Dream Team Leads the Third Annual “Give Hope a Hand” Bridge Tournament

by Brian Goodman

Wednesday, February 7, 2024, has been marked in my calendar since I first joined Hope & Cope as a volunteer a few months ago.

I have heard, from both staff and other volunteers at Hope & Cope, that the volunteers are the heart of the organization, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to see that up close for myself.

February 7 is the third annual “Give Hope a Hand” bridge tournament. The tournament is the brainchild of four women: Marlene King, Ruth Ickman, Sandy Schreter, and Annette Goldman.

The idea that four volunteers could lead and run such a large event together on an annual basis spoke volumes both about the organization they are a part of and of the women themselves.

I had a chance to speak to each of the three co-chairs this week (Annette had to bow out this year and it’s clear she is missed), to better understand how they ended up here and share in the love they exude towards each other and the organization.

The Birth of the Dream Team

It was my absolute pleasure to ask each of the co-chairs these three questions:

  • What started you on this journey?
  • What was the most rewarding experience you had while organizing the tournaments?
  • How can people join in and help the Bridge Tournament achieve its goals?

The journey began, as many of life’s most meaningful journeys do, after the passing of a dear friend, Marla Udashkin.

Marla played Bridge with Sandy regularly, and what better way to honour their friend and pay it forward to the organization that had touched each one of their lives in such an impactful way?

Marlene King, Joel King

Sandy spoke to Marlene, who recruited Ruth and Annette and the Dream Team, as the four of them became known, was born.

I have always believed that the feeling of rewarding is measured on an individual basis by every single person who puts love, respect, and caring out into the world.

The Dream Team agrees.

Marlene, Ruth, and Sandy all referred to the overwhelming positive response from Marcelle and the staff of Hope & Cope, as well as the community at large to what they were trying to do. That response still shows up even now, three years later.

Support the Dream Team

If you are reading this, you know what Hope & Cope does. You also know that it is an organization whose strong heartbeat is made up of volunteers.

Marla Udashkin’s family

Here are a few ways you can take a step forward on the very rewarding path of helping others around this tournament:

  • Play Bridge! It’s online and easy to do. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your home to play a game you love and maybe even make new friends! (also… Door prizes!)
  • Donate! All of the money goes directly to helping people in need in our local community. (Also … if you donate, you are entered into the draw for the door prizes!)
  • Volunteer! The Dream Team needs help in reaching out to donors and participants of the tournament. If you can help this way, reach out to Marcelle at 514-340-3616, ext 205. You never know where this first step might lead you.
  • Share! Send this out to everyone you know. Spread the word.

Each one of the co-chairs’ willingness and enthusiasm in sharing their personal stories with me was remarkable. It’s also an inherent part of everyone I have met at Hope & Cope.

This is an organization where remarkable is everywhere. Come be a part of it and maybe even win a trophy while you are at it!

Date: February 7. 2024
Time: 1 p.m.
Where: Bridgebase Online (BBO)*
Registration link: https://secure.jghfoundation.org/site/Ticketing?id=100541&view=Tickets&s_locale=en_CA

2023’s winning team Paula Baker, Shirley Schnurbach


Annette Goldman, Shirley Schnurbach, Marlene King, Paula Baker, Ruth Ickman, Sandy Schreter,


Bryna Hersh (volunteer), Marlene King, Marcelle Kecman, Sandy Schreter, Ruth Ickman.


Winning Team for 2022, Ronny Dobrin, Barbara Saltsman

Ready to Help?

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