Wednesday, May 03, 2006

A View Of Some Friends In Need

Go to the bottom of this post for a happy ending update!

These kids need your help. It takes a village, y'all. Click on the picture to learn more.

Remember a few weeks back when I told you about how I reconnected with a dear friend from grade school? You know, the teacher who coaches a very successful children's chess team? I talked to him on Monday and got a "good news, bad news" update.

First, the good news: His middle school teams went to their national tournament in Louisville, KY last month and they took over the place. Six of his teams placed in top ten, with three of them in the top five. Overall, 22 of his students came home with trophies for their accomplishments. When he told me about how well the kids had done, the pride and admiration in his voice filled the room.

One of Detroit City Chess Club's award winning middle school teams. Click on the picture to learn more.

I congratulated him and asked if the elementary team was ready to equal, if not surpass, the accomplishments of the older kids. That's when the bad news came.

His elementary teams are currently ranked #1 in the nation. They are eagerly looking forward to going to their national tournament to defend their title. The tournament is in Denver, Colorado next week. The team has approximately 23 children, plus the coaches and chaperones. Travel, tournament fees and boarding costs total $28,000.

That's a lot of pawns. A lot of pawns the students don't have. If they don't raise the funds, they won't be able to attend the tournament. Wouldn't it be tragic if this group of hard working, intelligent students lost their national ranking not because of a lack of skill, but because of a lack of funds? They deserve better than that, don't you think?

I know I do. They have earned a chance to repeat based on their hard work, and now they need our support. This is where you, dear readers, can step up. If you'd like to help the Detroit City Chess Club go to Denver and defend their title, click on this link or any of the pictures to visit their student run site, then click on the "Contact Us" link to contact the team and offer your assistance. You can also e-mail me at for information about how to help the kids reach their goal.

Click on the link to learn about this amazing team and all their accomplishments, even if you can't help financially. After you read about them, share the story with your friends. They may know someone who can help out.

Every little bit helps. More to come later.

UPDATE (5/17/06): I got a call late yesterday that not only did the Detroit City Chess Club get the money they needed to make the trip, they are repeat national champions! According to the coach, they spanked any and every board that came their way. Way to checkmate, kids! Looking forward to the threepeat next year!


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