A message from Chicago Chess Center director Dave Ducat:
Eight years old is a difficult time for most of us to remember, but it's the age when many things happened to me that would have profound effects on my life as an adult. I learned fundamental educational and social skills, went to Cub Scout meetings and played Little League baseball, and had the opportunity to do something that many other 8-year-olds didn't: I learned to play chess.
Chess: the game of kings. A centuries-old celebration of logic and strategy . . . in the hands of an 8-year-old, by myself, and with nothing but a paper-based trainer and chess books at the local library to guide me. Parents (fortunately, two of them together) who had passing knowledge of the game provided me with these aids but didn't have the tools or means to help me cultivate a level of skill beyond casual play in this game that I came to love.
Compared to some, I was fortunate in my scenario. But imagine for a moment that there had been a place where I could have gone for direct, cost-effective instruction, a place where I could have been challenged by people of different socioeconomic backgrounds and helped to grow in my knowledge and skill in chess. What if there had been someplace that felt like home . . . my home . . . for me to cultivate and develop mastery of a game that could take me around the world, literally and figuratively, and give me the opportunity to think, create, excel and grow? What if there had been a place where I could have seen the fruits of my own development, that helped me gain self-confidence and the ability to master skills that I could leverage later in life?
Imagine what I might have accomplished with those kind of resources and that kind of support. Now imagine a child next door or down the street from you—or a child in an economically challenged neighborhood, full of potential but without the resources I had, who could get out from underneath circumstances outside of his or her control, just by having a place to go that could cultivate the ability to think, and to think for oneself. That would be worth investing a few dollars in, wouldn't it?
That's why I'm asking you to make a year-end gift to help us create a center for chess instruction in Chicago. We need your direct financial support to make this happen, and with only a few days left in 2013, we need it now.
Your tax-deductible financial contribution will go directly to procuring and furnishing this educational and civic institution and help us open the location in 2014. Your support is crucial to establishing the first metropolitan chess organization within the city limits of Chicago in over 20 years.
If you have any questions regarding your donation or would like more information on the Chicago Chess Center and options to contribute, please contact me by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (773) 744-7667.
Thank you again for your time and consideration.
Secretary, Chicago Chess Center NFP Inc.
P.S. Our goal, to open the Chicago Chess Center in a clean, safe and easily accessible central location, depends on your support. To date, we're over halfway to our goal, and with your contribution, we can make our goal of $30,000 and open the facility in early to mid-2014. Please send your donation today.