This blog provides supplementary thoughts and ideas to the site. If you haven't seen the main site, there is a lot there including the Martel and Rodwell interviews, photos, and articles. This blog is focused on advancing bridge theory by discussing the application of new ideas. All original content is copyright 2009 Glen Ashton.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Labors of love

At my Toastmasters club today, we were visited by our area governor who gave a wonderful talk on making speeches.  Later, one of our ex-presidents, noting the modesty of our governor, listed some of his extensive contributions to the organization.  This, combined with some recent gifts (see below), had me thinking about bridge volunteers and bridge virtual volunteers that have helped my bridge past-time over the years.  

By "virtual volunteers" I mean people who contribute to bridge, and are nominally "paid", but if one considered the payment divided by the number of hours, it would have been more financially viable to take a job saying "would you like fries with that?"  Virtual volunteers include:

- Owners of small and medium bridge clubs (lots of hours, little or no profit)
- Tournament and bridge event organizers (lots of hours, and, when paid, small fee)  
- Bridge and magazine publishers and editors (zillons of hours, risk, eek out a profit after editing out eek)
- Bridge book and magazine writers (lots of hours, small income, especially for articles)
- Bridge web sites and blogs supported by Ads (lots of hours, almost no $)
- Bridge software developers (lots of hours, very little income compared to what would be available programming professionally)
- Bridge professional coaches and captains (endless hours of prep) 

Now consider all the unpaid volunteers and contributors, including:

- Tournament and special event volunteers
- Mentors of younger and/or newer players
- Unpaid editors, writers, and photographers, including those who post on bridge forums 
- Providers of free bridge publications, online and on paper
- Unpaid executives of the many bridge organizations
- Developers of free bridge software
- Sponsors and fund/charity contributors
- Unpaid NPCs, coaches, and support staff
- Vugraph organizers, operators, and commentators

It has been just over 30 years since my first bridge tournament, the NABC in Toronto in 1978 (first table, two little old ladies for opponents, we are two university students and happy with this match up, until, everybody in the big ballroom drops by to say hi to them, and then they kill us kindly in two boards).  In that time, my bridge activities must have been helped by thousands and thousands of volunteers.

To all those volunteers over the years, many who I do not know individually, I thank you for your contributions to bridge - your labors of love for the game and our bridge community.

Recently I received gifts from two sources - these were bridge system documents - for some of you this would not mean much, but you should be able to tell from this blog and site, these were great gifts for me.  I will not mention their names, in case they get deluged with requests - just, let me say thank you for your continuing contributions to this game we all love.


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