Northern Indiana Unit 154
American Contract Bridge League
District 8


Steve Brock, Auburn; James Edmonds, Gary; Bonnie Elberson, Fort Wayne;
Eric Friedman, Valparaiso; Candace Hurwich, South Bend; Julie Jarvis, Mishawaka

Kristine Brubaker, Fort Wayne; James Carson, Valparaiso; Marcia Carson,Valparaiso; Cynthia Garver, Long Beach; Carolyn Lahrman, Fort Wayne; James Lindsey, Kokomo;
Penny Henshaw, Fort Wayne; Kristine PurcelL, Fort Wayne

Terry Bauer, Portage; Naomi Goodman, Valparaiso; Thomas Van Gilder, Michigan City; Richard Will, Valparaiso; Sally Will, Valparaiso
Margaret Mauger, Portland; Larry Satek, Fremont; Tom Sherbondy, Fort Wayne;
Charles Tomes, Valparaiso

Daniel Cunningham, La Porte;  JoAnn Lee, Fort Wayne

Mike Brissette of Gary has become a Life Master! Three cheers to him for achieving this long-time-in-coming goal! Mike shares with you some background of how he arrived at this significant bridge recognition.

I first became involved in playing bridge during my last year in the Navy. My partner, Jim, suffered with me for one month. Then I had to go out to sea - from Charleston, SC to Holy Loch, Scotland.

I bought a book on bridge by William Root. After that I was a terror! I spent some time at home in Bay City, MI, where I was coached on how to play bridge with a weak NT system.

I ended up in Gary, where the director, Alan Yngve, taught me a new system called "Demand Minor". The system is outstanding! Alan has been the most instrumental person in sharpening up my game and improving my skills to be a better bridge player. Playing with a knowledgeable bridge partner, you learn a lot of rules of thumb that help your game.

I also am learning a lot by watching some of the best players such as Joe Chin, Dave Bigler and Yuan Hsu. My advice is to learn from the experts and keep a bridge diary.

Alan says of Mike: Mike has repeatedly shown at the bridge table a decent understanding of card-play and comfort with the variety of meanings that can be assigned to various bids across bidding systems - a statement I'd volunteer ever if Mike and I were not partners. I enjoy having Mike as a partner; he often comes up with discussion points and ideas that he wants to discuss. He is consistently a good declarer, as well as an observant and active defender, and he has the great ability to "rescue" me when I make bidding errors. I often hear from players of the insight that was gained, by them or someone they partner with, from some bridge comment that Mike has made - an interesting reputation to have!
Jim Kart, Fort Wayne
Four years ago at the Regional in Fort Wayne I achieved Life Master much to the delight of my biggest fan, Mom. She was 95, still played a mean game of bridge, and savored my success even more than I did. Having reached that milestone here in my home town made it even sweeter for her and me.

I started playing party bridge at age 7 as fill in at my parents' games. Dad pushed me and Mom was my solace and favorite partner. Fast forward nine years to our move to New Haven. Dad's teaching colleagues got him and Mom into playing duplicate. Dad and Mom were good card players and did very well. Me? I was a chip off the old block and maintained the family reputation. But, then life got in the way: school, job, my own family, etc.

More than forty years later, I am retired, Dad has passed away, and Mom, my Special Angel, has been there through my wife, Jennifer's passing, my remarriage to Rene, and providing love and support to help raise our children. However, through it all, she was waiting to be my steady bridge partner again! My success was her success. I believe she got more pleasure out of me doing well than I did.

In February of 2016, Mom became very sick. Two weeks before she stopped playing bridge at 98, she and I had a winning 66% game.

Achieving Ruby Life Master is humbling because I realize that it is my partners who have helped me get here. Many partners and the one special partner, Ella Kart: Mom. She passed away in July 2016 still loving bridge and still cheering me on. I love you, Mom.

Judith Nelsen, Fort Wayne, learned to play bridge at age 12 and has been playing duplicate on and off since her twenties. For the past 15 years she has played at the wonderful Fort Wayne Duplicate Bridge Club and at their annual regional and sectional tournaments, where most of her masterpoints have been acquired. This year, she has also begun teaching bridge classes through IPFW and has been delighted to see a number of her students coming to play at the Fort Wayne Club after the class. Maybe her enthusiasm about duplicate bridge was catching!

Leroy Boser, Elkhart
When Lee became a gold Life Master in 2013, it brought a smile to his face. But, we all know that Lee wears lots of smiles everyday. He made the grin bigger when he achieved the Sapphire Life Master status earning more than 3500 points. Among his duties at our club include being our Purchasing Agent and a Director for over ten years (a challenge since ACBL has changed so many rules. But he's a fellow who can handle it!) He brings enthusiasm to the game, a great sense of humor, as well as a helping hand. This year's Service Award was presented to him at the SBBC Annual September meeting and, since Lee has quite a sweet tooth, he was presented with a pecan pie from Rise & Roll. . He received the Service Award for all the assistance and help he gives during the year. His name has been etched forever on the Service Award plaque.
We're so glad to have him in our midst. WE'RE PROUD OF YOU, LEE!


Marian David, South Bend
What a terrific list of Sapphire Life Masters in our club and a well deserved addition is Marian David. She helps to make SBBC a tough place to play and win! She plays a smart, competitive game & deserves the title of Sapphire Life Master (3500+ points).

Marian learned to play bridge from her sorority House Mother. Her father informed her that he was not paying for a B.S. in bridge so she hit the books and graduated from Indiana University. After teaching and then raising four children, she took up the game again!

One of her first partners was Dean Duncan who she played with for over thirty five years. Another of her partners was her husband, Dennis, who was her partner in bridge for over eight years.. We were all saddened when he passed away in May of this year. Her children, grandchildren, bridge and gardening fill her life. CONGRATULATIONS, MARIAN!