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Club Organizes to Carry On 70-Year Tradition of Competitive Bridge in Danbury Area

With the retirement of club director and manager Ed Finlay, the Newtown Bridge Club has organized as a member-owned, member-run club to continue the 70-year tradition of competitive duplicate bridge in greater Danbury.

The Newtown Bridge Club originated as the Danbury and Candlewood Bridge Clubs in the 1940s. Games were held in the former Hotel Green in downtown Danbury on Monday and Friday evenings. Morris Feinson, long ranked as a top Connecticut player and a regular at the Newtown Bridge Club, played his first game at the Danbury Club at the Hotel Green in 1948 when he returned home from college. After moving from the Hotel Green, the club played for over 40 years in the VFW hall in Danbury.  Two of the directors during this period, Nancy Bentley and Ruth Didkowsky, often compete at Newtown club games. Mr. Finlay, who took over the club in 2005, moved the games to the Hawleyville Fire Station in 2008 and gave the club its current name.

“The Newtown Bridge Club inherited a legacy of being a friendly place to learn and play bridge,” said Carl Palmer, president of the club’s new board of directors. “We’re committed to offering competitive bridge games for players who enjoy the game, from novice to expert.” After researching options about how to continue as an active bridge club, the organizing committee decided a member-owned nonprofit club would be the club’s best path forward for maintaining a long-term robust center of bridge activity.

The club’s games are attended by players from Newtown, Danbury, Brookfield, Southbury, Ridgefield, Redding, other local towns and the surrounding Litchfield, New Haven and Putnam (NY) counties. Players from across the country find the club on the internet and frequently join games while visiting the area. Lasting friendships have formed over the bridge table. Newtown residents Heidi Winslow and Lou Carbone met as a chance partnership at a Danbury club game in 1980 and remained friends although they never played again as bridge partners until marrying in 1991.

Newtown Bridge Club plays games on Tuesdays at 10 am and 7 pm and on Wednesdays at 10 am at the Hawleyville Fire Station, 34 Hawleyville Road, Newtown. Starting March 10, the club will host a fourth weekly game on Mondays at 1 pm. All bridge players are welcome.

For more information, visit www.newtownbridge.org or contact the club manager at director@newtownbridge.org or (203) 733-8525.

The Newtown Bridge Club is affiliated with the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL). The ACBL’s 160,000 members come together for more than 2.5 million tables of play each year at 3,200 clubs and 1,100 tournaments throughout North America.

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