Clarks Summit bridge club joins nationwide event to trump Alzheimer’s

June 13th, 2015 10:12 am

CLARKS SUMMIT — The Northeast Pennsylvania Duplicate Bridge Club will join hundreds of bridge clubs across the country to raise money by playing in a daylong bridge game, allowing players to honor friends and loved ones affected by the disease while also keeping their own mental skills sharp.

For the third consecutive year, the American Contract Bridge League, the sanctioning body for the game of bridge, is teaming up with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise money for Alzheimer’s research in one of the group’s signature fundraising events – The Longest Day.

Held on the summer solstice, June 21, The Longest Day symbolizes the challenging journey of those living with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. The local club’s fundraising team, “ABCL #227744,” will support the cause by playing bridge from sunrise to sunset and offering free lessons to the public. Team captain John Burns set a goal to raise $1,600.

With an average age of 69, ACBL’s members – most of whom play regularly at local bridge clubs – are significantly affected by Alzheimer’s disease. The Longest Day is an opportunity for bridge players to join the fight against the disease while receiving the mental and social healthy aging benefits the game of bridge offers.

A 2014 study by the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center found that, by playing card and board games, such as bridge, older people can better retain their mental sharpness.

In the past two years, more than 160 bridge clubs have raised more than $1 million for the Alzheimer’s Association, providing much needed funds for the care, support and research efforts it leads. This year, the ACBL is setting its sights on raising more than $600,000, and it plans to increase that amount incrementally each year as more bridge clubs participate in the effort.