Every time a club gets 10 new members, it earns the right to have a club championship game. We have increased our membership lately with the addition of several of Sue Wilson’s bridge students, and last week our reward was a club championship game. The winners (Sue Wilson and Jeannie Exum) earned a whooping three master points for their performance.

Our numbers have been shrinking until recently, so it is good to see membership growing all of a sudden. We have more Mitchell movements instead of Howell movements, and that, in itself, is a blessing. In a Mitchell movement, only E/W players move after each round, but in a Howell movement, everybody moves, often creating confusion.

Last week, both games were charity games, one local and one for the American Contract Bridge League.

We change the cards every three or four months, so we are left with lots of gently used playing cards. For a while, a USO member from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church was collecting our cards and sending them in care packages with lots of other goodies to military personnel stationed overseas.

We had asked other clubs in eastern North Carolina to bring us their used cards, and many clubs had responded generously. Both Wilson and Carteret County sent us many, many dozens of cards. However, our USO representative moved away from the area. So we had many decks of cards accumulating with no place to send them.

Al Takemoto to the rescue. Al is retired from the Air Force, and I thought he might be able to find us another USO source. I asked him last Monday, and by Thursday, he had found an active unit at Camp LeJeune.

Mike Gooden, formerly from Goldsboro, has moved to Morehead City where he is president, club manager and director of the Crystal Coast game. He had saved more than 100 decks of cards for us, which he delivered to me last weekend. Al will get the cards to the right person. Much joy can be had from a simple deck of 52 cards, especially if you know how to play bridge.

Mike is another person who jumped into duplicate bridge head first. Since the Crystal Coast Country Club is still damaged from Hurricane Florence, his group is playing at New River Golf Club in Beaufort. Mike plays three or four times a week, and had just returned from High Point where he and his brother, Steve, played in a tournament.

Gary Partin got a good board by overtaking his partner’s king with his ace against a four heart contract last week. After taking the ace, he led his singleton club, which his partner took with her ace. She returned the club, which Gary trumped, becoming a hero and holding the declarer to four hearts instead of five. Go, Gary!

Players welcomed Sarah Weeks and Ann Gold from Kinston to Monday’s game. They also sent Peggy Seegars a perk up card, and congratulated Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett on a 71-percent game.

Last Wednesday, Kay Allen showed up for beginner bridge. Kay is no beginner, but she wants to learn the “new way.” I gave my students a pop test at the beginning of the lesson, and they all did very well. Thanks to Tommy Franklin, who helped me with the lesson.

The best way to learn is to play, and many students are doing just that. You learn lots more from your mistakes than from your successes.

Mark your calendars for the second weekend in April. Greenville’s sectional tournament starts Friday and goes through Sunday. It’s an easy drive to Greenville and a chance to get some tournament experience.

Thursday’s results: first, Sue Wilson and Jeannie Exum; second, Billy Bizzell and Selby Corbett; third, Sterling Jarrett and Barbara Ann Vinson; fourth, Tommy Franklin and Joe Exum; fifth, Kaye Langston and Shelby Bizzell. B — fourth, Anne Pate and Theria McPhail. C — second, Al Takemoto and Bill Warren.

Monday’s winners: N/S first, Cathy Howell and Sterling Jarrett; second, Al Takemoto and Bill Warren; third, Pat Keim and Bill Allgaier.

E/W first, Krishnaprasad and Selby Corbett; second, Doris Baddour and Kaye Langston; third, Lind Meyer and Shelby Bizzell. C — first, Maureen Prys and Sharon Stanley; second, Anne Pate and Theria McPhail.