On a sunny, summer morning, PHS vans arrived at the Presbyterian Homes and Services home office in Roseville, MN. The vans, inscribed with community names: Boutwells Landing, Lake Minnetonka Shores, Beacon Hill, Folkestone, Johanna Shores, and Waverly Gardens made it easy to identify their passengers as PHS residents. Fifty-two residents arrived with a similar mission — to take on their opponents in the great battle for title of Bridge Champion.
On Friday, August 4, Jennifer Lachermeier, Life Enrichment Assistant at Lake Minnetonka Shores, spearheaded the bridge tournament with the help of Rob Lahammer, Executive Director of Customer Engagement, Employee Engagement and Advocacy, in an effort to bring residents from different PHS communities together. Bridge is a card game that continues to be popular among all ages, providing social interaction while exercising each player’s mental agility.
Competitors were ready for the tournament, and many were equipped with years of bridge playing experience. Most feared were the numerous players who revealed they used to travel the country playing bridge competitively striking panic through the bones of their competition.
Players made their way to the conference center where 13 card tables awaited them. Teams took their places, and a hush quickly fell over the room as the first round of cards was dealt. Silence filled the air, as the only communication taking place was the intense eye contact and facial expressions shared between teammates. Players exhibited their skills over 3 rounds — consisting of 6 hands. After the final round, teams nervously tallied their score in anticipation of taking home the gold. The title of Bridge Champion hung in the balance. Jennifer read the names of the three highest scoring teams and awarded each with trophies. First place finishers, Gloria Hohn and Dorothy Wellens from Folkestone, exemplified their bridge playing skills scoring more than 4,000 points. No one went home empty handed and players were awarded prizes including gift cards, jewelry, and two handmade quilts generously donated by PHS home office employee Wanda Savig.
Players and staff enjoyed spending the day in fellowship. Although trophies couldn’t be won by everyone, the true prize was sharing a common love for Bridge. The energy spread through the office and PHS home office staff relished in the opportunity to open the door to residents.
As residents departed for home, the conversation moved to discussion of a rematch — for another round of bridge!