Serving up favorable suits for charity, Cards for Cardiacs, a group of generous card players, is opening its group to the public again for another season starting Sept. 18.
Since the 1970s, Cards for Cardiacs has donated a portion of its entry fees for bridge and pinochle to the Sequim-Dungeness Hospital Guild, which supports local health agencies. Cards for Cardiacs has given more than $100,000 in 40-plus years and most recently donated $4,000 from its latest session.
“It's a good way to meet people when you are new to the area,” said Helga Southworth, a player with the group since moving to town 28 years ago.
Evelyn Pedersen, a member of the guild, founded the group specifically to raise funds for cardiac equipment; the group's outreach has grown to include Olympic Medical Center, Clallam County Fire District 3, The Dungeness Health & Wellness Clinic, scholarship assistance to the School of Nursing at Peninsula College and local student scholarships for those entering medical school.
The card group blossomed in the mid-1980s, peaking at 28 groups of 16 players each.
Cards for Cardiacs is a round-robin way of playing with two or three sessions a year in the fall, winter/spring and summer if there is interest.
Each group consists of 16 people and pairs/couples travel each week to play a new pair/couple.
Those interested in playing, with or without a steady partner, can contact Berneita Miles at 683-3694.
Entry is $10 per person per season with $9 going to the Sequim-Dungeness Hospital Guild and $1 to prize money.
The guild uses these funds with its thrift shop profits for donations to the above-mentioned groups.
Players are contacted by Miles and groups are formed for play. The starting and windup sessions usually are held in a restaurant.
Priscilla Morse has played for 34 years with Cards for Cardiacs and hasn't missed a session.
“I went to church when I first moved here and shook a woman's hand who asked me if I liked bridge,” Morse said. “It's all word-of-mouth and I'm still playing. You don't need a fancy place to play either.”
Longtime Cards for Cardiacs member, John Schoenberg, who died in 2003, left an endowment to the Sequim-Dungeness Hospital Guild he and his wife received assistance from paramedics, allowing them to stay in their home. A bench in front of the guild's thrift shop at 204 W. Bell St., honors him for his donation, which provides a scholarship for young men and women pursuing careers as paramedics. So far eight individuals have received scholarship assistance in this program and most have remained in the area.
Cards for Cardiacs is open to pinochle groups if enough people join.