Judy Kay-Wolff

PETER PENDER HAD HIS POCKETS PICKED … while not in search of pickled peppers!

This has been an ongoing issue with the Educational Foundation and the ACBL, the two bodies responsible for the protection of two separate endowments from Peter Pender around 1990 when he died of aids.  The following facts should allow you to track the use (wrongful in many ways) of a total of $77,500 (a total of two separate donations to be used to honor his name and perpetuate his memory which was his primary intention).

Donation #1.   Peter donated $27,500 for the purpose of establishing the Peter Pender Junior Trials Trophy.  The event was to be held every two years and at the conclusion of the event, eight trophies (six for the players and one each for the coach and captain) were to be produced, engraved and presented to the recipients.   I learned six months ago (though the money was handed over in 1990) that only one — or at best two — were followed through, ending in 1994.  THAT IS CALLED SLOTH, MISMANAGEMENT and NOT MINDING THE STORE.  FEEL FREE TO CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT   How dare the money managers not honor their responsibilities to these upcoming, avid juniors and Peter’s desires???   Explain that!

I immediately contacted Jay Baum, CEO, who took care of them up until five years ago — but I have no idea if the responsibility to these youngsters has been made current.   I have not heard the term PETER PENDER JUNIOR TRIALS TROPHY in years — except on my blog sites.  HAVE YOU?????   Also, with all that unused money, should most of it not been compounded from 1994 to 2010 where it sat in an account adjudged, I am guessing, about $28,000.   Where was all the accrued interest?

Donation #2. The above was only a smidgeon of the problem.   The disrespected generosity of Peter’s second donation — $50,000 — was much more disgusting and the ACBL/EF (who keep passing the buck) I feel are jointly responsible.

Allow me to give you the background;  My late husband Norman Kay and I were close friends of Peter back in Philadelphia until he moved to California and eventually opened a resort, of which he was very proud.   Bobby was not only a friend and teammate of Peter but had intimate discussions about his impending death and Peter was very up front that he wanted to be remembered by the bridge world.   I might add that he was not only a brilliant player but a wonderfully ethical competitor and popular figure in the bridge world.  The ACBL/EF were bound to honor the wishes of this unique gentleman.

One of the possibilities came to fruition in 1992 (two years after his death — and why they waited so long I haven’t any clue) with the hiring of Fred Gitelman (later to become BBO Genius) to develop a vugraph program for the showing of the major team event on a huge screen which was changed from the Vugraph to THE PENDERGRAPH.  The vugraph had been in existence, it seems forever, as I remember watching Norman’s team on it in Bal Harbour in the mid sixties.   However, the Pendergraph (thanks to Fred and Co.) became a very refined program and Peter finally got his way — having his name perpetuated — until about the year 2000 (could be 2001).   No one can seem to pinpoint it.

Soon as I caught wind of this, I was referred to Dr. Gene Kales,  Secretary of the EF (now replaced by Linda Mamula).  He was very helpful but all he could do was provide me with minutes of the EF (which apparently was the recipient — transferred by the ACBL to avoid tax consequences).   However, someone should have immediately been appointed to monitor the expenditure of the money., i.e., minding the shop, and seen to it that the vugraph was recognized as THE PENDERGRAPH as Peter had intended (as a lasting memory).

However, at the turn of the century we surmise, The Pendergraph was cast aside and what was recognized as The Pendergraph became known as BBO (Bridge Base on Line) — the most phenomenal bridge invention ever as it allows people all over the world to watch major matches at their computers and to play and practice on line.   THAT IS IMMATERIAL.   When the change took over, all monies from Peter’s donation should have stopped SIMULTANEOUSLY and the ACBL HAD A RESPONSIBILITY TO FULFILL PETER’S WISHES IN SOME OTHER GRAND MANNER.   WHEN THE PENDERGRAPH CEASED,  THE MONEY FLOW SHOULD HAVE STOPPED AS WELL.

However, I almost blew a gasket when I saw EF expenditures from 10/07/04 to 10/27/05 (five years after the disappearance of the Pendergraph) in the amount of $11,410.70.   Had Peter signed up to play their sugar daddy?   Don’t think so.  That money should be returned to the pot (plus accrued interest until the present day) and add it to the estimated $10,716.58 we are told shows on the books as of 12/31/09.

Since Jay took care of the Junior issue, he could not help about the EF and dropped from the scene.

My next step was to contact Peter Rank (not only a VERY CLOSE friend and partner of Peter Pender) but presently attorney for the ACBL.   We had also talked on the phone and he explained to me that the ACBL and EF are totally separate entities, neither responsible for the actions of the others.  SOMETHING IS VERY WRONG HERE.  SOMEONE MUST ASSUME THE BLAME FOR MISPENDING MONEY THEY WERE NOT ENTITLED TO (AFTER THE PENDERGRAPH FOLDED).

Take a gander at these figures and dates:

10/07/04 PC Mall Inc. $2,001.06
10/27/04 Dell Computer $4,359.31
11/22/04 Nolan’s Audio Visual $577.93
10/12/05 BOA-Epson Multimedia Projector $625.00
10/12/05 BOA-Targus Notebook Security $256.35
10/19/05 Nolan’s Audio Visual — fast fold screen $1,633.29
10/27/05 Dell 1200 Laptop $1,957.76
TOTAL $11,410.70

One of my latest correspondences to Peter Rank (whom I think will eventually be handling this entire matter as ACBL attorney) was when I asked the question:   CAN YOU TELL ME WHO MAKES THE  DECISION AND APPROVES THE EXPENDITURES?”   I think it is high time this gets straightened out!   I received the following response:


I think that the main issue is that records (and memory) of things so far past are not very good.  In addition, government agencies (like IRS and state bar associations) only require records to go back (usually) seven years.   It is clear that the Foundation had and has the responsibility over the donated funds, but my guess is that they relied on the ACBL to designate their use.


When I asked who was responsible for the decision to outlay the money, I got Peter’s reply:

” ….  As you, I have spent many hours researching the matter and have determined that there is nothing that can be done by the League or is legally required to be done by the League.   I have provided my

attorney-client report to the proper entity within the League.”

Enough of this B.S. — Let’s find out who was authorizing these expenditures and return the money to its rightful owner — the PETER PENDER ESTATE.   Either it should go back to Peter’s residuary estate or IMMEDIATELY ESTABLISH SOME MAJOR EVENT NAMED AFTER PETER, OR SOMETHING SIMILAR, and add the misspent monies to the total which now are shown in the account. IT IS TIME FOR THIS SHAMEFUL SHAM TO STOP.   LET’S FIND THE CULPRIT/S AND REPLACE THE MONEY TO THE RIGHTFUL ACCOUNT — THE DONATED FUNDS OF PETER PENDER TO PERPETUATE HIS NAME, ALBEIT A BIT LATE!

The mishandling of Peter’s endowments is a disgrace!  No wonder no one wants to talk about it!


John Howard GibsonJanuary 16th, 2011 at 12:35 pm


Dear Judy, I am utterly amazed that there has been no resolution to this shameful mismanagement of Peter’s bequest. What staggers me is the apparant buck passing, blame avoidance tactics adopted by the two organisations involved. Surely, if both these institutions have a any sense of decency within their corporate spirits, their top officials would get together, offer a joint apology, and openly lay down a clear vision of how and when the unspent money will be used, in a way that Peter would have wanted or approved. All it takes is honesty, humility, leadership and a tiny bit of courage.

Otherwise they all want sueing !

ChuckJanuary 16th, 2011 at 4:12 pm


I agree. Time for fiddle-faddling has passed. No one gives that kind of money out of pure altruism. He wanted to be remembered. In both cases, he was dropped in mid stream. THE TIME IS NOW!

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 16th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I have devoted hundreds of hours over the disappointment I experienced because the EF and/or ACBL did not hold up their parts of the Pender endowment. In the $50,000 issue, each points their finger at the other — BUT SOMEONE, AS I SAID BEFORE, SHOULD HAVE BEEN TENDING SHOP — not plundering the money — especially long after the termination of the Pendergraph.

I even remember at one of the tournaments (NABCs) that some items were stolen (not sure exactly which — computer? screen? projector?) Mention was also made they were replaced. My question: Out of insurance money or out of what was remaining of the $50,000 slush fund.

When a group or individual is entrusted with money, they should have an undying responsibility that the donor’s wishes are followed to a “T’. Peter was not accorded the respect he deserved with either his $27,500 or $50,000 donation. It is time those responsible snapped to it and made it up to a very generous gentleman!

JSJanuary 16th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

It really matters not who is responsible — the EF or ACBL. What does matter is that an injustice has been done and both groups should band together and do what is right by Peter. It is never too late.

BURTJanuary 17th, 2011 at 5:22 am

Great title — sad story. I remember Peter from his playing days here. He was a great guy and everyone loved him.

Hope the authorities rise to the occasion. Peter is worth remembering.

Mark LombardJanuary 17th, 2011 at 9:44 am


Their actions seem thoughtless. The integrity, the honor – the class – is seeping out of the game, Judy! Where is the accountability? Send in the clowns….don’t bother, they’re here!

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 18th, 2011 at 5:32 pm


Worse than the class seeping out of the game — more realistically — the money is disappearing from the fund without anyone owning up to it.

I should imagine the ACBL/EF or both should make some effort to make matters right but they both just sit on their hands unabashed.

If this is the way donations or contributions are mishandled and no one bothers to justify their actions, I cannot think of any good reason why people should donate to these organizations.

No one has bothered to even try to explain to me why there were withdrawals from Peter’s fund long after the Pendergraph disappeared from the tournaments. It seems the ACBL doesn’t really care what the public thinks by their blase behavior.

They have proven there is no

accountability and the Board of Directors could care less or they would step up to the plate, but they too close their eyes hoping it will go away. Sad state of affairs and getting worse each day.


MarthaJanuary 18th, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Peter will soon be but a memory, and not the one he had hoped for. The legacy he wanted to fund has all but disappeared. Today his money should be able to buy so much more in the way of computer equipment. The expertise should be made available gratis. Today the Dell laptop purchased in ’05 for almost $2000 is about $450. Why doesn’t the ACBL step up to the plate and do the right thing. BRING BACK the PENDERGRAPH. It does seem like a simple request.

[…] mishandling of the Peter Pender joint donation of $77,500 to the ACBL/EF back in 1990 when he died. http://judy.bridgeblogging.com/?p=707 — the sloth, lack of leadership and disappearances from a fund that was to be used to commemorate […]