
Web Master Patricia Banks reported that she receives Club game results from some of the Clubs and she tries to post them on the Web site timely. She stated that she also tries to add a little humor to the Web site while adding items of interest to keep us up to date. She again requested the Presidents of the Clubs to send her Club news so that she can post it on the Web site. She reiterated that the Web site is for everyone in the Western Section, but she can only post what is sent to her. Only the Clubs in the Los Angeles Bridge Unit and the Unit itself, along with Desert Wins DBC have been sending information and game results to her for posting on the Web site. She stated that ideally, each Club should have a Reporter to send Club news and other items of interest to her at least once a month. She moved that her report be accepted; Robert Dunn 2nd. VP Snowden accepted the report. Linda Hines-Wilson stated that Pat is doing a wonderful job, and the Web site is fantastic.
 
Unfinished Business
Clara Harris, Los Angeles, CA reported that the Cruise fund raiser is scheduled for May 20, 2012 thru May 27, 2012. The deadline for the $25.00 deposit has been extended to November 28, 2011. If the deposit is not received by November 28th, the deposit will be $250.00. So far 22 rooms have been booked, but rooms are still available. She stated that flyers indicating the Ports of Call are available at this tournament. If there are additional questions regarding the cruise, contact her after this meeting. She concluded her report.
 
New Business
VP Snowden introduced the outgoing ABA National President, Leola Rucker President Rucker thanked VP Snowden and stated that she is happy to be here at our tournament and she thanked everyone for their support during her time in office. She reminded everyone that the ABA Spring National will be held in Tampa, FL, April 2012. She stated that she brought Souvenir Tee-Shirts for the ABA Spring National to sell. She encouraged everyone to purchase a Tee-Shirt, as the proceeds help to defray the expense of the Tournament. Additionally, she stated that tickets to the Spring National Awards function are available now, and if tickets are purchased prior to March 1, 2012 the cost of the ticket is $30.00 each. After March 1st, the tickets will cost $35.00 each. She stated that she to see everyone in Tampa at the ABA Spring National. She also stated that the ABA Summer National will be held in Indianapolis, IN. President Rucker again stated that she is happy to be here and that she is enjoying this tournament and hopes to win some master points.
 
Election Committee Report
James Pruitt Election Committee Chairperson gave the results of the Election. We had two candidates for the office of Vice President for the Western Section. Agnes Snowden, Los Angeles, CA. and James Lee, Las Vegas, NV. 49 ballots were cast for Agnes Snowden, and 92 ballots were cast for James Lee. Thus the winner and new Western Section Vice President is James Lee, Las Vegas, NV. The Secretary and Financial-Secretary/Treasurer were unopposed and are duly elected. The new Secretary is Linda Hines-Wilson, and the Financial-Secretary/Treasurer is Gloria Lee Ray. The Chairperson stated that 112 absentee ballots were mailed and he received 88 ballots back. He thanked everyone for their cooperation, particularly his committee members, Andreda Pruitt, Clara Satterfield, Doris Ayers, Diane Marbury, Emma L. Johnson, Rita Coleman, and Shirley Lee. A signed verification of the election results is attached. He requested that his report be received. VP Snowden received the report. VP Snowden congratulated the newly elected officers and stated that we will the installation of officers before this tournament ends.
 

VP Snowden thanked everyone for their support over the past two years, and gave out Certificates of Appreciation to the following named people: Ida Simms, Charlene Carodine, Gayle Dennis, Robert Friend, Clara Harris, Tony Lawson, Gloria Lee Ray, Shirley Lee, Thelma Lee, Julia Lee, James Lee, Ruby Luke, Andreda Pruitt, James Pruitt, Gloria Webb, Gertrude Wright, Stephanie Young, and Pat Banks.

Julia Lee invited everyone to a reception in the Monte Carlo Tower for James Lee after the 1st session today.

Shirley Gray, Los Angeles, CA asked the members to give Agnes Snowden a round of applause for her service to the Section as Vice President for two terms. The members gave a standing ovation. VP Snowden thanked Shirley for the acknowledgement.

There was no further business and VP Snowden adjourned the meeting at 10:30 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,

IDA E. SIMMS
Secretary,
Western Section - ABA