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Unit 208 of District 8 of the American Contract Bridge League
Central Illinois Bridge Association
President's Message....
Mary Stuart
President Unit 208
August 2020

No one could have anticipated the Covid pandemic or the challenges it would pose for us in 2020, but through all the chaos and uncertainty, our bridge community has remained vigorous and resolute in support of the game. I am honored to be writing to you as your incoming president for Unit 208
Our first challenge was how to recreate the club games, as far as possible, in the virtual environment. Thanks to the dedicated staff at ACBL, BBO, and The Common Game, we have a robust program of virtual club games. A group of unit 208 club managers and directors formed a consortium in March to pool all interested clubs in the unit. Shortly thereafter we were offering open and limited games, as well as a full complement of free online instructional services and resources. Our consortium has expanded to include clubs in Southern Illinois, and we are now the umbrella for 19 individual clubs, with a mailing list of more than 650 players. All proceeds from the games are returned to the home clubs of the individual players. We don’t know when clubs will be able to reopen safely, but all in-person events are cancelled through 2020. In the meantime, since we have no tournaments to run, we have the opportunity to tackle some questions that in a normal year might get shifted to the back burner.
What do we want from Unit 208? Are there services not currently offered by the unit that we should be considering? As we revamp the web site, what information and features would make the unit web site useful to you? One task for the coming year is to update our bylaws and standing rules. If anyone is interested in helping with this task, please contact me or your area rep. If nothing else, it is easier to hold meetings in the virtual world than it was in person. The board will be meeting on Zoom, and we can also hold a Zoom meeting for the general membership. I would like to hold a “listening” meeting for the unit membership in September to hear your ideas and suggestions. Our Unit Board and officers are eager to support the bridge community of Central Illinois. Let us hear from you. See you at the tables! -- Mary