ACBL & District 4 Charity Aids Utica Center with Big Check


Sandra Soroka, executive director of The Neighborhood Center in Utica, accepts a $4500 check from Unit 112 president DeWitt Henricks and members of the Mohawk Valley Bridge Association (from left)   Richard Hartz, Paul Ohlbaum,  Billie Ohlbaum, Betty Youmans, and club president Ann Smallen


There was a loud roar from the crowd of more than 300 people at the fundraising dinner/auction on Nov. 17 for The Neighborhood Center in Utica when executive director Sandra Soroka announced a $4500 contribution from the ACBL Charity fund. And there were wide smiles on the faces of the five Mohawk Valley Bridge Association members when they presented the oversized check to Sandra.

The check, presented by Unit 112 president DeWitt Henricks, will help purchase safety and sports equipment for the center’s new gymnasium. The center is a non-profit organization that offers programs for children and youth as well as mental health services.

“With the support from generous organizations like yours,” Soroka said, “The Neighborhood Center will continue to help children and families in our community. By offering a safe, nurturing environment that allows children to thrive you are making an impact with this funding. This generosity helps further our mission.  Thank you for your support to help make the world a better place to live.”

The Charity grant was a giant step toward The Neighborhood Center’s goal of $24,500 to fund the purchase of a new basketball backboard and hoop, perimeter wall mats to prevent contact injuries, and other sporting goods equipment.

Betty Youmans, a board member of both The Neighborhood Center and the Unit 112 Board of Directors, submitted the successful District 4 ACBL Charity fund  nomination. District 4 awarded $30,000 to 7 non-profit organizations within the district. The ACBL Charity fund consists of funds raised at designated  games  throughout the year.  A recent Gold Life Master, Betty is board secretary of The Neighborhood Center and has taught beginning bridge lessons at the center to disadvantaged youth.

“I was extremely happy that our nomination was successful,” Youmans said. “The Neighborhood Center serves a vital role in providing much-needed human services in our community. I can’t think of a more deserving recipient of the Charity fund.”

Leave a Reply