2014 Texas Star Awards

Wayne Rauschuber - Unit 172

Jim Woodward - Unit 174

Marion Gephardt - Unit 176

Millie Williams - Unit 183

Russ & Kathe Powers – Unit 187

Gina Schultz - Unit 197

The members if the Unit 197 Texas Star nominating committee proudly nominate Gina Schultz for this year's award. Gina has been a member of our unit for about 10 years and has made an impact almost since joining. She has served on the board of several clubs and presently serves on the Unit Board. You will often see her taking up money for various games. She has been a big help with maintaining the computer in Ken's and Anita's absence and has served as a right hand man to the past Unit treasurer by doing spread sheets and various other computer accounting. She now serves as our treasurer and is a Unit Board member. At present, she gives countless hours to the Monday night lessons with Becky Howard. She sets boards, types lesson sheets, and helps the players understand the conventions and hand play. These Monday night sessions are helping some of the newer players become proficient enough to play in the regular games. Gina has also helped Gwen Wright with acquiring the new dealing machines by taking up some of the money and opening a special account for the proceeds. She has also helped with the 8 is Enough games and has been willing to play with some of the newer players. We are proud and happy to present Gina with this award.

Ed Rasmussen - Unit 201

Ed Rasmussen began playing duplicate bridge in 1979 and earned his Life Master in 1995 in Hyannis, MA. He served as Manager of the Puritan Bridge Club in Braintree, MA, from 2004-2009. In 2010, Ed relocated to Beaumont, Texas, where he currently serves as a Director for the Beaumont Bridge Studio.

Ed goes above and beyond his compensated duties at the studio. He faithfully prepares and posts hand records for all games he directs and for games directed by three other individuals. It is not uncommon for Ed to prepare and post hand records from his home for expedience. He has raised the level of support to participants, and players have become quite dependent on his contributions.

Ed eagerly shares information with those who seek his guidance. He is an excellent bridge player with a great mind for analysis. He often fills in to complete a partnership. He graciously plays with individuals whose skill level is far below his and uses the experience to coach the newer players.

Ed is also a musician, playing the bassoon and clarinet for the Orange Community Band. Prior to his move to Texas he was a member of the South Shore Bay Band in Duxbury and the Southeastern Philharmonic Orchestra in East Weymouth.

The Texas Star Award was established to honor those who work steadfastly at the Unit level to promote Bridge and to further Unit activities. Ed Rasmussen works steadfastly to promote Bridge and Unit activities for Unit 201, and his efforts are appreciated.

Beth Tobias - Unit 207

Beth Tobias

Capital of Texas Bridge, Unit 207, is proud to name Beth Tobias as our Star of Texas recipient for 2014. The Star of Texas award is the highest recognition our Unit can give to a member and is awarded for overall service to the Unit and for promotion of positive bridge in our area.

Born and bred in New York City, Beth received her undergraduate degree from Queen’s College in mathematics, then earned a Master’s degree in Computer Science from Purdue University. Professionally, Beth then worked for IBM for 23 years, living in New York’s Hudson Valley area. Moving to Austin in 1993, Beth worked for the City of Austin as an IT manager until her retirement in 2004.

Beth says she has been playing card games her whole life, but started playing social bridge while at Purdue after reading Sheinwold’s “5 Weeks to Winning Bridge.” Play was continued as lunch time games at IBM, which led to actual bridge classes, and to duplicate games in Poughkeepsie. Beth became hooked on bridge because she likes solving problems and every game contains an interesting problem! The social interaction is also a critical component of the game.

Beth began playing bridge in Austin in 1993 when she and husband, Paul, moved here. Since that time, she served on the Unit Board for a number of years, then was caddy chair for several years. In 2005, she was one of the founders of the Bridge Center of Austin (which is a corporation), serving as president of the organization for 6 years.  She continues to serve on the Bridge Center Board. Under her guidance, the Bridge Center has thrived and become a viable, important element in the overall development of bridge in Austin. Beth knows what is going on in the Austin bridge community, knows who to contact with problems, and is always willing to step up when asked. She works quietly behind the scenes, but anyone who wants to get something done, knows she is the one to contact for help and guidance.  Beth, we thank you for all you have done for our Unit and for your part in the development and promotion of good bridge and a strong Bridge Club and ACBL Unit in Central Texas.

Flo Curry - Unit 209

Vance McCracken - Unit 224

Noelene Hardy - Unit 225

Asa Waterman - Unit 233

Lois Roberson - Unit 353

Beth Tobias

On behalf of the Wichita Falls Unit #353, the Board of Directors would like to nominate Lois Roberson as the 2013 recipient for the Texas Star Award.

There have always been two or more Bridge Clubs in the city of Wichita Falls, in different locations, sometimes playing at the same times. These circumstances led to competition among members and directors of the various games and did not promote good will among the participants or promote a positive image within the community.

In September of 2011, after months of searching and board meetings (during which time Lois was the President of the Board of Directors), the Wichita Falls Unit made the decision to lease one central location and bring the clubs (and the Unit) together. The monumental task of accomplishing the Unit's goal was spearheaded by Lois, who led by example; she worked, negotiated, scrubbed, painted, did some plumbing, hiring, and encouraged every bridge player to pitch in and help. Today the new bridge club is called 'The Bridge Center' and a game is held there almost every day of the week, with lessons to be had on Wednesdays. While getting all of this done, Lois fulfilled the president's duties without fail. She never lost her determination to get the job done, and remained cheerful, enthusiastic and hardworking throughout the months of negotiation and renovation. Without Lois's efforts and leadership, the 'Bridge Center' would not be the success that it has become.