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ACBL Charity Foundation Corporation

The American Contract Bridge League Charity Foundation Corporation, hereafter referred to as the ACBL Charity Foundation, was incorporated in 1964 in the State of New York. The headquarters of the corporation are at 6575 Windchase Blvd., Horn Lake, MS 38637-1523.

Trustees

The ACBL Charity Foundation is managed by five trustees; all of whom must be American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) members, and at least one of whom must not be a current member of the ACBL Board of Directors. Current trustees and the year their term expires are:

Trustee Term
Georgia Heth, President 1-2015*
James Sternberg, MD, Vice President 2-2016*
Bill Cook, Treasurer 1-2015*
Bonnie Bagley 1-2014*
Phyllis Harlan 2-2017*

* 1-xxxx = 1st term expiration; 2-xxxx = 2nd term expiration

Trustees are elected to four year terms, and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. Trustees are elected by the ACBL Board of Directors. ACBL members wishing to stand for election as a Charity Foundation trustee should contact Kelley McGuire at ACBL headquarters for information. Kelley's e-mail address is kelley.mcguire@acbl.org.

Trustee Meetings

The ACBL Charity Foundation Board of Trustees meets at least twice a year, at the Spring and Fall NABCs. Click on the following to view minutes of board meetings held during the past four years.

Dallas Minutes, March 2014
Phoenix Minutes, November 2013
St. Louis Minutes, March 2013
San Francisco Minutes, November 2012
Memphis Minutes, March 2012
Seattle Minutes, November 2011
Louisville Minutes, March 2011
Orlando Minutes, November 2010
Reno Minutes, March 2010
San Diego Minutes, November 2009
Houston Minutes, March 2009

Charity Foundation Income

Money to fund the donations made by the ACBL Charity Foundation is raised primarily from the charity games held in clubs and units. In addition, there are two ACBL-wide charity games held annually in clubs, one in March and the other in November. Occasionally, individual contributions are made.

Bylaws

Much information about the ACBL Charity Foundation can be found in its bylaws. Click ACBL Charity Foundation Bylaws to view the Bylaws.

Charity Foundation Grants

Since 1964, the ACBL Charity Foundation has made substantial contributions to a wide range of charitable organizations. To make a donation or find out more, call 662-253-3129, or e-mail us at charityfdn@acbl.org.

In an effort to respond to the needs of charity in our local areas, in 2005 the ACBL Charity Foundation began issuing grants to districts rather than granting one $100,000 contribution to a national Charity of the Year. The ACBL Charity Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization, and contributions are fully tax deductible.

The districts are included in a four-year cycle with the exceptions of Districts 1 and 2, where charity funds are collected by the Canadian Bridge Federation (see below). Districts 18 and 19 share one grant because their membership is split between Canada and the U.S. During the previous cycle, District 19 received a 60% share and District 18 received a 40% share.

For recipients of 2013 district grants, click 2013 Charity Grants
For recipients of 2012 district grants, click 2012 Charity Grants
For recipients of 2011 district grants, click 2011 Charity Grants
For recipients of 2010 district grants, click 2010 Charity Grants
For recipients of 2009 district grants, click 2009 Charity Grants
For recipients of 2008 district grants, click 2008 Charity Grants.

Districts receiving grants during the next four years are:

2014 — 12, 15, 16, 20, 25
2015 — 3, 10, 13, 17
2016 — 5, 6, 9, 21, 23
2017 — 4, 14, 18/19, 22

2013 grants authorized so far this year: To be announced

Each district will be allowed to allocate $30,000. This sum can be divided into no more than five separate grants, each of which must be made to a qualified 501(c)3 organization. The check will be written after the appropriate documentation of the 501(c)3 status has been provided, and the checks will be distributed directly to the recipients. Requests for checks will be made by the district director. The relevant district boards or their designee shall allocate the district grants.

Requests for grant allocations must be made by November 15 of each year or the unused portion will be forfeited and the funds returned to the general fund of the ACBL Charity Foundation. Distribution of funds may be delayed due to availability of liquid assets, and the districts shall be promptly notified of any such delays.

The Canadian Bridge Federation (CBF) Charitable Fund decides grant recipients from charity money raised in Canada. Districts 1 and 2 are both Canadian districts, and parts of districts 18 and 19 are in Canada.

Each Charity Foundation trustee is entitled to distribute up to $3000 per year to charities of his/her choice. Each member of the ACBL Board of Directors who is not also a Charity Foundation trustee is allotted $1000/year to give to charities of his/her choice. The ACBL Charity Foundation also sets aside $5000 to be contributed to a qualified charity at each NABC. The local tournament committee decides the recipient.

Applying for a Charity Foundation Grant

In addition to District/Board of Directors/Foundation Trustee grants, the ACBL Charity Foundation occasionally donates to charities who formally apply for grants from the Foundation. To do this, a formal request is sent to ACBL Charity Foundation, 6575 Windchase Blvd., Horn Lake, MS 38637-1523, attn: Kelley McGuire. Requests should contain specific information on the following items, which are of primary importance to the Trustees:

  1. Specific amount requested
  2. Specific project that the funds will be used for and budget for same
  3. To what use would the grant be put? For example, educational or promotional use? Research? Service?
  4. Complete audited financial statement for the two most current years
  5. Copy of 501C(3)


ACBL Charity Grant Makes Oz Reachable

The ACBL Charity Foundation supports many charities and nonprofit organizations through grants. Recently, the Foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to the nonprofit Reachability Foundation of Los Angeles CA.

In 2009, Joclynn Benjamin (oldest daughter of Culver City CA bridge player Peter Benjamin) and business partner Eric Amundson formed the Reachability Foundation to provide benevolent assistance to low income families with children with special needs.

The $25,000 grant from the ACBL Charity Foundation will be used for a Wizard of Oz-themed event hosted at the Shalom Institute Family Camp in Malibu. The entire camp will be transformed into the Land of Oz and the kids will participate in:

  • Lion activities, to earn courage as they challenge themselves in horseback riding, zip lining and the ropes course.
  • Scarecrow activities, as they use their brains to problem-solve, do puzzles and overcome obstacles.
  • Tin Man activities, as they do something good or show they care— trying a new food or caring for the animals in the petting zoo.

The kids will use the stamps they earn to obtain the ruby slippers that will take them home. While the kids are engaged in their activities, the parents may participate in a number of workshops featuring professional speakers discussing how to deal with children with special needs.


Reachability Foundation partners Eric Amundson and Joclynn Benjamin, and ACBL Charity Foundation Trustee Bonnie Bagley.

grant recipients holding ACBL sign

Charity Foundation helps a pair of worthy causes

Before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans five years ago, there were 6000 homeless people in the city. The number doubled after Katrina devastated the city, and today it stands at 19,000.

Before Katrina, the New Orleans Mission – the city’s largest private service provider for the homeless – had a staff of 28. The hurricane destroyed the Mission’s offices, and today it has only five staff members in the partially rebuilt facility. “We run it with volunteers,” said Executive Director Ron Gonzales. “We couldn’t do it without them.”

Faced with such a daunting reality, Gonzales was more than happy to accept a $5000 check from the ACBL Charity Foundation presented by foundation President Georgia Heth and Treasurer Shirley Seals Friday night at the Marriott. Heth explained that the donation represented grants over and above the normal Charity Foundation grant to the district.

Gonzales said the money will provide food and shelter for 1000 homeless men and women, plus case management for those who are interested. If you wish to make a donation, you can do so by visiting the Mission’s web site at www. neworleansmission.org.

A second check for $5000 was presented to Dean Howard, development director for the Louisiana Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He said the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has caused many families in the coastal parishes to relinquish their pets because, with no income, they can’t afford to keep them.

Last year, Howard said, in St. Bernard Parish there were 17 owner-relinquished pets. In the past two months, there have been 170.

The Louisiana SPCA will use the Charity Foundation money to fund the Gulf Coast Companion Animal Relief Program, which will provide families with free veterinary care and free pet food so that they can keep their pets. The hardest-hit parishes, he said, are St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson and Terrebonne.

Donations to the Louisiana SPCA can be made at www.la-spca.org.