Members range in experience from seasoned veterans to neophytes who are just learning the basics of the game. Tables are arranged based on the experience level of the players, which ranges from contract bridge to strictly party bridge.
Members assist in the setup and cleanup of the play area, which consists of card tables and folding chairs for the gathered players. Each player is assessed a fee of $2.50 each week to help pay for the rental of the facility and other expenses that may appear from time to time.
Members also are asked to contribute to a kitty setup to resupply coffee cups, coffee, paper plates and other condiments for the assembled goodies that are consumed every week. Bridge play seems to whet the appetites of the collected players on a weekly basis.
The group, totaling 80 all together, is comprised of retirees from various walks of life who meet to play a game they seemingly love. Beginners and intermediate players are equally welcome to join this group of very interesting individuals brought together for the singular purpose of enjoying the game of bridge.
Many of the players say they enjoy the sense of community generated by the group that draws them to play as much as the game playing itself. Many members of the group volunteer in other organizations around our community and this group gives them a chance to interact with others they have met casually in their volunteer endeavors.
It has been found through studies that involvement in groups such as this, and the playing of bridge, have so stimulated the individuals mentally as to stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Owen Manning, coordinator of the group, states that this group is somewhat different from other groups around Washoe County in that this one encourages members to get to know the other members of the group and have a good time. There are many versions of bridge played worldwide, including party bridge, duplicate bridge and contract bridge. The American Contract Bridge League founded in 1927 boasts a membership of more than 160,000 individuals and provides training and ranking for its players.
The group that meets on Mondays at the Lazy 5 Park Community Center caters to all levels of bridge play with emphasis on having fun. For more information on how you can join this fun group and learn to play an extremely interesting game, contact Owen Manning at 425-0245 and have a ball.
Larry Wilson is a 50-year resident of Sparks and a retired elementary school teacher. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.