More than 5 million people in the U.S. are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and by 2050, it is estimated that number will triple, according to www.alz.org.
The Alzheimer Association partnered with the American Contract Bridge League for the event.
“This (partnership) was a natural alliance. It’s been shown by a number of studies doing things that use your mind like playing bridge and other mental activities add wrinkles to your brain, and those help delay the onset of any kind of dementia, but particularly Alzheimer’s,” said Priscilla Smith, owner of Ruff ‘N Sluff Bridge Club.
Smith, an Atlanta resident, started Ruff ‘N Sluff after clients Dianne and Bob Townsend of east Cobb requested a more convenient location than traveling to Atlanta.
In 1990, Ruff ‘N Sluff started meeting at the Piccadilly Cafeteria at Fountains of Olde Towne and then moved to the present location in 1994.
“We run bridge games, and I teach bridge,” Smith said.
Ruff ‘N Sluff took its name from a bridge term.
“Ruff ‘N Sluff is something you’re not supposed to do. It’s like a golf group calling themselves the duffers. We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” she said.
Ruff ‘N Sluff is open to the public.
“It’s anybody who wants to play, mostly people from the Marietta area,” she said.
Though players at Ruff ‘N Sluff vary in ages from 10 to 90, Smith said, “(Bridge) is a game that people in general take up later in life. You can learn to play in one night. Learning to play is not hard. Learning to play well takes a lot longer.”
Novice and expert players alike bid for the cause on Friday.
“A lot of people know somebody who has Alzheimer’s. It’s such a terrible disease. You watch your loved ones die an inch at a time. Everybody felt it was worthwhile to find something to cure this particular disease,” Smith said.
Games run Monday through Friday mornings and Monday through Saturday nights, with lessons on Tuesday and Friday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Ruff ‘N Sluff is at 1809 Roswell Road, Marietta.
For more information, visit www.mindspring.com/~ruffnsluff or call (770) 973-7717.