2009 Texas Star Awards

Steve Simpson - Unit 172, San Antonio

Steve Simpson

Steve Simpson, a native of England, has done much to make Unit 172 a better unit. He volunteers as the Unit Webmaster and helps both of the commercial clubs with their websites, spending much time to make sure the websites are attractive and accurate.

At the bridge table, Steve is very pleasant to play with or against. He acts as a standby at 199er games to ensure that all the newer players have someone to play with instead of being turned away.

Steve always sticks around after unit or club games or tournament games to help clean up or move supplies as needed. He never fails to ask if there is anything he can do to help.

A glutton for punishment, one of Steve's goals is to become a director.

Natalie Greene & Dale Crumbaugh - Unit 174, Houston

Natalie Green & Dale Crumbaugh

I have been asked to say a few words about a couple I have known for years, this year’s recipients of the Unit 174 Texas Star Award. I cannot put in a few words all that this couple has done for the game of bridge. There is not a job they would not try to do to help this unit or bridge. We are lucky to have them in our unit and at our club.

They were among the original founders of Bridge Club of Houston; they have been supply coordinators for BCOH since its inception.

Natalie has taught bridge classes at the Club and both have directed games.

They have consistently supported the Club by playing there; they are model competitors; nobody ever hears a cross word from either of them.

They have served Unit 174 as election judges for more years than I can count. They have reliably and accurately counted the votes at the end of each Election Sectional; this has greatly contributed to the fact that the Unit has had no election controversies in recent memory.

They are awesome bridge players and are willing to help anyone who asks.

I consider it a great honor to be able to call Natalie Greene and Dale Crumbaugh my friends.

Sherry Gerdes, Manager, Bridge Club of Houston

Marvin Migdol - Unit 176, Dallas

Marvin Migdol

Marv Migdol has been a very active member of the Dallas Unit since he joined the Unit and ACBL in 1971. Shortly after joining, the word got out that Marvin had a Master's degree in public relations from Boston University and already had lots of experience in writing. He was appointed Publicity Chairman and editor of the Unit's newsletter. Marv’s five years of editing that newsletter set a new standard for excellence. The newsletter was selected as “Best in the Country” by ACBL and both Marv and the Unit received certificates of accomplishments. The newsletter at that time was often 12 pages long and contained many ads, entirely sold by Marv, and was widely used for promoting tournaments. He co-edited major Dallas Regional daily newsletters as well, requiring him to stay up writing into the wee hours of the morning and then distributing it the following day.

No one else has ever served as many terms as a publicity/PR person. He has succeeded in getting substantial media publicity. He was widely lauded for getting media publicity for the past two Dallas Nationals, including TV coverage. He’s even landed publicity for local players in The New York Times.

He has long been a strong supporter of bringing new players to bridge and was twice elected to the Unit's Board of Directors. In recent years Marv has written the Dallas column for the Scorecard. He has also written numerous other articles for the Scorecard, such as pieces for our Nationals and reminisces of great players like Oswald Jacoby and Bobby Goldman.

For over 36 years of devoted and congenial service to Unit 176, we are proud to recognize Marvin Migdol for the Texas Star Award.

Ann Crumpler - Unit 187, Corpus Christi

Ann Crumpler Ann started playing "serious" duplicate about 18 years ago, is not only a wonderful player but has a great table presence. You never know that she has just discovered a 5/0 trump split or her partner has put her in an impossible contract - no grimace, heavy sigh or even rolled eyes. Ann has served on the Unit 187 Board, been Assistant Regional Chairman, Tournament Chairman, Hospitality Chair and Partnership chair, giving her all for each job. At sectionals she has been Martha DeCou's silent partner doing whatever job needed to be done to assist Martha as Chairman - an unsung hero as far as we are concerned. The only fault we can find is that she has let her family and work come before bridge!! Ann is very deserving of the Texas Star Award.

Betty Poindexter - Unit 201, Beaumont

Betty Poindexter

It is Unit 201’s pleasure to honor Betty Poindexter this year as our Texas Star Honoree. Betty is a Silver Life Master and past president of our club for 4 terms. She has served in all official capacities for our unit: Officer, Board Member, Tournament Chair, Director and Committee Chair.

Betty is a “Can Do” kind of person. She gives special luncheons to stimulate attendance, never meets a stranger that doesn't leave a friend, and makes everyone feel welcome.

Best of all is Betty’s positive attitude, always seeing the glass half full. She has a way of encouraging all members and helping them get involved with the activities of our unit. Betty always has a smile and kind words for everyone.

Congratulations Betty – never has a person been more deserving.

Mary Payne - Unit 205, Guadalajara

Mary has been Vice-President of Unit 205 for six years. During this time she has been in charge of prizes for our sectional tournament, hospitality chair for the Puerto Vallarta Regional, chef for our annual Christmas dinner, and sole margarita maker for one of our parties at the Ajijic sectional.

Flora Pettit - Unit 207, Austin

Flora Pettit

Even before her retirement from University of Texas in 2004, Dr. Flora Pettit (biochemist and medical researcher) worked tirelessly to help bridge and bridge players in Austin. She was elected to the Unit Board of Directors and served as treasurer.

Subsequent to her retirement from UT, Flora has done even more to promote the growth and enjoyment of bridge in Austin. As an example of her "going the extra mile," she created special tablecloths for the tables of both the Bridge Center of Austin (where she serves as treasurer) and the Buda Bridge Club. She bought and cut the material, and punched individual holes in the edges of the tablecloths so that she could crochet each edge, a project that took many hours of detailed work.

Another example of "going the extra mile" is Flora's offering of her house for duplicate games when the Bridge Center is occupied by another event such as a non-life-master sectional.

Flora is a wonderful cook and has spent many hours preparing meals and desserts which she then brings to certain special games, greatly adding to the enjoyment of the events.

Flora is a quiet person who never brags or otherwise tries to attract attention to herself, but she is always there when needed.

Ann Servatius - Unit 209, Midland-Odessa

Ann Servatius

Unit 209 is happy to present Ann Servatius as recipient of the Texas Star Award. Ann and Jim have been married fifty-one (51) years - proud parents of four (4) great sons. In 1978 they came to Midland from Plainview. When Hearst Corp. purchased the Midland Reporter Telegram, Jim later became Editor. Ann's spirits became lackluster - until she discovered the Allison Bridge Center which became a big part of her life. While working in Midland Independent School District with Special Ed students (as she had done previously in Plainview) she attained the rank of Life Master in 1996.

Ann is an outstanding cook - being known in Unit 209 for her excellent desserts; cakes for monthly birthday nights, Life Master parties and just any occasion we enjoy and have come to expect. Ann states that baking "sweets" for bridge is a favorite thing to do - keeping at least three (3) cakes in the freezer, ready to go, with electric knife to help them thaw on short notice!

Ann promotes the theory - if you want to have a friend - first you must become one! She is one of our most loyal members. According to Jim "I swear she plays bridge eight (8) days a week" - according to Beatles calendar!

Dee Stearns - Unit 224, Fort Phantom

Ann Servatius

For many years, Mrs. Stearns has actively participated in, and has taken a leadership role in all our Unit's special events, games, and tournaments. Throughout those years, she has repeatedly served on the board and has held various offices and chaired numerous committees. She is such an organized person, we can always count on her to get the job done efficiently.

She continues to be so involved in all the Unit's activities. She mentors less experienced players, she hauls tables to the Civic Center for our tournaments, and organizes and provides food and hospitality for games and tournaments. We simply could not get along without her.

For all these reasons, and more, we wish to thank Mrs. Dee Stearns, and give her the Texas Star Award.

Lela Mae Corley - Unit 225, East Texas

Lela May Corley

Unit 225 would like to nominate Lela Mae Corley, Silver Life Master, of Athens, Texas, for the prestigious Texas Star Award. Her dedication and love for bridge merits her as a worthy candidate. Mrs. Corley directed the Athens Country Club game for 20 years and the Van Zandt Country Club game for 12 years. Even though computers made recording and scoring a lot easier and faster, she diligently double checked each and every score for accuracy.

She made every new player welcome and if needed, made sure they had a partner. A friend of mine told me that she called Lela Mae a few days before going to the Van Zandt game for the first time to see if anyone needed a partner. Lela Mae warmly invited my friend by saying, "Come on to the game and if everyone has a partner, I'll be glad to play with you." No matter who needed a partner at her games, she was always willing to play with them without any reluctance or hesitation. Each year at Christmas, she crafted delightful Christmas ornaments as her gift for each one of her players.

Her genuine kindness and willingness to cooperate to further duplicate bridge has earned her the respect and admiration of many players. Lela Mae loved going to tournaments and helping her bridge players achieve their Life Master. In addition, her great memory and recall of hands played in the past, as well as the present, have made her a sought-after partner and formidable opponent. Unfortunately her health no longer permits her to direct games, but it does not prevent her from playing and enjoying bridge as often as she is able.

Bobbye Woods Hays - Unit 233, Central Texas

Bobbye Woods Hayes

Bobbye, a former teacher in San Antonio and Waco schools, has shared her professional talents with our Unit since she joined us in the early 1990's.

As an assistant to club managers of the 300 bridge club, now the 500 duplicate club, she arranged partnerships, took entry fees, and performed a myriad of other functions that helped make the club the success that it has enjoyed. She was partnership and hospitality chair for the very successful 299'er sectional tournaments in 1999, 2000, and 2001.

She was partnership chair for the Temple sectional tournaments on several occasions, was co-hospitality chair for the Unit Christmas parties in 2005, 2006, and 2007, and helped provide lunch for the two-session GNT Unit qualifying game the past two years.

As a volunteer, Bobbye has proved her ability to promote bridge; and we recommend that she receive the Texas Star Award for 2008

Alla Mae Westbrook - Unit 237, Central Texas

Alla Mae Westbrook

Alla Mae Westbrook has done almost all of the jobs in our Unit with the exception of Game Director. She has served as the Club President for one term and the Scorecard Reporter for 3 years. Until recently, she was the District 16 Board Representative, which she had held for the past 7 years. She cherishes her selection in 2007 as Charity Chairman by Dan Morse, ACBL President. She continues to hold the positions of Internet Coordinator, and Electronic Contact for the Unit.

Her passion, however, has been running tournaments and in this capacity she has been outstanding. A great organizer, she honed her talents as a Tournament Chairman, for a popular golf tournament at the McAllen Country Club for 29 years which has served her well in the many highly successful Bridge Tournaments that she has had the privilege being the Chairman.

It gives me great pleasure, as the Unit President, to nominate Alla Mae as the recipient of the Texas Star for Unit 237 in 2009.