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YMCA & Sun Valley Bridge Partner to Increase Senior Activities

KETCHUM, Idaho --(Sept. 4, 2019) The Wood River Community YMCA and Sun Valley Bridge are partnering to strengthen the Y’s programs for active, older adults.

The bridge group will change its name to Sun Valley Bridge at the YMCA and hold two games a week, as well as lessons, at the YMCA, 101 Saddle Road, Ketchum.

Bridge games will be held Wednesdays and Fridays from 2:45 to 5:30 p.m., and are designed for beginning and intermediate players. Advanced players may participate if they are mentoring less experienced players. Reservations are required.

“The Y is here for the entire community,” Jason Shearer, YMCA CEO, said. “Many studies indicate that bridge helps keep people mentally alert and fosters a sense of community.”

“Bridge is important for people unable to participate in outdoor activities. We have had bridge at the Y for several years and are pleased to strengthen our relationship with the bridge club.”

A Mayo Clinic neurologist, Dr. Keith A. Joseph, recently told the AARP that playing bridge and being socially active leads to better health. “Patients are less likely to be depressed; hence they sleep better, tend to exercise more and have a better life in general. They do better from a cognitive standpoint," he said.

Bridge players donated approximately $9,000 to the Y’s “Strong Kids” campaign this year, helping the Y provide critical youth and family programs.

Sun Valley Bridge at the YMCA prides itself on offering a fun, friendly game, Chuck Abramo, club manager, said. “Our goal is to create a sense of community. We have regular potlucks, and many players gather at a local restaurant after each Wednesday game. We practice ‘zero tolerance,’ which is a bridge term for saying that players must be nice to each other at all times.”

The duplicate bridge games are sanctioned by the American Contract Bridge League, and masterpoints are awarded. Reservations are required, and partners are usually available.

Although most players are senior citizens, the games are open to all ages. Several college students participate regularly during their school breaks.

Private and online bridge lessons are available year-round, and group lessons will resume in the winter. Sun Valley Bridge at the YMCA has two teachers certified by the American Contract Bridge League, Abramo and Jo Murray. Abramo is a  life master, and Murray is a silver life master.  

Additional information is on the web at and on the Y’s website or at (208) 720-1501.

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