Gainesville Bridge Club holding fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research in honor of long-time member

Gainesville Bridge Club holding fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research in honor of long-time member
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 6:53 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - From pet portraits to giveaways, the Gainesville Bridge Club has been honoring the dying wish of member and teacher, Evelyn Kleinsasser, who was a big advocate for Alzheimer’s research.

Evelyn Kleinsasser, 89, passed away on Easter day this year and played bridge until she passed away.

Mary Ann McIntyre said he wouldn’t be the bridge player she is today without Evelyn’s teaching.

“She was playing bridge up to three or four days before she died and winning,” McIntyre said.

She said Evelyn was known for her honesty.

“When you made a dreadful mistake, she would say you don’t really want to do that do you?”

Evelyn spent 10 years helping her husband battle Alzheimer’s but passed away from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

Related story: Gainesville Bridge Club raising money for Alzheimer’s research

“We are trying to honor her,” McIntyre said. “We talked to her son and he wanted her to be remembered for her great devotion to bridge and also her commitment to Alzheimer’s research.”

Every year the bridge community participates in The Longest Day, an Alzheimer’s Association fundraising initiative

McIntyre is heading fundraising efforts.

“Last year this club, a very small club, raised over $10 thousand and this year we’re looking to raise about $13 thousand.”

So this year, residents can purchase pet portraits by a member of the club and are raffling off a $1,000 American Express gift cards for $20 to make sure Evelyn’s wishes are met.

David Drake also learned how to play bridge from Evelyn and says she helped him make it to tournaments.

“That’s something we never thought about before that,” Drake said. “Almost everybody who plays bridge in Gainesville has taken bridge lessons for Evelyn.”

The Gainesville Bridge Club will be selling the gift cards at the Millhopper Shopping Center Publix on June 12 to 13.

Residents can mail donations to 4225 N.W. 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32605 or visit their website.

For information to purchase a pet portrait, email Joan Williams at

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