For more than 30 years eight women have gotten together in Ahwatukee Foothills to play bridge every week. This week they got together to celebrate the birthday of one of their founding members, Mary Mitchell, who is turning 103.

Mitchell has been playing the game for more than 50 years. She learned it from her husband while he was serving in the U.S. Army. She started the Ahwatukee bridge group with some friends in 1979 shortly after moving to the area.

“I enjoy it,” she said. “I’m not that good of a player, but I enjoy it.”

Her friends disagree.

“She plays better than some of us,” said Rita Myrann. “She’s very competitive.”

Mitchell’s favorite part of the game is the women she gets to play with, she said.

At 103 Mitchell is still active and healthy. Her only complaint is that her body moves much slower than it once did.

“People always ask me (the secret to my long life) and I don’t know,” she said. “I’m healthy. I don’t know why.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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