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|Canadian Kindness Felt in Faraway Cambodia|
Most people in the bridge world know Barbara Seagram as one of the top teachers, a prolific author and an intrepid tour guide. What's not so well known is how far she will go
to help her fellow mankind.
About three years ago, Seagram and fellow tour guide Patti Lee discovered a need in Cambodia and went into action. Today, they and their supporters sustain the operations of four schools in Phnom Penh area, paying for electricity, supplies (including computers) and the salaries of teachers and librarians.
Funds to help run the schools come from the bridge players of Canada. "We couldn't do it without them," says Lee, a retired IBM accountant executive who took up teaching and directing bridge after leaving the company. Continued...
Email Barbara to ORDER:
Bidding At Bridge - A Quizbook
by Barbara Seagram & David Bird
You probably know that there are many different bidding methods, or 'systems' - Standard, Two-over-One, Acol, Precision, and a host of others. This book is based on one of the most popular around the world: so-called Standard bidding.
Once your basic bidding is sound and accurately describes the hands that you hold, then you can begin to add special conventions that are designed to cope with specific circumstances.
No one becomes a great bidder merely by adding conventions to their card.
Each of the fourteen chapters begins with three or four pages of instruction. These are followed by several pages of multiple-choice bidding problems, illustrating everyday situations you will face countless times at the table. For each problem, choose the bid that seems to best describe your hand. You can then turn the page to see which bid we rate as best and an explanation of why.
Retail price is $15.95 + tax. GET YOURS for $15.00 total!!
Available @ 5 Glen Park, or by contacting Barbara @ 416-487-8321
or by email,
Laos is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. It is at least 20 years behind all the other countries of that region.
From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions - equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years - making Laos the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. The bombings were part of the U.S. Secret War in Laos to support the Royal Lao Government against the Pathet Lao (Communist) and to interfere with traffic along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The bombings destroyed many
villages and displaced hundreds of thousands of Lao civilians during the nine-year period.
Steve Rutledge from Port Hope, founder of Adopt a Village in Laos, is a volunteer on the ground in Laos for six months of each year, (paying his own airfare, accommodation and meals) has accomplished ALOT over the past few years: CONTINUED...
In 2011, Patti Lee, Barbara Seagram and a group of 50 docked in Phnom Penh. We were armed with clothing, pens, notebooks, rulers, sharpeners, toys, pencils, stickers and anything else you can dream of. We had heard about an Ontario resident, Lisa McCoy, who was known to have dedicated the last few years to being on the ground in Cambodia for several months per year. Working alongside Lisa is a fabulous Australian volunteer, Pauline Johns. Other groups had built two schools in Takeo province in Bakot and Prokeab. Pauline and Lisa pay their own air, accommodation and meals so that all funds raised go to the cause and every penny is accounted for carefully.
At that time, our group and other friends from the Toronto area donated 40 bicycles at a falling-down shack outside Phnom Penh: Banyan Learning Tree School. We went there in a small tuk-tuk along the dusty roads of Phnom Penh and beyond. The bikes were given to mainly children of landmine victims. It was all very uplifting but Patti and Barbara looked at each other and wondered how long this shack would remain standing. We inquired how much it would cost to build a permanent school and found that it would be $24,000.00. We returned to Toronto determined to build a school. We raised $40.000.00 that year so we also furnished all three schools and built a library at one of the schools also. Since then, we remain committed to sustaining FOUR schools... paying teachers, librarians, paying for costs of electricity etc: Costs per year for sustaining all these projects: $12,000.00 total. You can see that money
goes a long way in this country.
We now have 580 students in our schools.
There is a huge need in the remote villages for medical help. Many never see a doctor.
We have therefore decided to build a FAMILY HEALTH CLINIC. It would be the first line of medical support for local families who don't have a doctor and who can't travel to one.
We have an enormous job ahead of us. First we have to find a location and build. We also have many, many details to sort out. After all that, our focus for the first few years will be to make sure that villagers have:
- Access to safe water. This is a fundamental human need and a basic human right.
- Access to health care.
- Health Education: Boiling water, good hygiene and the importance of good nutrition. This will help to prevent the
transmission of diseases.
The infant death rate is at an unacceptable level. Also, we need to work to ensure the health of mothers during pregnancy and childbirth. One of our goals is to reduce the rate of mortality of children under two years old. Immunization is one of the primary methods of preventing mortality from childhood diseases. Therefore we need to offer immunization to all children under the age of 2 years.
Malaria and tuberculosis continue to plague the remote villages. Our primary goals of access to safe water, access to health care and health education will help to prevent the transmission of diseases.
Our first guesstimate for building this project is approximately $50,000.00. After that, there will be considerable costs for the sustaining of this project. We need your help. If you have any professional expertise or know of potential corporate or private sponsors, we would love to hear from you. Barbara:
and Patti: .
Patti and Barbara are excited and optimistic about all of these projects and hold several fundraisers a year. If you are able to make a donation, we would be so grateful.
Mark your calendars now for our next Cambodia Fundraiser Seminar & Bridge Game!
FRIDAY, MAY 1st @ 9.30 am
Location: 5 Glen Park Ave. Habonim Synagogue
Space is limited - REGISTER TODAY!
- Seminar with JOHN RAYNER, a fabulous bridge teacher (who has represented Canada) at 9.30 am.
- A light lunch will be served at 11.30 am.
- Presentation by Patti Lee after lunch.
- Game follows at 12.30 pm.
- Door prizes!
There will be a silent auction so we would welcome any donations of items that you think would be attractive for the auction. Restaurant vouchers, hair dresser vouchers, movie tickets, baseball games, gift certificates are always welcome. If you know someone or are a frequent patron of a restaurant or store, it would be wonderful if you could solicit a donation for this cause.
Please email Patti
Minimum donation: $40.00. NO MAXIMUM!
Tax deductible receipts will be issued to Canadian residents.
Make out cheques to Canadian Landmine Foundation.
US donors make out cheques to A MINE FREE WORLD.
NOTE: There will be a $10.00 fee at the door to cover expenses also.
Thank YOU! - October 2, 2014Our 3rd Annual Cambodia Fundraiser in Gravenhurst on October 2, 2014 raised $7,200.00. GREAT work by Linda Harrison and her team, Carolyne and Kelly. The event included a Bridge seminar with Barbara Seagram, a presentation on Cambodia by Patti Lee, a Happy Duplicate Bridge Game and Silent Auction. Lisa McCoy was also in attendance to answer any questions! Thank you one and all.
...to the Gravenhurst Bridge Community
Which book will help YOU the most?
- Books on Conventions
For Advance Beginners and Intermediate Players
- Books on Bidding, Playing and Defending at Bridge
For Beginners and Intermediate Players
- Quiz Books
For Beginners and Intermediate Players
We hope you can join us on our upcoming bridge cruise and/or bridge trip!
April 24-26, 2015
Spring Bridge at the Briars
...with Barbara Seagram & Alex Kornel
Wonderful food, lots of bridge tips, great bridge & fabulous ambiance. Wine & snacks after Friday & Saturday eve games.
PRIZES, LUCKY DRAWS & MASTER POINTS
special Prces for Spring 2015
*If booked & paid by January 30th
NOTE: Transportation to Briars NOT included. If you need help with transportation, call Barbara far in advance and we will try to arrange a ride.
- $499.00* per person (dbl occ.)
- $629.00* per person (sgl occ.)
May 15th - May 24th, 2015
Barbados Bridge Tournament 2015
NINE Nights Accommodation including all your meals & drinks
USD $1,090.00 PER PERSON (Dbl Occ)
Transfers to and from airport included
HOTEL: Barbados Beach Club, Maxwell Coast Road, Christ Church
The Barbados Bridge League is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
This is a very special rate - breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner & local drinks are all included - house wine with dinner. Manager's Cocktail Party, Opening Dinner & Show & Closing Banquet & Awards Presentation also included
Barbara Seagram & Alex Kornel will be there. This is Barbara's home & native land so she will be happy to advise you of sightseeing opportunities also.
The rate is so excellent that you cannot afford not to do this trip.
- BOOK YOUR OWN AIRFARE (NOT INCLUDED)
- BRIDGE EVENTS ARE NOT INCLUDED
This article originally appeared in the January 2014 ACBL Bridge Bulletin. To join Am Contract Bridge League, email Barbara at
The ACBL is renewing the public education campaign initiated by Seagram, Cronin and Jacobs more than 15 years ago.
The theme, "Play nice," transposes two words we all like to hear at the table ("nice play!").
New posters have been developed and are being disseminated to all clubs.
"I think that all players are responsible for policing this situation. When I call a director about a problem (perhaps at an adjacent table), I make a point of checking with the director later to see what penalty was awarded. If none was, the director gets to listen to me expound on the subject, and if that doesn't work, I then a) report the situation to ACBL and b) speak to the offender myself."