Three Unit 171 players will be honored with sponsored games at the Atlanta NABC, which will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis November 23rd - December 3rd. The ACBL created these sponsorships as a way to provide additional hospitality for players during the tournament. The three players to be honored are:
||Lee Wilcox Bracketed Round Robin Teams (0-4000)
||Tuesday, November 28
|| Bruce Tyler Memorial Gold Rush Pairs
||Tuesday, November 28
||Brevard Bridge Club
||Will Boynton Memorial Bracketed Round Robin Teams
||Friday, December 1
||Pandemic Precision Group
Jane Champion, Marty Friedman,
Debbie Monroe, Tim Prime,
Norm Rosenstein, Bruce Southard,
See below for the tributes to each player. Reservations through the ACBL Conference Direct site have closed, but rooms are still available if you are interested in playing in any of these games. Click HERE to check current rates. You can find the full schedule of events at the tournament HERE.
Lee Wilcox (b. 9/21/38) grew up in Minnesota, graduated with an engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and later earned a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Minnesota. He spent his career working in higher education, culminating in serving as the VP of Student Affairs at Rensselaer, Montclair State University and Georgia Tech. He also served on the Board of 3 national professional organizations. During his career he was an avid distance runner, running 50 marathons and winning several national titles as a masters’s (over 40) runner.
On moving to western North Carolina, Lee started playing duplicate bridge in 2011 and joined the ACBL in 2012. In the ensuing 12 years he won the Mini-McKenney award in Unit 171 eleven times, won numerous Regional team titles and earned about 3400 master points. He was the President of the Asheville Bridge Room from 2015-17, President of Unit 171 for 4 years from 2019-2022. during which time he also served on the D7 Board. In 2020 he was instrumental in the merger of the two competing Asheville bridge clubs. In 2019 Lee reached the Barry Crane 500, something he hopes to accomplish again this year. In his bridge career, Lee has been noted not only for his bridge skills but also for his leadership skills and his concerns for building interest in the game of bridge. He has assisted several fellow players to achieve the Gold points they needed to become Life Masters.
Bruce Tyler grew up in Thompsonville, CT and later became an attorney. He enjoyed a long career, first in New York City and later in his Somers, CT, practice, which he operated for more than 40 years. He was married to Jane Mullowney for 39 years before her death in 2008.
Mr. Tyler's gregarious warmth, gift for friendship, and dedication to service, public and private, are evidenced by his engagement in any community of which he was part. During his life in Somers, he was involved with the Somers Village Players; the Lions Club; the Somers Democrats; and the boards of the Somers Public Library and Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, CT.
Upon his retirement, Bruce established himself in Brevard, NC, where he served on the Brevard College Business Major Advisory Board. Having learned bridge in his youth and picked up a love of the game from his mother, he played during college and while serving in the US Navy. Retirement allowed Bruce to resume playing bridge, mostly at the Brevard Bridge Club. He always had a smile on his face, and he lit up the room whenever he played. Undeterred as the pandemic struck, Bruce moved to play bridge online, making even more new friends and sharpening his skill. He was very successful, winning the 50-100 Masterpoint Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs races for all of District 7 in 2021. He also won the 20-50 Masterpoint Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs races for Unit 171 in 2020.
Bruce is sorely missed by the Brevard Bridge Club.
Most tributes to those we've lost in the bridge community start with their ranking and all they achieved in this game we all love. But that doesn't seem quite fitting when remembering Will. So, I will start with what seems right.
Will Boynton, from Tallahassee, Florida, moved to Asheville, NC just 2 days before the COVID lockdown in 2020. His isolation in a new home shifted when Jane Champion created a small ZOOM group so Will could learn Precision and help create a community for him and for all of us.
From there, Will and I formed a friendship. At first meeting, Will could seem abrasive to some, but we all came to know Will for who he was at his core - kind, generous, nurturing, witty, and incredibly intelligent.
His grasp of bridge was superior to most. A sapphire life master that all started with learning the game from his grandmother. Will was a mentor to me and for many others; patient, understanding, and generous with his time and explanations. He and I both loved the language of bridge and worked together to develop new conventions.
Shortly before he died, Will was accepted to the University of Florida so he may pursue a career in education, to help others like himself with mental illness. Mental illness is a disease like any other, but in this country, we don't treat it as an equal. Will helped reverse this stigma by owning it and learning how to successfully manage his symptoms. With courage and vision, he strove to change the system. But it was consequences of his mental illness that caused his early passing. Will Boynton died July18, 2022, at the age of 40.
He is missed by all that knew him and had the joy of sharing time across the table with him.
If you are so inclined, I know Will would appreciate a donation made in his honor to NAMI, National Alliance of Mental Illness: www.nami.org