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2019 Goodwill Nominee
2019 Goodwill Nominee

March 9, 2019  Unit 202 has nominated Margaret Altman for the prestigious honor of Goodwill Member.  Small in physical stature, but extra-large in good-heartedness is an apt description for Margaret.  The reasons for Margaret's worthiness are countless, but an enumeration will be attempted.

    Margaret's benevolent reach extends beyond the boundaries of the Golden Isles Duplicate Bridge Club on St. Simons Island, Georgia that she calls home.  Margaret has fostered the growth of duplicate bridge through countless years (40+) of mentoring bridge players who have traveled far from the shores of St. Simons to compete and enjoy the challenge of duplicate bridge.  Through her “Thinking Bridge” classes, to her directorship of games, Margaret has used patience and kindness to instruct and encourage without intimidation.  Her Wednesday morning 0-50 game has been so popular in the past, the players campaigned for the game to be raised to 300 points so the players could remain under Margaret's tutelage.

     Margaret's influence is international in scope as well.  For the past two years Margaret has taught duplicate bridge for the Road Scholar program which reaches seniors throughout the United States and Canada.  Margaret has stayed in touch with these seniors after the program has been completed, encouraging her students from afar.  As many as 200 plus Road Scholars have benefited from Margaret's teaching expertise and guidance.

     Leading by example, Margaret has promoted bridge through her own good sportsmanship, humor and self-deprecation.  Although Margaret has 50 years of bridge playing experience, she willingly plays with any level of player.  Margaret is a cheerleader for all players and her “pep talks” to newbies are legendary.  According to one new player, after Margaret welcomed her with open arms to the club, the new player said:  “I actually believed I could learn the game.”  (On a side note—that new player won the Golden Isles Duplicate Bridge Club Championship game in 2018).

     Making other players feel good about themselves and their play comes naturally to Margaret.  When one player was incapacitated with terminal cancer, Margaret organized and played in a bridge game at the patient's home.  Despite Margaret's own health issues of asthma and osteoporosis, Margaret continues to push herself to accommodate others.  Perhaps most telling is her unselfish and pleasant attitude toward her spouse who suffers from macular degeneration.  Keeping her spouse (a diamond life master) involved in bridge is paramount to Margaret.  She plays with her spouse regularly and organizes other partnerships for him.

     She has served as the club's president, head director, and has shared her expertise on numerous committees.  These volunteer positions have endeared Margaret to others by her graciousness, ethical behavior, and cooperation.  Margaret's efforts throughout the years with her mentor-ship, teaching and directing, have helped to blossom a club of few members to one that boasts over 250 members today.  For such a tiny lady, Margaret Altman has made a huge impact on the future of duplicate bridge, and the lives of many players.  Words from her fellow bridge mates best summarizes why Margaret Altman should be bestowed the honor of Goodwill:

               “Margaret encouraged me to take beginning bridge lessons.  I can't thank her enough for opening this door for me.  If not for her, I would never have played.”

                                                                                                                                                      Joann Moore

               “Margaret's love for the game and her encouragement inspires me as well as many others.  She is always accessible and happy to help anyone with bidding and play. Her warm, friendly personality and great sense of humor make her fun to be around whether you are a student, partner or opponent.”

                                                                                                                                               Diane Altenbach

               “Margaret personally represents the bridge club in a positive upbeat fashion to the community.  Margaret is the face of duplicate bridge to many people who would never otherwise darken the door of the bridge center.  She is relentless at describing the fun and social benefits it offers.”

                                                                                                                                              Jane Beadles

               “Margaret enjoys directing a weekly novice game and nurturing the less experienced players.  As one of three teachers in our club, she is always cooperative with the other teachers, avoiding scheduling conflicts.  As a player, she is consistently friendly, avoids unsolicited teaching at the table, but is happy to offer helpful suggestions if asked.”

                                                                                                                                           Ken Trobaugh

               “Margaret becomes an encourager for bridge and for life....if anyone wants to see goodwill in action, please come to the Golden Isles Bridge Club....Margaret Altman is shining all over the island!”             

                                                                                                                                         Polly Cloud  


Robert "Ray" Coleman, who is club manager of CSRA Bridge Club (Augusta) and long time member/officer of the Unit 202 Board of Directors has become our Unit's 6th Diamond Life Master (over 5000 MP)


2016 Goodwill member

Wendy Leverett (click here)

Emerald Lifemaster

George Matuch just became our unit's 1st Emerald Lifemaster (7500 MP).  Congratulations George!

Unit 202 just added its 5th Diamond Life Master.  Lou Gangarosa of Augusta passed the 5000 MP mark in July 2015.  Congratulations to Lou.


In her category (50-100 MP) in 2014 Donna Heinsbroek of Savannah won not only our Unit 202, but District 7 and NATIONAL Mini-McKenney awards. She accumulated an amazing 402.35 MP far outdistancing her nearest competitor, who had 228.35 MP.  She traveled to sectionals all over the area, and regionals and nationals all over the country. Many of her points were won with pickup partners, playing with whoever was available, regardless of their point total.

This amazing lady also became lifemaster (needing 500 MP to qualify) in early January at the Charleston SC Regional.

a big congratulations to Donna.


Trish Gifford of St Marys is this year's goodwill nominee.  She started playing bridge at the age of 12 but did not take up duplicate until 2008.  She has since joined ACBL and begun her avid persuit of of excellence.  She is now a bronze lifemaster.

In addition to her personal accolades she has helped others in their persuit of a cordial bridge ambiance.  With less than 100 points she agreed to chair the 2011  Golden Isles NLM sectional and it was a resounding sucess under her leadership.

She has taken upon herself  to handle hospitality for both the St Marys DBC and the Fernandina Beach (FL) DBC.  She has personally supplied coffee and cold drinks.and has never disappointed the players with a variety of sweet and savory treats.

She helped raise funds for a clock timer, which is now in use in both of these clubs,

She has partnered with anyone and everyone in need, with their masterpoints being a non issue. She is always available if someone needs a partner.

She has started teaching private bridge lessons because others are seeking not only her bridge knowledge but her pleasant demeanor.

Known to one and all for her flaming red hair, she will always be  remembered for her caring heart toward all bridge players.

Another new Unit 202 Diamond(5000+ points) Lifemaster
Another new Unit 202 Diamond(5000+ points) Lifemaster

Stanley Altman of St Simons a Long time member of Golden Isles Duplicate Bridge Club just recently became our units 4th Diamond Lifemaster.  He began his quest in 1975.

Congratulations to Stanley.


Unit 202’s Goodwill nominee for 2014

Lura McKinney is Unit 202’s goodwill nominee for 2014. Lura’s mother was a bridge player and started Lura playing bridge when she was about twelve years old. She started playing duplicate almost 50 years ago and joined the ACBL about that time. She is now approaching the diamond life master rank.

Lura has been a central figure in the growth and enrichment of bridge in the Savannah, Georgia area. She co-chaired the Savannah regionals held in 1995 and 1997. In addition, she has chaired or co-chaired several Savannah Azalea sectionals. She served on the Unit 202 board for many years.

Lura has often been mentioned as “The Voice of Reason” at business meetings for several of our Savannah clubs. She’s always had the ability to cause members to consider and accept her solutions and achieve a consensus. Much of that is due to the great respect everyone has for Lura.

Finally, Lura is a true “friend”. Things like providing rides for players who could no longer drive or loyalty to partners even as their abilities decline. Lura lends an excellent table presence; always with the same pleasant, even demeanor

New Diamond (over 5000 MPs) life master
Larry Hayslip of Pooler GA became our units newest (3rd) Diamond Lifemaster.  He got 24.54 points at the recent Myrtle Beach SC regional, putting him over the 5000 point mark.  He ranks behind George Matuch of St Simons and Walter Sobol of Savannah.  Congratulations to Larry.