2005 Texas Star Recipients

David Hadden - Unit 172

The Unit 172 Board of Directors has unanimously selected David Hadden as the 2004 recipient of the Texas Star Award. David began playing bridge at Clemson University, where he received his bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering. He later earned a master's degree in Business from Troy State University. David worked as a bioenviron-mental engineer for 30 years in the Air Force. His Air Force connection brought him and wife Mariann to San Antonio in 1988. After retiring as a Colonel, David has been doing consultant work.

Upon arriving in San Antonio, David quickly became involved in serving his fellow bridge players in a variety of capacities. David was elected to the Board of Directors and served several terms as Unit Treasurer. For several years David has been both the Unit Webmaster and the editor of the Unit newsletter, the "Winning Finesse". Each of these jobs is a major responsibility, but David has done "double duty" exceptionally well.

The same high levels of achievement are reflected in David's performance at the bridge table. He has won numerous regional titles and one national title - the Men's Pairs (Werner Trophy) with Jack Kennedy in 1973. David has also won the District 16 North American Pairs with Alex Kolesnik on two occasions. This year David and Alex finished third (missing first by less than one point) in the national NAP finals.

In addition to all his contributions to Unit 172 bridge players, David is one of the nice guys in the bridge world. Thanks, David, for all you've done and all that you are.

Bruce Slomka - Unit 174

Bruce Slomka, a man too modest to blow his own horn, has always been at the ready when either brawn or brain were needed, from tasks ranging from packing up bidding boxes for storage to decision-making as a member of the Unit 174 Board. He undertook time-intensive, zero-recognition jobs such as management of the Pro-Am games and coordination of the Adopt-A-Novice Program. When someone was needed to coordinate the Unit STaC game, he took that on for several years because "someone had to do it." He then devoted himself to becoming a fine unit photographer, acquiring the requisite skills to take excellent pictures for both the Scorecard and the Unit website. The Board of Directors is pleased to have this opportunity to thank this "Man Behind the Scenes," one of its most valuable volunteers.

LaRue Stott - Unit 176

The Dallas Bridge Unit 176 Board of Directors has selected LaRue Stott to be the recipient of the Texas Star Service Award for 2004. Larue is one of the most caring people that we have ever known. She has always been available for assistance on how to play the complicated game of bridge with her most delicate words of encouragement. She is also willing to help out in other areas as well, as she has repeatedly demonstrated with various members.

Sterling Hicks, for example, is in constant need of help from all of us in many aspects beyond the game, and LaRue has always been there for him when needed. Sterling's calls for help have ranged from bridge conundrums to middle of the night car accidents. This she does without question or thought of herself.

LaRue's generous nature is only superseded by her willingness to go the extra mile. When board member Catherine Tucker asked for help in arranging unit game food and refreshments, LaRue not only provided them, but successfully recruited others to do the same as well. She constantly gives without expecting anything in return without complaint.

A few months ago, when one of our members had a son getting married and could not afford a new outfit for the wedding, LaRue took the initiative and got two other members to pitch in to purchase the mother a beautiful gift.

For the past several years, LaRue has graciously handled the Partnership Desk when our unit has tournaments. She works very diligently and is quite successful at matching up compatible partners. LaRue is the dependable person who is always available when the club or unit needs her.

Dee Schade - Unit 187

Dee has been a loyal member of Unit 187 for many years, has served on the Board, has served as Treasurer for the Unit, and has always been available whenever we have needed people for whatever jobs. The main reason for her nomination now is her long service as the Scorecard Reporter for our unit. She has always done the column in a timely fashion and the column is always very well written - even though sometime it is like "pulling teeth" to get information for the column as it seems that many in our unit just forget to send her anything to write about. She has carried on however and we have really appreciated it. We don't have that many people here that are willing to make long term commitments to working for the unit.

Alice Alene Floyd - Unit 197

Alice has served the Unit in many capacities over the years. She has been club manager for the Queens and Kings, on the Unit Board, on the Boards for both the Monday Club and The Queens and Kings, and the Unit Treasurer. Most recently, she has been in charge of the kitchen during our sectionals along with Marge Chisum. Alice does more on one leg to help the Unit than most of our members do on 2 legs. She has been an inspiration to all of us. She has never refused to do a job when she has been asked, and she is both capable and eager to help in any way that she can. She is a delight at the Bridge table and is always helping to clean up afterwards. She has never let her disability slow her down one iota. We are proud to nominate her for this award. We need more Alices!

Steve Bruce - Unit 207

Steve Bruce has been an unselfish volunteer for Unit 207 for many years. He has served the unit in several capacities during his 34 years as a member. He was President of the Board two different terms and was unit contributor to the Scorecard for two years. He created the unit web page in 1996 and keeps it updated much to the delight of the members. Players can log on to his page to get their scores for the game they played that day, minutes of the board meetings, the schedule of events, and much other information pertaining to the unit. They can also find links to other web sites. Steve has been the unit photographer since 1998 and has served on the ethics committee several times. He and his wife, Dena, hosted the Saturday night team game in their home for two years after the Bridge Studio was sold and there was no place to hold the game.

Steve made life master in 1976 and is currently a Gold Life Master. His favorite partner is Dena; however, before Dena came along, his favorite partner was his dad, Graham Bruce. Steve and Dena's favorite teammates are Steve's nephew, C.G. Bell, Gary and Marcia Powell, George Pisk, and Pat Hood. Both he and Dena are fans of the New York Yankees. They have two daughters, Clara and Melissa; a grandson, Andrew; and a two-year old Jack Russell Terrier, Cooter.

Steve and Dena were married in their backyard on a Saturday in 1976 during the 3rd quarter of the OU-Texas game. The score was 6-6, but Texas had the ball at midfield and was driving. His father, a district judge, performed the ceremony which included a vow to have 16-18 high-card points when they opened 1NT. They skipped the Austin sectional that day, but played in the Swiss team event the next day.

Steve grew up in Orange, Texas, and came to Austin to attend the University of Texas. He graduated with a degree in psychology. He is a web administrator for the State Comptroller.

Roberta Bacon - Unit 209

For the past two years Roberta has served as the secretary of the Odessa Duplicate Bridge Club and has researched the bylaws and recommended needed changes. Roberta has consulted with all the club officers and recommended revisions in the job descriptions. Because of her tireless efforts, our club has immaculate business records.

Roberta facilitated the movement of our club to a new location. She and her husband researched sites and negotiated a new lease. She drew up a to=-scale layout for the movers and supervised the installation of all our furniture. She and her husband then donated a water fountain, clock, printer, and other amenities for the players. Roberta is a cheerful assistant to her husband Robert when he serves as a director. She constantly helps new players to improve their games. She conducts free playing sessions to help novice players.

Raby Smalley - Unit 233

Raby, a rancher and retired agriculture teacher, has been a staunch supporter and volunteer in our unit for over 14 years. In December, 1990, he was elected to the board of directors for a three-year term and served two consecutive terms as unit president. He volunteered to chair the Temple sectional tournaments in March 1993 and 1994, traveling over 30 miles each way from Gatesville to Temple to take care of arrangements for the three-day tournaments. He has also directed the two-session unit championships at the unit's annual Christmas Party and Election which is held in Temple.

In August 1994, he graciously agreed to store the unit's Wells Fargo trailer and bridge tables at his ranch without charge, and for the past 10 years he has transported the trailer and tables to and from the two sectional tournaments held annually in Temple and Waco. He, along with a few others unload and set up the tables for the tournament and reload them when the tournament is over. Also, he has readily brought extra tables to Temple when needed for special unit games.

For almost 10 years he has assisted the Sul Ross bridge club manager by directing the Thursday game, STaC, and other special games, and performing various tasks at the club. Sul Ross is a vital club in our unit with over 100 members, and the club manager has said she could not keep the club open without Raby's assistance.

Bill Kleinecke - Unit 353

There are some people who go about their tasks so quietly and efficiently that the rest of us tend to forget that there is even a job being done. Bill Kleinecke is one of those people. It is fitting that we in Unit 353 recognize him for a job well done!

Those of us who are technologically challenged are amazed at Bill's computer knowledge and his application of it for our benefit. For several years he has been maintaining our website. When you log on to our user-friendly, informative website, you are greeted with music and animation. Bill keeps the information there updated with results from our local clubs. Results from our annual sectional tournament, Dist. 16 STAC games, are included along with those of the nearby Lawton tournament. Statistics are included on individual master point standings including Mini-McKenney and Ace of Clubs races. Links to the District and ACBL are there too.

Bill and his wife Babs have been playing duplicate bridge in Wichita Falls since they moved here in 1962. After Bill retired in 1992, he began to play more often (always with Babs as his partner), and he became more involved in Unit activities. He also earned his Director Certification. The Kleineckes sometime run and direct the daytime games at Bridge A Gap when the Club Director is out of town.

Thanks, Bill, for all your work, and "cheers" to our web-master extraordinaire!