Double Trouble

By Jamie Saunders

When people see them coming, they know they mean business. Helen Browdy and Arlene Tauber are affectionately known by their friends as “Double Trouble,” a name they earned in recognition of their fundraising efforts year after year for The Alzheimer’s Association in Atlanta, GA. Helen and Arlene were introduced through friends at The Bridge Club of Atlanta and became close friends. Together, they make a formidable team.

Helen and Arlene


When Sam Marks, owner of The Bridge Club of Atlanta, approached Helen seven years ago to spearhead the club’s Longest Day fundraising campaign, he knew what he was doing. With only six weeks to prepare, Helen recruited bridge partner and friend, Arlene and the two of them got to work. In their first year running the fundraiser, they helped raise $26,000. In celebration of their efforts, they were brought to Orlando for the Alzheimer’s Association annual summit.

Over the years, their methods have varied, but their commitment remains. Says Arlene,” Seven years later and everyone thinks we’re nuts! Last year we raised $102,000, bringing our grand total to over half a million dollars. Most of our club is supportive of our efforts. The people here, they are more than friends, they are family.”

Adds Helen, “The Bridge Club of Atlanta is the fourteenth largest club in the country. Before the pandemic, we would have at least one game a day with forty tables. We each play multiple times per week. It’s a huge club and we are there for each other. We have friends with Alzheimer’s and dementia and unfortunately, we have lost friends to these horrible diseases as well. When someone is down, we pick them up. When someone is sick, we send meals or help.” 

Helen with PURE BARRE – one of the many companies that helped the Bridge Club of Atlanta fundraise for The Longest Day

Different Times Call for Different Measures

This year, the club has had to make a hard switch to online bridge games. Says Arlene, “We still play bridge 5-6 days per week, but now we play online. I’m happy we have that option, but it’s not the same. We miss the personal, physical contact. We enjoy each other’s company immensely.”

Helen chimes in, “We still chat via texting. We send each other notes, “I miss my bridge club family!” You have to stay safe and we know this is the best way, for now.”

Because of COVID-19, this year’s fundraising efforts will look a little different, as well. Helen continues, “Sam set up a virtual, online club for us. It can be challenging technologically, but we will persist. In the past, part of the magic was the event that took place on the actual summer solstice or The Longest Day. We had tons of food, hundreds of people, and a giant sign that spanned the length of the back wall of the club. As people donate, we put their name on a star and pinned it to the banner where it stayed until next year’s fundraiser. People really want to have their name on that wall.”

“In addition to bridge games, we had a silent auction and a jewelry raffle. People love it. We would also host a wine tasting to kick off the fundraising efforts and a potluck dinner the Saturday before. All of those in-person efforts have to be scratched this year for obvious reasons, but we still want to do as much as we can to raise as much as we can, if not more,” says Arlene.

This year on two different days, The Bridge Club of Atlanta will host four online games each day for a total of eight games total. All of the money raised goes towards Alzheimer’s Association resources, support, and research.

Says Helen, “It’s obviously more difficult now that we’ve gone virtual, but people have been extremely generous. Every day I run to my mailbox, you’d think I was getting love letters with how excited I am to receive checks in the mail, but it means a lot to me to raise money for this organization.”

Helen and Arlene being recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association

“Our goal for 2020 is $150,000. This year we have an angel donor who graciously gave $100,000, but we really want to support the cause and do the best we can. Without everyone face to face, we know we are at a disadvantage, but we never give up. That’s why they call us Double Trouble,” says Arlene.

Personal Connections Shine Light on Alzheimer’s

The importance of raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association resonates with the pair. Continues Arlene, “We have friends who have the disease. My husband was recently diagnosed with mild-dementia. I call it the disease that people talk about with one hand over their mouth. They mumble it as though it is something to be ashamed of. I want to change that. We are surrounded by friends who have the disease and who have passed away because of it. We need to talk about it and we need to find a way to help.”

“Our goal for 2020 is $150,000. This year we have an angel donor who graciously gave $100,000, but we really want to support the cause and do the best we can. Without everyone face to face, we know we are at a disadvantage, but we never give up. That’s why they call us Double Trouble,” says Arlene.

Personal Connections Shine Light on Alzheimer’s

The importance of raising money for the Alzheimer’s Association resonates with the pair. Continues Arlene, “We have friends who have the disease. My husband was recently diagnosed with mild-dementia. I call it the disease that people talk about with one hand over their mouth. They mumble it as though it is something to be ashamed of. I want to change that. We are surrounded by friends who have the disease and who have passed away because of it. We need to talk about it and we need to find a way to help.”

To learn more, sign up to play, or donate please visit The Bridge Club of Atlanta’s Longest Day team page.

It’s not too late to sign up and fundraise! Visit The Longest Day to learn more.

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