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Building a bridge of friendship for two decades

Gathered together at the Crowder home for their weekly bridge group are, left to right: Kate Riess, Carol Kingery, Jan Jacob, Jane Johnson, Mary Jo Rodeno, Eileen Gass, Angie Crowder, Sandy Harden and Ellen Dugan. This collection of ladies has been together for 16 years.

Article and photos by Lynn Zahorik

Every Monday morning, eight lively women come together at one of their Castle Pines homes to play bridge. The age-old card game teaches logic, reasoning, quick thinking, patience, concentration and partnership skills. This Castle Pines bridge group got its start 20 years ago, where Angie Crowder and Sandy Harden were two of the founding members. The group that gathers religiously has been together for approximately 16 years, and actually includes nine women because someone is usually unable to attend.

The hostess for the bridge game makes sure everyone has enjoyed a wonderful brunch before sitting down to play. These ladies are keen players who have refined their tactics over the years. They usually play 20 hands of bridge, which include five rounds of four hands, changing partners every four hands. The stakes are high, as they put in their $2 each week. The winner takes $10, second place wins $5 and the loser takes home the remaining $1.

The ladies are committed to the game they love, but more importantly they are committed to one another. “We have been together for so many years because not only do we love the challenges of bridge, but because we are loyal friends,” stated Crowder. “We cherish and support one another in good times and bad and we have fun!” The women have weathered together through bouts of cancer, loss of loved ones and the daily challenges of life. They celebrate the beauty of their friendship that was born from the love of the game of bridge.

The foursome of Harden, Crowder, Gass and Jacob have picked their playing partners and are prepared to challenge their opponents for the first round of play.

Kate Riess looks forward to Monday mornings when she has the chance to bond weekly with her diverse family of friends over the intelligent card game of bridge. “I learn something each week and forget something, also,” says Riess. “Win or lose we are still a group of friends at the end of the day. The networking and getting together is really special.”



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