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Vero Beach Duplicate Bridge Club - BRIDGE CENTER - Vero Beach, Florida: Information, Area Guide and Business Directory: Vero Beach, Indian River County, Florida
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Wednesday, April 16th 2014
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Vero Beach Duplicate Bridge Club

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History of the Vero Beach Bridge Club

Founded almost fifty years ago, the first duplicate games consisted of a small group of local players who had been driving to Ft. Pierce to play. The players decided to begin their own games in Vero Beach in 1959 playing at the Elks Club. Records show the average cost per week was $30.00: $10.00 for rent, $10.00 for the directors, $3.30 for the ACBL and $6.66 for supplies. The game floated from the Elks Club to the Woman's Club building, Community Center, and the Senior Center. All of these organizations had their own priorities and bridge was tolerated solely for the revenue it generated.

But in the summer of 1995 our nomad existence ceased! Bob Smith, president at the time, headed a search committee that scoured the area for appropriate accommodations. The members banded together and raised more than $350,000 in donations and debenture notes in order to buy a defunct bowling alley. Some members bought thousands of dollars worth of bonds, others donated tables and chairs. Almost everyone contributed something. Renovations started immediately and Bill Malloy, a retired electrical engineer, donated countless hours of his time supervising the project. We moved to our new and permanent home in September of 1995. Several of our members borrowed a truck and personally spent two days moving all the bridge equipment that had been stored in the Senior Center.

The venture has been an unqualified success. We have a wonderful facility with ample room for seventy-five tables. Patty Johnson, Chief ACBL Director for Florida, who has directed many of our tournaments, told us "This club with its spaciousness and convenience is a dream come true for a tournament director. "

We now have more than 750 members and are listed as the 7th largest face-to face bridge club in North America by the ACBL (based on tables in play). This is particularly outstanding in that there are three other bridge clubs in the area. (The permanent population of the city of Vero Beach is only 20,000)

We have a game 363 afternoons each year, each Wednesday and Friday morning and every Thursday night. In addition we have special games for newer players and lessons from Beginner to Advanced. Our Celebrity Series program has brought many bridge professionals to speak to our members and students including Phillip Alder, Marty Bergen, Bernie Chazen, Larry Cohen, Audrey Grant, the late Max Hardy, and Mike Lawrence, to name a few. Most important, we make enough money from our sectionals, lessons, seminars, and game fees to carry our expenses.

Eleanor Bengyak was the part-time manager for many years. In June of 2006, Candace Griffey joined the club as its first full-time manager.

If you are on the East Coast of Florida, please stop by our bridge club. You will not be sorry!

1520 14th Avenue
Vero Beach, FL 32960
United States

Phone: 772-562-3008

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