Carmond "Fitz” Fitzgerald, director and founder of the Granbury Bridge Club, was the recipient of a distinguished and honorable award during the club’s weekly American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) sponsored game on March 20.
The Linda Powers Award — named after a competitive bridge player and teacher in Missouri — was presented to Fitzgerald for his leadership and achievements in significantly advancing the mission of the Alzheimer's Association through participation in The Longest Day.
The Longest Day, known as the summer solstice, takes place in June. It’s the day of the year with the most sunlight, and is dedicated to “fighting the darkness of Alzheimer’s through fundraising activities,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association website.
“This is a huge accomplishment to be awarded the Linda Powers Award,” Jordan Craig, manager at The Longest Day North Central Texas Alzheimer’s Association, stated in an email. “Only one person from our organization is awarded each year for their demonstrated leadership in promoting and supporting their global team in participation and fundraising while also serving a key role in advancing The Longest Day community and the Alzheimer's Association's mission. Out of the whole Alzheimer's Association, Fitz was awarded because of his passion to move the needle and end Alzheimer's.”
Last year the Granbury Bridge Club had its most successful year to date. With Fitzgerald at the helm, the club raised more than $22,000 for the Alzheimer's Association, ranking eighth in funds collected by all sanctioned clubs within the ACBL.
"Granbury and Hood County should be proud to have such an asset in our community in the fight against Alzheimer's,” Courtney Current, volunteer for The Longest Day committee, said in an email to the HCN. “What a profound impact that has been made, consistently! This award is to one person in the entire U.S. and this community should be elated at such an honor!"
For the last seven years, Fitzgerald has worked diligently to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of his wife Darlene, who passed away in 2018.
“Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disorder,” Fitzgerald said, also in an email to the HCN. “It involves a continual decline in thinking, behavioral, and social skills that disrupts a person's ability to function independently. The League became a global partner of the Alzheimer's Association several years ago. Playing bridge keeps your brain healthy and exercised; thinking, socialization, and memory are such an integral part of playing bridge.”
The Granbury Bridge Club is made up of approximately 60 members and more are always being sought. The club doesn’t require members to pay dues, just $8 every Monday to play.
The club hosts its ACBL sponsored game at noon on Mondays at the Captain’s Texas Cottage, located at 5918 Henslee Ct. Each game lasts about three and a half hours.
"I am honored and humbled by this award,” Fitzgerald added, on Monday. “So many bridge players, their families, as well as the Granbury community participated in The Longest Day fundraising campaign last year. I attribute this recognition to them. I also want to thank the North Central Texas Alzheimer's Association for submitting my name for this honor and presenting it here at the (Granbury) Bridge Club today.”
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