Clear Lake Bridge Club History

 

Clear Lake Bridge Club  (CLBC) is the evolution of a group of players over the last 30 years.  We currently have 200 members -- since our formation we have had over 2000 Members

 

CLBC was started by Ed Allen as a private club in the late 80's. Ed directed the games which began with one game/week in a rented room until it grew enough to begin leasing full-time space in the strip shopping center a few blocks north of the current location.  Ed moved the club to the current location at 16614 Sea Lark Rd, Houston, Tx. At that time, we occupied the north side of the building and building owner ran a beauty shop in the south side.  

 

Ed retired in 1998 and a group of about 30 frequent players got together to take over the Club’s operation. They purchased the club’s assets, took over the building lease, and kept the CLBC name.  Initially, it was an unincorporated member’s owned club.  Nelson Brown played a pivotal role in financing the club’s purchase and was the first Club President/Manager.  

Currently, the Board and about 30 other positions, except for directing and teaching, are performed by unpaid volunteers.  This allows the Club to charge very low fees...especially for a Club operating in a dedicated facility.  The Club became a not-for-profit organization in 2011, and incorporated as such in Texas in 2013.

 

Shortly after the Club was purchased, the Pasadena Bridge Club (PBC) lost their lease and worked out an arrangement to hold their games using the CLBC facilities.  The PBC was a similar “member’s owned and operated” club, that was run in a not-for-profit manner.  Over time, most players became members in both clubs and eventually PBC was merged into the CLBC in late 2011.  At the time of the merger, CLBC ran 6 games per week and PBC ran 3.  The CLBC was converted to a federal not-for-profit association in 2010, and the merged club was incorporated in Texas in 2013.  

 

In 2013 the building owner retired, closed her shop and sold the building to CLBC.  This was very fortunate timing, because the club had been steadily growing and was starting to need more space.  Having the whole building increased playing space by more than 50% and allowed having two activities at the same time.     

 

In early 2020 the COVID 19 Virus spread broadly and "social distancing" became the norm. The USA duplicate bridge community was affected.  The ACBL canceled its National and Regional Tournaments and made a painful recommendation that due to the nature of bridge and the significant numbers of older/vulnerable players, face-to-face bridge should be temporarily suspended.  So CLBC stopped all of our games and classes.  In its place, we began a joint effort with Galveston to launch the CLBC-GBC Virtual Club sponsored by ACBL and hosted on BBO.  With this activity we have continued to maintain roughly the same table count from prior years.

 

The Club has grown steadily at about 6% a year over the last 10 years. Total memberships currently stand at about 200, and total tables played was a little over 5,000 last year.

 

Education & Training

 

In the years immediately following the purchase of the Club from Ed Allen, Dave Glandorf and George Wieland started a teaching program. In 2001 Dave Glandorf expanded the Education Programs at CLBC to offer a year-long, trimester program of Introductory Classes and Specialty Classes as well as the popular Bridge Lab program.  Dave is instrumental in the development of many bridge players and the growth of CLBC.  Over the years, Dave introduced/reintroduced bridge to more than a hundred people;  from those who had never played the game to those who had not played for over 20 years as they worked, raised a family or were otherwise occupied.  Dave's Mentees are legion-- consequently he has been voted Teacher of the Year twice, once for the state and once nationally.  Furthermore, he is a certified Master Teacher...a difficult to achieve standing in ACBL.  

 

Founding Members

 

The following are current members of CLBC who were among our Founding Membership.  Without them there would be no Clear Lake Bridge Club--

Dana Brown

Nelson Brown

Rose Cleveland

JD Frick

Dave Glandorf

Bob Graber

Sherry Greisen

Jim Lambert

Mary Rich Lambert

Steve Lowenkron

David Mitchell 

Ida Morrow

Peggy Naughton

Edith Reid

Barbara Savrick

Rick Stell

Paul Stereff

John Taylor

Carol Van Dyke

Steve Vaughn

George Wieland

Ruth Wood

 

Board of Directors

 

Oversight of our Club is the responsibility of the Board of Directors which are voted upon each February at the Annual Meeting.  The President of the Board also functions as Club Manager.  The following is the history of Presidents who have helped shaped the development of the Club.

Nelson Brown Jr.

George Wieland

Jim Lambert

Rose Cleveland

Peggy Naughton

Chuck Ensor

Claudia Parr

Rick Burkhart

Bob Dowlen

Jim Ochsner

Katie Gardner

Doug Lilly (Current)

 

Unit 174 Participation

 

We are proud of the committment CLBC Members make to the strength of Unit 174 by their willingness to seek Board roles in service to the Unit.  Below are a list of our members who have served on the Unit 174 Board.

 

Dave Becker

Cindy Cox

Bob Dowlen

Chuck Ensor

Nancy Guthrie

Ken Hudson

Greg May

Bill Smith

 

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