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Austin Rises To The Challenge

The Bridge Center of Austin almost didn’t participate in The Longest Day. Fortunately, club members Gilda Reynolds and Laura Delfield stepped forward to co-chair the event. And Delfield knew just where to start.

She contacted club member Dick Rathgeber, a well-known philanthropist in Austin and author of Deal Making for Good, a book about fundraising, for advice on how to reach the team’s goal of $2500.

Rathgeber scoffed at the fundraising goal. “You’re going to have to do better than that!”

Rathgeber explained the challenge grant to the Bridge Center team. If the club could raise $5,000 to support The Longest Day, he would match the amount. “Within weeks they did,” said Rathgeber. “I think the idea that every dollar donated was really two made the difference.”

The challenge was doubled to $10,000.

Reynolds said, “None of us could ever have imagined how excited and supportive our members would be about participating in this event. Everyone is so engaged that it has brought us all closer together. We are delighted to have raised so much money for Alzheimer’s research and education, but in the process, our club and members received a gift as well – camaraderie.”

The Bridge Center of Austin team has raised more than $15,000 on their own, and Rathgeber’s challenge grant boosts them over the $25,000 mark.

ACBL is the Alzheimer Association’s inaugural partner in The Longest Day. This year’s theme is “Do something you love” on June 21— the longest day of the year — in honor of those fighting Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. ACBL clubs across North America are planning a day full of bridge-related activities to raise awareness and funds for the care, support and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association.

For a complete list of ACBL affiliated teams click here, and select the ‘Join a Team’ button. If you can’t participate in The Longest Day, but would like to make a donation, please visit the ACBL Headquarters fundraising page or any other team’s page and click the ‘donate to team’ link at the right of the screen under the rolling donation graphic.

To find a club holding games on June 21 in support of The Longest Day, please click here.

If your club is holding charity games on The Longest Day and would like to be listed contact Patty.Taylor@acbl.org.


Gilda Reynolds, Mark McAllister and Laura Delfeld of the Bridge Center of Austin