Volunteers, Goodwill Ambassadors Honored
Two of ACBL’s most efficient and caring volunteers were announced on Monday, Dec. 2 as co-recipients of the Nadine Wood Volunteer of the Year Award.
Silvana Scotto of Syosset NY and Kitty Gottfried of Silver Spring MD were unable to attend the meeting in Phoenix, but it is customary to announce the recipients at the Fall NABC and present the awards at the following Spring NABC.
The award is named for the late Nadine Wood, who represented District 6 on the ACBL Board of Directors and was known for her tireless volunteer work.
Robert Hartman, ACBL’s chief executive, spoke about the work of the award winners. Scotto was one of the most energetic of club owners when the ACBL and the Alzheimer’s Association organized a joint fundraiser last summer known as The Longest Day. Her Sagamore Bridge Club led the nation, raising nearly $80,000 for the cause.
Said Hartman, “She is a fireball – a great person for the game of bridge.”
Gottfried was active in bridge hospitality years before she learned to play the game. “She volunteered her time for a game she didn’t even know,” he said.
Gottfried took up bridge in 1980 and was active in tournaments in her area, serving the ACBL and for nearly 40 years, working closely with Wood. “There is no better recipient for this award than Kitty Gottfried,” Hartman said.
Goodwill Chair Sandy DeMartino conducted an efficient meeting, welcoming new ACBL Board members Jay Whipple III (District 9), Russ Jones (District 10) and Dennis Carman (District 12) and offering thanks to the outgoing board members Shirley Seals (District 9), Bill Cook Jr. (District 10) and Bill Arlinghaus District 12).
DeMartino offered best wishes and congratulations to Phyllis Harlan, newly elected 2014 ACBL President. Next was announcement of the Goodwill Member of the Year, which goes to Karl Dencker of Lake in the Hills IL. The District 8 member has been involved in a variety of activities and administration for years.
DeMartino described Dencker as a “dynamic, invaluable volunteer, always with a smile on his face. He goes out of his way to welcome people to tournaments.” Dencker is known for sending postcards to players who attend one tournament and miss another, and if the member responds to the first postcard and plays in the next tournament, he gets another postcard of thanks.
DeMartino applauded Dencker’s effort “to make everyone feel special and important to the game.”
Bonnie Bagley, who represents District 17, host for the NABC in Phoenix, said one of her jobs is to follow the lead of legendary Goodwill Chair Aileen Osofsky in recognizing local volunteers.
In a way, Bagley said, it was difficult for her to select a local person for recognition because there are so many great volunteers in the district. It was, however, easy to pick when she considered NABC Co-Chairs Darryl and Marsha Helton.
The Sedona couple “have done an outstanding job,” said Bagley in presenting a certificate of appreciation to the Heltons. Thanks to their efforts, Bagley noted, the Sedona Bridge Club has the 12th largest table count in the district.
Marsha accepted the accolade, with a note for all ACBL members: “We can’t just talk about goodwill. We have to walk the talk.” She noted that she is not reluctant to take a player “to the woodshed” for inappropriate behavior at the Sedona Club. “Goodwill is what we strive for at our club,” she added.
DeMartino concluded the meeting with an appeal for all Goodwill Committee members to “keep a smile on your face and proudly wear your Goodwill pins.”