Over the past decade, I think it’s safe to say that the St. Louis Chess Club and World Chess Hall of Fame have made an impact on the St. Louis region.
For starters, the Chess Club’s Scholastic Chess Initiative has served over 60,000 students.
Think about that. Sixty-thousand students have learned the game of chess. Sixty-thousand students have learned strategy, increased their cognitive skills and gained confidence, thanks to a game that is fun, engaging and can shift their focus to something that can seem highly intimidating.
Not only are we funneling the next generation through scholastic chess, but we are making sure St. Louis’ local artists and musicians have the same opportunity through solo and group exhibitions, as well as regular performance space.
For not-for-profit organizations, bringing programming to the community relies heavily on community and philanthropic support. The SLCC and WCHOF are bringing new perspectives and dreams to our city’s most valuable resources: our students and local talent.
On Dec. 14, the SLCC and WCHOF will host their annual gala, Strategy Across the Board, presented by Jeanne and Rex Sinquefield. Strategy Across the Board is also supported by Edward Jones, World Wide Technology, Reinmann Jain Associates, Sandberg Phoenix, Ascension, UMB Bank, Spire, Graybar, U.S. Bank, Renaissance Financial, UMSL and others.
Chess has had St. Louis business owners and executives talking since the SLCC opened in 2008. They understand that it takes hard work, persistence, confidence and — most important — strategy.
Has chess influenced every mover and shaker in St. Louis? Perhaps not, but they do see the importance of chess for students starting at an early age. Bhavik Patel, managing partner of Sandberg Phoenix and gala co-chair, said: “Not only do I appreciate the strategy of the game on a professional level, but I love the educational value it brings to my two young sons. The chess club brings ample value to my family and to St. Louis.”
Later this month, St. Louisans will come together to support the missions of two organizations that have rooted themselves into the thread of this city over the past 11 years.
These two organizations have only just begun to shape our community, and they will continue to grow and develop in 2020 and beyond — thanks to the continued support from our members, donors and corporate and community partners. The St. Louis philanthropic community understands the value of investing now for a better future, and the number of people who support chess continues to grow.
Lauren Stewart is the development manager for the St. Louis Chess Club and World Chess Hall of Fame, partners of St. Louis Public Radio.
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