Competitive bridge players from Oklahoma City’s Robert Adams Duplicate Bridge Club will play bridge all day long on June 21, the longest day of the year.
The goal for “The Longest Day” is to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association. The same day, about 160 other bridge clubs that are part of the American Contract Bridge League will play bridge from dawn until dusk, about 16 hours on the longest day of the year.
Last year, the teams collectively raised $575,000 for the association. This year’s goal is $750,000.
With an average age of 69, members of the American Contract Bridge League are often significantly affected by Alzheimer’s, whether they themselves or a loved one has it, said Darbi Padbury, spokeswoman for the league.
But playing games such as bridge can stave off some of the degenerative effects of aging.
“Studies have shown strong links between games, such as bridge, and successful aging,” Robert Harman, CEO of the American Contract Bridge League, said in a news release. “The game alone challenges and stimulates mental acuity, but there’s also a strong social aspect that can aid with successful aging.”
By raising money as part of “The Longest Day,” bridge players can honor friends and loved ones who have been stricken with the disease, while still keeping their own mental skills sharp, according to the league.
If you’d like to get involved but don’t play bridge, many clubs offer beginner lessons, a great way to involve the community while teaching a fun game that could impact the learner’s quality of life in the future, Harman said.