Judy Kay-Wolff


The popular and respected international star, Peter Pender, a native Philadelphian who in later years migrated  to the West Coast, was a very good friend of Norman’s and mine.   In fact, I recall  in 1966 Peter was on a mission to help Jeremy Flint, his good friend and British Superstar, break the record of becoming a LM in the shortest period of time.  So up from Philly to Harrisburg we trudged, with Norman enlisting either Bob Jordan or Edgar Kaplan (I’m not sure who his partner was) – but in any event the foursome went on to win the Regional Team game, mounting up more points for Jeremy.  He actually accomplished the feat in eleven weeks – and that was before Master Point inflation.

Peter was a very special young man.  However, by 1990 it was no secret he was dying of AIDS and was interested in both promoting bridge and leaving a legacy bearing his name.

Before his death on November 19, 1990, he gave the ACBL $27,500 outright for the development and nurturing of Junior Bridge, for which an annual Peter Pender Trophy was to be engraved and presented to the yearly winners.   At this point, two decades hence, it appears his vision has fallen by the wayside and there remains over $28,000 in the Educational Fund (probably from accrued interest) where it ended up.   Obviously his request was no longer being honored as no one has seen hide nor hare of the Peter Pender Trophy for Junior accomplishments in ages.   I have spoken to CEO Jay Baum who was most cooperative (though all this happened long before his reign) and soon as the ACBL is settled in their new headquarters, he will tend to bringing the engraving and presentation up to date.   End of Pender Issue No. 1.

The other matter is of much more concern to Bobby and me as it was at Bobby and Becky Roger’s urging that Peter made an additional hefty bequest in his Will of $50,000 in return for renaming the Vu-Graph …  THE PENDERGRAPH (which has been out of existence for longer than anyone can pinpoint or remember).

At last report from a very helpful gentleman representing the Educational Foundation (Dr. Gene Kales) I was given a sketchy accounting.   There is a shade over $10,000 left …


I am not certain at this point how to best handle the apparently misdirected money from Peter’s estate — basically tantamount to anything but quid-pro-quo.   His money was given to perpetuate his name via The Pendergraph and that request has fallen by the wayside with the wonderful introduction of BBO —  perhaps the greatest contribution to modern bridge — for which we should all be most grateful.

Since no one (including a shocked long-time member of the BOD whom I recently saw) can explain what happened to the money (the missing $40,000 which was part of Peter’s specific bequest to perpetuate his name) – I took the liberty of contacting someone I thought would have better recall than anyone else regarding the transition from Pendergraph to BBO.  Believe me, I don’t fault anyone for adopting BBO — but I feel strongly that Peter has been done a disservice (like reaching into a dead man’s pocket and robbing him blind).  

I went to the one person who was in the best position to know about the transition from Pendergraph to BBO and though he qualified his remarks by saying he was not 100% positive of the details — one thing is for damn sure:   THE PENDERGRAPH IS HISTORY!

I, personally, have sent this information on to the Board of Directors and seen to it the Board of Governors was copied on it as well!  The big question: 


Until this is resolved and explained, why would anyone consider leaving money to the ACBL as there is no assurance their wishes will be honored.   Stricter monitoring and accountability is mandatory and use of bequeathed money should be of public record to prevent a recurrence of this horrifying situation!


John Howard GibsonJune 20th, 2010 at 7:40 pm

Dear Judy, If an organisation is left a bequest subject to conditions as to how that money must be spent, then it must either do so, or RETURN the money to the deceased estate ( for the surviving relatives to decide what best to do with it ). For an organisation to sit on this money after breaking the terms laid down, it has surrendered the right to legally own that money. In such circumstances the probate/wills office should be contacted ( if you have such a body ) to enable them to step in and take action. It really is a sad and shocking story, and those officers/directors responsible should be held accountable, as well as named and shamed. Yours HBJ

Judy Kay-WolffJune 20th, 2010 at 8:21 pm


I have been in contact with the Superior Court of San Francisco to obtain a copy of the original probated will (20 years old). It can be done but might take quite a while because of red tape.

I do have confidence when the proper authorities get wind of what has happened, they will seek a remedy. However, I am in total accord with you that if the stipulations of the Will were violated, the benefactor is

not entitled to keep or use any of the funds (and make restoration for those wrongly used).

I am interested to see what the Board of Directors have to say about it at their upcoming meetings in New Orleans for the Summer Nationals.

I personally have not seen the Will but I can assure you that the $50,000 was left to the ACBL at the urging of Bobby and Becky Rogers

and had it not been for them, the ACBL (or EF) would have been shut out. So, you can understand why Bobby feels so strongly about the ‘dropping of the Pendergraph’ — and not honoring Peter big time in some other way. Perhaps they should have named a major even after him.

Thanks for writing. Always interested in your tell-it-like-it-is manner.


MarthaJune 21st, 2010 at 1:54 pm

So why can’t BBO use the name Pendergraph? They can still organize the vugraph show just give it the correct name.

Judy Kay-WolffJune 21st, 2010 at 2:36 pm


I’m with you, but it is just hard to imagine that happening.


MarthaJune 21st, 2010 at 4:03 pm

They could bill it as BBO presents the Pendergraph. That way all parties are given credit.

ChuckJune 25th, 2010 at 5:48 pm

What do the BOD have to say about this? Martha’s idea is fair but I am sure BBO doesn’t want to share the spotlight regardless of the unaccounted for money.

Judy Kay-WolffJune 25th, 2010 at 7:03 pm


Well, we’ll find out soon enough when they meet at the Nationals in New Orleans next month. Another Katrina in the making — but thank heavens — no human lives involved this time.