All events subject to change
September 7 Upgraded Masterpoints at Virtual Clubs
September 21-27 Club Championship Week at Virtual Clubs
October15-18 Fall into Bridge – Regional events
October 26-November 1 Upgraded Masterpoints in Virtual Clubs
FRESNO BRIDGE CENTER CLOSING DOWN
We’re in the midst of closing the bridge center and putting all our supplies and equipment into storage. When we are allowed to have face to face bridge again, we’ll find a new location to play. It’s sad that we are abandoning our bridge center which has been so good for us, but we cannot continue to pay rent when we have no income. We hope our members will return when we are able to open safely. There are lots of opportunities to play bridge online. We hope you are able to take advantage of them. For detailed information about the bridge center, please read our treasurer, Don Austin’s report.
PLACES AND FACES
Congratulations to new Gold Life Master Naguib Abdallah.
At the Virtual Vacation Regional online, Peter Weber and Cynthia Tingey were 33rd in the Sunday Goldrush pairs. Other Fresno unit members winning masterpoints were Ann Keag, Cheryl Johnson, Jonel Mueller, Rosalie Jorgensen, Deb Petersen, and Patrick Carroll.
Our condolences go to John Cadwallader, whose father recently passed away.
Our condolences to the family of Pat Alviso, who recently passed away.
There are now four online bridge clubs which offer ACBL masterpoints. They also offer free events which do not give masterpoints.
Bridge Base Online (BBO)
Fun Bridge For Instructions.
Fresno bridge players are aligned with Duncan Bridge Club and Desert Cities Bridge Club. They both have Virtual Bridge Clubs on BBO. To play with their club members, go to Virtual Clubs, ACBL – North America and click on the game you want to play in. The games will show up on BBO about an hour before game time if you are eligible to play. If your partner is not eligible, e-mail the club a few hours early and ask if they can be a guest. Go to the Duncan or DCBC websites to review their schedules.
The online bridge clubs have many other options to play all day long.
The Fresno Bridge Center has not closed for good. It has gone into hibernation. We will come out of it when the health environment allows.
Think of this as a treasurer’s report. Prior to March of this year, our expenses were around $6000 per month. Some months, our income was around $5000 per months while others (when we had a tournament) our income was about $7000 per month. In 2017, we lost approximately $6000 over the year. In 2018, the annual loss was about $5000 and in 2019, the annual loss was only about $3000. You can see that we were on a good trend. We were digging into our reserves slower each year.
Lessons were bringing in new members and games were stable. There was a path to breaking even.
Then it happened. We had to shut down but our
rent and many regular expenses didn’t go away. I checked, but with our non-profit status, we did not qualify for any federal or state relief. Not knowing how long we would be shut down, the board basically decided to hunker down and see what would happen in the next few months. I pulled a little trick and paid only half of our rent each month ($2500) although we are liable for the full amount, running about $5000 per month. Arrears would be paid out of our reserves once we started back. But we still had our Comcast bill, pest control and alarm services bills. No income with lots of expenses. And no end in sight.
This is a serious pandemic from a crazy disease. I have known people who got Covid-19, suffered and survived, and I have known some who have died from Covid-19 complications. It is possible to get it and not even know you have it, but it can also require time in intensive care units. If you think it a hoax, try visiting a hospital to see how bad it is. It seems to attack weakened parts of our bodies. Because of our average age, we are a venerable population for this disease. Our bodies have a lot of mileage under our feet. Even if healthy, we all have vulnerable parts of our body just due to our time on the planet.
Now, we don’t see that we can reopen any time soon. All ACBL tournaments have been shut down until at least the end of the year. So we expect to be closed at least that long. There are hopes that we can reopen by President’s Day (February of 2021) when we have our winter tournament scheduled. We are looking into ways we could hold that tournament, but it is a long way off.
We can’t keep losing $6000 a month, paying rent for an unused space when we don’t know how long we will be closed. We are trying to buy out the rest of our lease. If it works, we will maintain some reserves to fund our rebirth.
We have disassembled the tables and boxed up the bidding boxes, cards and boards. The plan is that shortly, our materials and equipment will go into storage for the duration. Considering it all, $300 a month in storage fees is much better that $6000 a month for unused space. Once we see that there will be a chance to reopen, we will find a new space. Our expectation is that fewer players will return, at least at first, so we can start with a space with less square footage. There should be lots of spaces available.
With our computers, tables and cards in storage, we can wait until we can rise from the flames like a phoenix. Maybe we can recall our club the Fawkes Bridge Club. That is a reference to the phoenix in the Harry Potter novels. If you haven’t read them, now is a good time read them. They are not as juvenile as you might think.
You can earn ACBL points playing on Bridge Base Online. Ask your favorite director for instructions on how to do that. We will be back. And we have an election for officers coming up near the end of the year. I vote we have an on-line Christmas party.