Goodwill – a New Beginning

By Ken Monzingo

District Director


“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.

                      –Sir Winston Churchill


This is the time of year when I’m fortunate enough to select a few members of District 22 for elite membership into the ACBL Goodwill Committee - a lifetime appointment. This award represents our volunteers and workers who have contributed so much of themselves to bridge.

The national Goodwill Committee meets three times a year — during the Spring, Summer and Fall ACBL NABCs (nationals).

My choices this year (and I’m proud of them) are:

Joe Conti, Southern Gold Coast Unit 532. I don’t play much in the Thousand Oaks area, but I keep hearing reports of how Joe has built their successful games up. See Teri’s recap below.

Nancy Erickson, La Quinta, Unit 533. A little lady with a heart the size of the Coachella Valley, and a devoted worker who just keeps adding good things to the desert community.

Feisty, quick and loyal, she has become a great and trusted friend.

Hans Giroux, Irvine, Unit 515. Hans has done everything there is to do in co-chairing the Orange County and Riverside Regionals. A tireless volunteer worker who rarely, if ever, complains. Hans has been a great help to us in our tournament successes for the past few years. A really nice man.

Maritha Pottenger, San Diego Unit 539. Maritha has taken D22 bridge by storm in the southern part of our district. Yes, she is a consistent winner at all levels, but her appointment is a result of the teaching principles she brings to our newcomers.

Maritha has consented to be the I/N Chairman of both the San Diego and Riverside Regionals.

D22 Goodwill Committee

When national chairman Aileen Osofsky passed away earlier this year she was working towards convincing the 25 districts of the league to each form their own Goodwill Committee. I presented that possibility to our district board and it met with great favor, especially from Warren Cederborg of Visalia. Warren immediately volunteered to chair our fledgling committee and was overwhelmingly accepted. He has written our Goodwill Charter you can see on the district website.

The purpose of the D22 Committee is similar to the ACBL Committee – to honor our people, the little people and the big leaders who make the game good, and the atmosphere fun.

To begin, we have asked the eight board members to each select a recipient from their area. This handful, along with current D22 board of directors and the entire list of D22 members of the national committee, make up our inaugural Goodwill community. 

We’ve designated Saturday of the Palm Springs Regional as District 22 Goodwill Day and will honor all our recipients in attendance on that day with an open reception between sessions.

On hand will be ACBL CEO Jay Baum, Prez Rich DeMartino and the incoming 2011 ACBL prez.


From Area I

Lorna Cheng, Visalia Unit 548 (Nominated by Warren Cederborg). A longtime member of District 22, Lorna is a tireless worker within the Visalia Unit. As an ACBL certified director, Lorna supervises games within the unit and on cruise ships. Foremost, Lorna is an ambassador for the game of contract bridge, building active unit members through home lessons, and seminars at the bridge club. As chairperson for the Visalia Sectional, Lorna is a main reason why the event has been so successful.

Joe Conti, Thousand Oaks, Unit 532 (nominated by Teri Atkinson). Joe has been a tireless worker for his unit and the district. The Thousand Oaks Sectional has grown so much since Joe became the chair that a new venue is needed to house it. Determined to hold a regional tournament in his area, he scouted the Pacific coastline to find an appropriate spot. 

He’s the delightfully enthusiastic co-chair of the (Marriott) Ventura Beach Regional he located.


From Area II

Beverly Hartin, Rancho Mirage, Unit 533 (Nominated Irv Kostal). Bev has been the point person on the Duncan Bridge Center, the facility that former ambassador Ray Duncan (deceased) felt was so essential to sustaining good bridge in the Palm Springs area.

Bev has worked hard to establish a dedicated Bridge Center for young and old.


From Area III

Vicki Creamer, San Diego Unit 539 (Nominated by Jon Wright). I nominate Vicki Creamer to the District 22 Goodwill Committee. Vicki has served on the Unit 539 board for many years, most of them as president. She’s also been involved in trying new ways to get more people introduced to bridge. San Diego is fortunate.

Ken Vavra and  Kay Van Hoy, Escondido Bridge Club (Nominated by Rex Latus and Fran Foresta). When Ken purchased the Escondido Bridge Club in 1988 it had its first permanent home. With hard work, determination and patience Ken built it into a full service club.

Always present and supportive was his wife Kay Van Hoy. North County players hold Ken & Kay in high regard; they represent everything good about bridge.


From Area IV

Sybil Barzilay, Laguna Woods, Unit 525 (Nominated by Fran Schwartz). Sybil has been teaching beginning and Intermediate players for a very successful novice game. Sybil is a great supporter of ACBL and most of her students join the league. Her devotion to bridge, and the time she spends to make things run so smoothly are much appreciated.

Andy DeLeon, Laguna Hills, Unit 538 (Nominated by John Kissinger). Andy really is a great guy, hard working and always ready and willing to help out at the club at what is a thankless and payless position.

He’s friendly and courteous, but Andy’s greatest gift is his presence. He’s a  resource to our novices. Andy gets to the club early, just to make himself available.


District 22 At Large

Sally Pelmear, Mission Viejo, Unit 538 (Nominated by Ken Monzingo). Sally has brought legions of novice players to the Dana Harbor Bridge Club, and to bridge in Southern California, through her introductory classes.

Sally was also instrumental in suggesting alterations in the ACBL novice teaching policies which were greeted with enthusiastic, positive votes from the national board – the changes were made immediately.


“Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.

–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)