News from Northern Indiana Unit 154

Editor: Kim Grant, Fort Wayne IN

(260) 740-7348       Unit website:


August 4, 5 & 6, 2017 -- Kroc Center in South Bend

Unit 154’s ANNUAL MEETING will be held at the South Bend Summer Sectional on Sunday, August 6 @ 9:15AM

   Tournament ChairJohn Hamilton    574-233-2947


Ken Bisson, Angola IN

Ken’s position in the ACBL monthly "It's Your Call" competition has climbed to 38. He is currently the only name from Indiana making the ACBL "YTD top 100 list".

He credits this achievement to the fact that he has been working with a group of bridge students for the past two years with a weekly lesson on Bridge Base Online. The students take random deals for one hour at a teaching table that he hosts on BBO. During the week, he reviews their auctions and writes his suggestions for improving their bidding. Once completed, he sends his review by email to his students and to any interested bridge players. These free lessons are available to all. Students are welcome to participate at the table or just get the email review.

Ken says, “Not surprisingly, my time spent on the analysis and in preparing my review has been the best thing for my personal improvement. I love such "win-win" activities.”

Congratulations Ken.  Keep up the good work!


If anyone told Rose Ferguson, Fort Wayne, when she learned to play the game back in 1950 that she would be teaching others to play the game, she says she would have “questioned their sanity since she had so many unanswered questions about the game herself.”

Rose did not intentionally set out to become a bridge instructor, it happened by chance at a church meeting when a fellow parishioner asked her if she could teach bridge to a group of his neighbors.  Flattered by his request and excited by the prospect, she immediately researched available teaching aides.  The only materials she could in 1974 was a teaching manual by Charles Michaels and Ruth Cohen titled, “4, 3, 2, 1” which covered four card majors!

Through word of mouth, she was soon contacted to teach by, sororities, neighborhood associations, country clubs, and women’s organizations.  At one point in time she was teaching five classes a week!  In 1979, she began teaching for the YWCA and continued there through 1989.  In 1983, she began her 34 year career at Indiana Purdue Fort Wayne where she finished her last class in April of this year.

She says “the decision to retire was very difficult.”  “Teaching Bridge has been an important part and gratifying part of my life.”  She says an example of this “was when a student advised me that her bridge playing ability was instrumental in her being welcomed into a new community.”  “Another player thanked me profusely for teaching his partner to play the game because they established a great winning partnership.”  “Another beginning student designed a bridge flip chart which I edited and offered to market for her.  It was that good.  Incidentally, she just completed my April Intermediate/Advanced class and has prepared another flip chart!”

She worked to instill in her students a love for this fantastic game.  She says, “My payback for teaching are the smiles, hugs, and greetings I receive when I encounter a former student and they tell me they are still playing and loving the game.”  She notes, “ I was recently told by a physician friend and former student that I performed a miracle.  Upon inquiring what he meant by that statement, he replied that after taking my class, I made a bridge lover of his wife who originally had neither wanted to learn nor play the game.”

Rose looked at the current membership roster at the Fort Wayne Duplicate Bridge Club and estimates that 26 percent of the current players are former students.  She asks “Could one ask for more?”

The Fort Wayne bridge teaching community will miss Rose Ferguson but we are glad that she is still playing!


Jerry Newell of Schererville passed away on April 19 at the age of 87. He was an FBI agent, co-founded J & J Newell Concrete Contractors, Inc., was president of Freewell Restaurant Co which owned and operated Lums restaurant franchises, and developed and sold real estate properties. He loved to travel and downhill ski, spending many winters at his second home in Snowmass Village CO.

Jerry traveled extensively, taking a total of 18 cruises. He circumnavigated the globe several times. He played bridge, a game he loved, aboard the ships, and many times he was the winner in their tournaments.

One of his favorite trips was flying on the Concorde where he sat next to some famous singer he didn't know, named "Mick Jagger". On his 87th birthday, he took his family to the Bahamas and Miami, just so he could eat at his favorite restaurant on the planet — Joe's Stone Crab.

Mary Manchak of Munster passed away on April 5 at the age of 96.

She had not played bridge for at least the last four years. She mostly played duplicate on Mondays, but she much preferred to play social bridge. She loved the game. 

Mary was a principal at a local private school. Besides bridge, she enjoyed tennis and golf.

70% + GAMES

Chuck & Marcy Tomes, Valparaiso:  73.96%  3/21

Wayne Carpenter, Chesterton & Laverne Niksch, Portage:  72.76%  3/27

Elaine DeLaney & Jimmy Cordas, South Bend:  70.37%   4/3

Marcy & Chuck Tomes, Valparaiso:  80.00%  4/4

Ken Bisson & Chet Pinkham, Angola;  74.17%  4/4

Ken Bisson & Chet Pinkham, Angola;  80%  4/11

Laverne Niksch, Portage & Wayne Carpenter, Chesterton:  73.21%  4/17

Chayem Ben Moshe, South Bend & Chris Habegger, Bristol:  71.06%  4/24

Ron Richey & Jackie Kohrman, Fort Wayne:  70.58%  5/3

Joe Sowder & Dave Hoevel, Fort Wayne:  70.83%  5/4

Chuck Briggs, Hobart & Dave Watkins, Hobart:  72.28%  5/9

Lee & Paul Knepper, New Haven:  73.06%  5/16

Ron Richey & Jackie Kohrman, Fort Wayne:  70.75%  5/17

John & Tricia Killeen, South Bend:  70.83%  5/17

Don Giedemann, Valparaiso & Chuck Tomes, Valparaiso:  72.50%  5/17

Sharon Massey, Portage & Pat Christ, Crown Point:  70.00%  5/17

Steve Watson, Schererville & Lou Nimnicht, Crown Point:  70.83%  5/23



   Kathleen Kenefick, Michigan City; Barbara Mort, Chesterton Junior Master


   Roger Chrastil , South Bend; Dr. Stan Davis, Fort Wayne; Benjamin Paulson, South Bend; Joyce Wert, Wabash


   Verne Lee, Valparaiso; John Lutz, Wolcottville; Maureen Skurski, South Bend


   Gloria Georger, Lowell; Martha Harris, Highland; Pamela Satek, Fremont


   Howard Chapman, Fort Wayne


Yuan Hsu of Hammond has reached the 1000-point mark in the bridge world. He is a worthy recipient of this distinction. He has a real talent for understanding the intricacies of the game and predicting where the missing cards lie. Playing bridge is an exciting adventure for him, and he makes it fun for others at the table, as well.

Trudi McKamey says that Yuan is one of the most popular players in our club, and she always looks forward to having him as her partner. His bidding is solid, and she learns a lot just by watching him play the hand.

Carolyn Potasnik says that although Yuan's motto is "Keep it simple," he can adapt successfully to anybody's game, which explains why he can play with many people at different levels. He rose quickly up the rankings because he has a keen sense of where the cards are and how to play them. He is kind and always a perfect gentleman.

Dr. Art Kupersmith, Marion

Douglas Scripture, Mishawaka

Anna Urick of Hammond became a Silver Life Master in March.