Charley Kaplan 1945 – 2022

We lost an avid player to cancer this week.  Charley was a regular at our local (Portland, Oregon) club and tournaments.  She didn’t attend many out-of-town events, but spent many, many hours playing on ISC.

Charley was devoted to her husband, children and grandchildren, and was quick to volunteer to help her friends in any way that she could.  She was always a positive, caring presence.  We will all miss her.

WGPO Board of Directors Meeting Minutes – January 2, 2022

Call to Order: President Steve Pellinen called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm CST.

AttendingSteve Pellinen, Keith Hagel, Jan Cardia, Helen Flores, Will Anderson, Laurie Cohen, Bennett Jacobstein, Mike Johnson, Lynda Finn

1. Word Cup Report and Discussion: Mike Johnson and Lynda Finn, Word Cup 22 Directors

Lynda and Mike recommended that the Board allocate substantial “eye-popping” prize fund amounts from the Shreve donation for the 2022 Word Cup. Directors discussed amounts for top prizes in Division 1 and Collins. Members considered various funding approaches, including a possible Youth prize to be awarded for the best performance by a player under a certain age. Directors agreed to establish generous Shreve prize funding amounts in all divisions. Final funding decisions will depend on number of players in each division.

NOTE: The Word Cup flyer will reveal specific funding amount figures approved (anticipated announcement by January 31, 2022).

Action: The Board unanimously agreed to allocate at least $ ___ of the Shreve donation to the 2022 Word Cup and to provide a minimum award of $ _____ to each first place winner in Division 1 TWL and in the Collins division. (Motion: Helen Flores/Bennett Jacobstein).

Mike and Lynda summarized discussions with leaders of the Collins Coalition (CoCo) to brand and advertise the event in cooperation with WGPO.

Action: The Board unanimously agreed to WGPO/CoCo collaboration for Word Cup 2022. (Motion: Bennett Jacobstein, Steve Pellinen).

Action: The Board voted to apply the WESPA rating system and rules to Collins play at the Word Cup (Motion: Helen Flores/Steve Pellinen).

2. Shreve donation allocations for 2022: tournaments, schools, clubs and other.

Tournaments: Bennett and Will plan to meet to discuss tournaments and tour ideas, including future regional WGPO events. Bennett submitted a map identifying four North American regions to be considered for significant WGPO future tournaments. Board members noted current concerns about COVID infection rates which may discourage tournament organization and participation.

School Scrabble: Members discussed School Scrabble status nationwide. Will offered background information. NASPA is no longer associated with the project, and Hasbro previously delegated the project to a contractor, MSI. Board members – Jan, Keith, and Bennett – will contact key individuals with School Scrabble interest for background, suggestions, and ideas to promote and revitalize interest in School Scrabble.

Clubs and SuperScrabble: During the Annual meeting, the Board was asked if any of the Shreve donation might be allocated to SuperScrabble. The request came from a SuperScrabble Club member. During discussion, Board members noted that WGPO has not previously allocated WGPO funds to local clubs or club events.

Board members discussed the importance of Scrabble clubs to encourage players at all levels, to increase membership and promote the game. Attention to clubs may be an area for the Communication/Outreach/Public Relations Committee.

The Board determined that our organization is not currently in a position to consider adding SuperScrabble activities to its responsibilities at this time.

3. COVID update – Bennett Jacobstein, as Tournament Committee Chair, will be taking the lead on COVID issues. Word Cup Directors, Lynda Finn and Mike Johnson stayed for this agenda item. Members discussed requests for exceptions to the most current WGPO tournament recommendations regarding COVID precautions. Key policies are:

  • Players must be fully vaccinated including boosters. Note that individuals are ineligible to receive boosters depending on the date of last vaccination – and in some cases depending on the vaccine brand received. Bennett will draft language explaining the booster exception. 
    The Board did not approve a request to waive the booster requirement from an individual claiming that having been infected by COVID provided antibodies against the virus.
  • Players must wear masks indoors. Exceptions in private homes and outdoors are noted in the policy.

Bennett asked the Board if the policy should require COVID testing if/when individuals are ineligible for boosters. No, the Board declined to require testing.

Mike Johnson noted, and the Board concurred, that Directors may establish more stringent tournament requirements than those in WGPO’s policy.

4. Committees and delegation of committee duties:

  • Finance Committee: Jan as Treasurer chairs this committee. Laurie Cohen also serves on this committee.
  • Fundraising Committee: Helen Flores will continue to chair this committee.
  • Communications/Outreach/Public Relations:  Chair needed. Helen Flores volunteered to be a member of this committee.
  • Legal/Governance: Steve Pellinen and Keith Hagel
  • Tournament/Ratings Committee: Bennett Jacobstein and Mike Johnson
  • Rules: Jan Cardia agreed to chair this committee. She brings a wealth of experience to this position. Laurie Cohen and Susi Tiekert are also members.
  • Membership: Steve noted that Susi Tiekert expressed an interest in this area. Mike Johnson and Henry are involved in member listings and ratings.
  • Collins: Winter and Mike Johnson
  • Lexicon Committee: Jim Sherrill
  • Elections Committee: Lynda Finn and Winter
  • Youth Scrabble – ?? Bennett, Keith, and Jan collecting initial information.

5. Insurance – Steve Pellinen reported that he is getting quotes next week for General Liability Insurance and Directors & Officers Insurance. He noted that Insurance companies don’t care how we do our finances, and that eliminates one reason we thought we had to run finances through WGPO Central. He will discuss further with our attorney, Jenn Urban, this week.

6. Finance update – Steve Pellinen submitted a written report and the General Ledger for 2021.

7. Website update – Charles and Thomas Reinke submitted a detailed status report on the Website update, noting progress including:

  • Improved membership system,
  • Visual revamp of the website, and
  • Expanded statistical features.

8. Future Board meeting schedule: Board members agreed on the need to meet monthly. Meetings were scheduled for the first Sunday of the month, at 6:30 pm, CST.

  • Sunday, February 6
  • Sunday, March 6

9. Other: None.

10. Adjourn: The meeting adjourned at 8:53 pm CST (Motion: Helen Flores/Laurie Cohen).

Helen Flores, Secretary


WGPO New Financial Aid Policy

WGPO will provide financial aid to clubs, directors and organizers who are facing losses due to cancellations, venue commitments, refund issues and the like. We trust our directors and organizers to do their best to avoid such situations but recognize that there can be unexpected circumstances that put them in a financial bind. In such cases, WGPO will  provide financial support up to $2,000.00.

Sextuple in the Desert

Winners - Day 4

Winners – Day 4

From David Postal:

Inspired by the winter season quintuple NASPA events held over the last few years in Wilmington, Delaware during the holiday break, twenty-three players participated in six individual one day tournaments over December 25 – 30 in Palm Springs California.  Although the weather was borderline meh, we still managed to get a fair number of games played outdoors as hoped.  “A” Division was won respectively by Joel Elkins, David Pearl, John Karris, David Pearl and David Weiss on Days 1-5 with Laurie Cohen taking top honors in a combined division A&B on Day 6.  Gary Moss strung together three strong victories in Division B on December 25,26,27 while Bennett Jacobstein fended off a six-way divisional tie to pickup Division B  honors on Day 4.  It was back to Garys on Day 5, this time with Gary Smart dropping an undefeated tournament on Division B.
Other oddities included a 3-blank game (the tiles were removed from circulation after the game as they were an odd font with flat wood on both sides and one blank was an actual letter) and John Karris pulling the unexpected feat of coming in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th over the six days.  Debbie Bloom made her Scrabble tournament debut and launched a 104 point play of MAIDENS in game 1 enroute to a first game victory.  She proved to be a formidable opponent throughout the events.  Welcome Debbie
There were other games to play at night including estimate wist, Clabbers, Set and Scattegories.  We also received a tutorial in mah jongg and Wally turned us to a card game he invented called “Doppleganger” which was pretty entertaining.  Overall it felt closer to normal and a wonderful respite from the isolation.  And a great way to close out the year.  Happy 2022, hopefully there will be more opportunities to host events around Southern California in the future.
December 25
1st Place Div A: Joel Elkins 4-2 +414
1st Place Div B:  Gary Moss 4-2 + 255
December 26
1st Place Div A: David Pearl 5-1 +427
1st Place Div B:  Gary Moss 4-2 +145
December 27
1st Place Div A:  John Karris 6-0 +570
1st Place Div B:  Gary Moss 5-1 +50
December 28
1st Place Div A:  David Pearl 5-1 + 457
1st Place Div B:  Bennett Jacobstein 4-2 +214
December 29
1st Place Div A:  David Weiss 5-1 +327
1st Place Div B: Gary Smart 6-0 +546
December 30
1st Place:  Laurie Cohen 6-0 +515

WGPO Officers: 2022

The Board of Directors selected WGPO Officers for 2022.

President – Steve Pellinen

Vice-President – Keith Hagel

Treasurer – Jan Cardia

Secretary – Helen Flores

Directors met on December 19. Minutes of that meeting are an addition to Annual Meeting Minutes.  Here is the addition:  December 19 minutes.