2011 Texas Star Awards

Ed Rawlinson - Unit 172, San Antonio

Ask Unit 172 members: "What does Ed Rawlinson do for San Antonio bridge?" The unanimous answer is: "What doesn't he do?!"

Ed Rawlinson has served four terms as President of our Unit, bringing a leadership style of quiet assurance, focus and preparation (that speaks for his table presence, too!). He has also served as Treasurer and board member. Despite a busy life (Ed retired as Superintendent of Northside Independent School District), Ed has participated fully in the mentor/mentee program, often working with more than one mentee at a time.

When not playing bridge, Ed enjoys his time in the kitchen; Ed is a gourmet cook, treating us to dessert offerings at Unit games and increasing attendance at those games by offering a much-coveted door prize - dinner and bridge at his house!

He is one of the top San Antonio players, attending regional and sectional tournaments around the State, but is always willing to play with all level of players and to help anyone with a bridge problem, if asked. He is unfailingly gracious and approachable. He clearly demonstrates his interest in cultivating a broad-based, friendly and thriving bridge community.

We are enriched by his participation on our behalf and are fortunate and proud for him to be the "face" of Unit 172!

Walter Arnold - Unit 174, Houston

Twelve years ago Walter Arnold became the manager/director of the Southwest Duplicate Bridge game. The game meets every Wednesday morning at the Merfish Youth Center on Rice Blvd. When the center is unavailable for one reason or another, Walter makes every effort to find another facility at which to hold the game, such as Tracy Gee or Spring Branch or, as is the case this summer, the main campus of the JCC.

Walter’s pay for services rendered during this time can be measured in negative numbers. He does not accept any pay, although he could. He has, on numerous occasions, dipped into his own pocket to buy refreshments to serve.

Twelve years ago a group of players approached him and asked him if he would be interested in taking over the struggling JCC game, which rarely attracted more than five tables with its on again off again scheduling. He was unreceptive, but they finally overcame his reluctance by offering their unqualified assistance.

Not a newcomer to volunteer work, Walter had given many hours over the course of two and a half years to hospital work. His latest volunteer adventure in Bridge is now improving the quality of life of numerous seniors, at least as worthwhile an outcome as any of his previous activities.  Anonymous donors and money-raising activities paid for the boards and bid boxes and tables needed.

Stability of scheduling and organization and a well-stocked refreshment table ballooned the game from a spotty five tables to the amazingly big game it is today - always at least two large sections and even three on some days. Typically 120 or more players, most of them seniors, now attend his games each Wednesday and another 50 on Tuesday.

Rose Calvin still works by his side, helping with money collection and sign-in. Brigitte Sandifer now directs many of the games and fills in when Walter’s not there.

Walter’s sphere of influence does not end at the door of the Merfish Center.  He has mentored at least fourteen players in their quests to become directors. Presumably some of them now have their own games or might some day. Whenever directors at some of the other Houston Community Centers games are sick or out of town and need a stand-in they know that he won’t refuse them.

During his twelve years as director, charities have profited handsomely. His favorite charity, Meals on Wheels, because of their kindness to his mother when she was alive, profited an amazing $6,435. Think how many meals that bought. Contributions to all charities during this time amounted to $9,435. Other than Meals on Wheels, charities were chosen in memory of other bridge players or their loved ones.

Sandy Holzweig - Unit 176, Dallas

Unit 176 is pleased to present the 2011 Texas Star Award to Sandy Holzsweig.

Sandy attended Virginia Tech and the University of New Mexico with a degree in engineering, working for several companies over the span of his engineering career. 55 years ago, he began playing duplicate bridge and later he and his wife Rita relocated to Plano to be close to their two children.

After that, he became a regular at the old Plano Bridge Studio, both as a player and a director. He also was in charge of the Saturday morning Supervised Play game at the Valley View club for many years. When the Plano club closed, Sandy thought a game in the area was still important and started the non-profit Friendly Bridge Studio in 2004. He has run it since then, directing almost all the games several days a week, providing games that live up to the name of his club.

Sandy and Rita have been married 59 years and are partners at the table as well as in life. (We should all be so lucky in our partnerships!)

Many thanks for your love and support of the game, Sandy, and congratulations.

Betty Hill - Unit 187, South Texas

For the Texas Star, we wish to nominate Betty Hill. Betty is a valuable member of our unit from the Rockport area. She is extremely well-liked and a really hard worker. Her recent job has been one that is not easy and that is she is Partnership Chairman of all our Rockport sectionals. She works diligently at this and usually succeeds in getting everyone a partner which as you know is not always possible. She is a super person and our unit board feels that she definitely deserves this award.

Mary Ann Anthony - Unit 197, Llano Estacado

Unit 197 is proud to nominate Mary Ann Anthony as our Texas Star for 2010. Mary Ann has been our treasurer for 3 years and has been partnership chair for most of our recent sectionals. Single-handedly, she got out 21 teams for our last sectional. Also, she prepares all our special reports on our finances for our annual meeting and sees that everyone who wants or needs copy gets it. She pays all our bills in a timely manner and makes sure Norma Buchanan receives all the proper documents to prepare our tax forms for us. I even saw her ne morning cleaning the carpet with her own Spotbot. She keeps up with our CD's with the help of Karen Wilson and got us in good financial shape when she recommended that we go up to $5.00 on our playing fees. She brings food for our sectional and helps out where ever she is needed. She has also been in charge of caddies for our Regional and has served several stints on the unit Board and on various nominating committees for the Unit and for various clubs. I don't know what we would do without Mary Ann as she is so efficient and is always so nice to everyone. She was even one of our goodwill ambassador recipients a few years ago. She even found time to make Life-master this year. We thank you, Mary Ann, and are so proud of all your accomplishments.

Jack Evans - Unit 201, Sabine Neches

Jack Evans

Jack is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, and spent most of his career engineering robotic systems for factory automation. Jack enjoys life, has a positive attitude, and a wonderful family, Faith and God's grace, have been the staples of his life.

Jack started playing bridge in college but did not play seriously until early 2004. He has Bronze LM, and 750 MP's. He earned his Life Master in Oct 2008 and credits his tournament partner Edwina Landrum for "dragging him over the line". In Oct. 2008, needing 0.6 silver point, he got a call from Edwina: "OK - let go over to the Humble Sectional and get your life Master. But as soon as you get it, I want to come home – because I've got a lot of ironing to do". They won 0.62 in the first event, and were home in time for Jack to celebrate by cutting the grass, and Wina ironing.

Jack has been very active in Unit business since joining ACBL. He has been developing the Mentor Pairs and Teams games, and makes dozens of calls each week assisting partnerships. He dedicates at least one game a week mentoring newer players. He supports and values the Unit's excellent teaching program and the ACBL Learn2PlayBridge software tutorial.

He developed the Unit Website, serves as webmaster, content editor, and ACBL Electronic Contact, He is a Unit Board Member, past Unit President, has Co-Chaired a Tournament, and acts as an Ambassador coordinating multi Club interaction. He has compiled and prepared press sheets for two generations of Unit Phone Directories, and manages the database of player by club.

Jack developed a web based automated Partnership Desk, which he said "worked well, but the members didn't like or use it ". Undaunted, Jack feels, a second effort is worthy and has been working on a simpler partnership assist to overcome objections of the first attempt. His enthusiasm and drive for improvement is inspired by positive thinking: "An accepted failure is the start of a new opportunity."

Jack likes to write and describes himself as a "prolific author with a sense of humor, but no readership." To wit::" Is duplicate bridge competitive? Let me tell you. One day at the club, my cell phone rings during the game. A guy up front yells back to me ' Turn off that cell phone'. I yell back at him - 'That's not a cell phone – it's my pacemaker'. Then – three guys and two women yell back - 'Turn it off'." In jest - of course.

Lew Crippen - Unit 205, Amistad

Unit 205’s nominee for the 2010 Star of Texas award,  Lew Crippen started playing duplicate bridge some 30 plus years ago, but the demands of work, family and travel caused him to abandon the game.  When he moved to Mexico six years ago, he took up his former passion with a vengeance. Both at the local and unit levels, Lew is very active in bridge.  Recently, he was elected for a third term as president of the Lakeside Duplicate Bridge Club, the only game in town and for hundreds of miles.  At the Unit level, Lew serves on the Unit Board as Recorder and Disciplinary Chair.  Additionally, he is co-chair of the Puerto Vallarta Regional and also works into the wee hours of the morning publishing the daily bulletin.  Unit 205 owes a debt of gratitude to Lew; without his many hours of work, we could not do what we do and would not be nearly as successful.

Laura Delfeld, Unit 207, Austin

This year our Texas Star is Laura Delfeld, the unit's Novice Chair. It's hard to know where to start when listing Laura's contributions to the unit over the years, so we'll start with the basics - new members. Laura started teaching beginning bridge three years ago, and to say that her classes are popular is an understatement. She typically teaches six to seven tables a session, and many sign up for the next series of classes. Most of the 90-plus students who've come through her classes are now unit members. Not content just to teach new players, she strives to keep them hooked on duplicate, hence the proliferation of limited masterpointed games and bridge plus sessions. With the exception of Fridays, the BCA now offers daily limited games. Delfeld also created a bi-monthly newsletter, The Future Lifemaster, aimed at newer players. She continues to assist in the unit's Mentor Program. And if all of that were not enough, she is still the unit's Caddy Chair, a job she took over a decade ago. Congratulations to our newest Texas Star and thanks for all you have done for us over the years!

Peggy Cook - Unit 209, Greater Permian Basin

Peggy Cook represents all that Texas Star stands for in offering service, support, and love of the game.

Peg was introduced to Party Bridge by her Aunt and Uncle in Midland, Texas in 1968.

In 1970, Peg and her husband moved to Ft. Worth, Texas and there she was taught duplicate by National Directors Mary and Ken Stone. Her favorite partners and mentors were Ken Stone, Don Fitzhugh and Ann Carb. Over the next several years, she served Unit 183 in several capacities: Board Member, Regional and Sectional Hospitality Chairs & National Caddy Chair. Peg won her first Gold Points in a knockout event in a Ft. Worth Regional. Her teammates (all non-life masters) were Col. Dewitt Hudson, Mike Waldrep and sister, Deborah Brookins. Peg's team was beaten in the finals matched against a Midland, Texas team, her mother, Leonora Slusher, Sue Gardiner, Jerri Chapman and Betty Reeves (all Life Masters). What were the odds of this match????

In recent years, Peggy has lived and played in Midland, Texas. She continues to play in many Sectionals, Regionals, and Nationals. Her most recent wins were in the Regional in Puerto Vallarta in November of 2010 - Two First Over-All Knockout Events.

She has served Unit 209 as a Board Member, Tall City Partnership Chair, and Tournament Chair. She is currently President of the Permian Club. Most importantly, her contributions consist not only her willingness to serve on Board and Tournament Chairs but to serve the bridge players themselves. If there is a game, Peg is there - spending endless telephone hours building partnerships and games. She bakes desserts for all local games and runs taxi service for those unable to drive. Not to forget, she is a Registered Nurse - always offering her nursing skills to players, spending many hours at hospitals and member's homes ensuring they receive that special TLC. Her smile and presence are a light to our Unit.

What would our Bridge World be without players like Peggy Cook??? She has certainly been a major contributor to our Unit whether as Officer, Partner or Friend.

Martha Murphy - Unit 224, Fort Phantom

Ginger Rhamey - Unit 225, East Texas

Janice Walker - Unit 233, Central Texas

Johnny Johnson - Unit 237, Magic Valley

Johnny Johnson

Johnny Johnson, a Silver Life Master, began his duplicate bridge career by starting a duplicate bridge club at the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University (College) in 1961. He finds the game challenging, enjoys competition, and likes meeting people. He has had the privilege of meeting and playing with many fine players from all over the world and is very thankful to all the individuals who mentored him. He became a certified ACBL Bridge Cruise and Local Director in 2009.

Johnny has supported the game of bridge locally by serving on the board of Unit 237 for many years and is currently serving as president. He has also chaired a split-regional, a senior regional, and numerous sectional tournaments. Besides working in his local unit, he has also served as a board member on many local units of national organizations such as The American Red Cross, The Association of Life Underwriters, and is currently serving a 3rd term on the Vestry of St. Alban's Episcopal Church of Harlingen, Texas.

Johnny is grateful for the support an encouragement that his wife Susan has provided in all his endeavors and especially in her support of duplicate bridge.


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