1st Annual NICE Awards Event Valentines Day 2013
CONTACT: Lisa Suhay, executive director, Norfolk Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) Cell (757) 339-1811 | email Lsuhays2@cox.net Website www.NiceChess.net

WHERE: Lamberts Point Community Center, Norfolk, VA

WHEN: Valentines Day – 5 p.m.

WHAT: Awards presentation, chess learn & play event with crafts for children.

Unveiling of custom Terra Chess board by Artist Vernon Lomax of CA. (www.Terrachess.com) crafted as a gift for Will Smith.


Community to Share the Love of those who were Game Changers for kids

1st Annual NICE Awards Event Valentines Day 2013

NORFOLK, VA –The list of Game Changers to receive honors on Valentines Day as the first recipients of the Annual NICE Awards, includes Virginia’s Governor, die-hard local volunteers, professors from Old Dominion and Norfolk State universities and celebrities, such as Will Smith, who have changed the lives of Norfolk’s at-risk students.

“Our community has had the rare distinction of being assisted by people from all over the nation who believed in what we are doing. It’s time to show the love we feel every time of of these remarkable people touches our lives,” said Lisa Suhay, executive director, Norfolk Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE). “These are not people who just mailed a donation, but who have repeatedly taken up the standard for our children in various ways. They set a national example and in doing so, changed the game for our community.”

Below is a list of those selected from a list of 500 names of those who have been consistent leaders in the charge for chess in education to build critical thinking skills, life strategies, build community and for their sheer, dogged, belief in helping children from at-risk, low-income environments, those with Autism Spectrum issues and those with ADD & ADHD, achieve their dreams through the game of chess and mentoring. These people and companies have been the catalysts, game changers, movers, shakers and dream makers through their actions and interactions with our free community programming. 

Because this is the first time these awards are being presented the list is long, but those who made the list have been there for our community in pivotal roles.

GAME CHANGERS – Honorees (alphabetically listed):

Dr. Tim Anderson ODU long-term mentor and bagel retriever.

Joseph Boyle of TX for supplying every library in the city with chess sets.

Dr. Raymond Chang of ODU organizer and advisor.

Sean Clark Norfolk Parks & Rec. for being among the first to give us a real home for chess education.

Katie Dellamaggorie director (Brooklyn Castle) who changed everything by making Norfolk a film premier location.

David Duck, mentor, artist of Lamberts Point Community Center who goes far above and beyond his job description.

Pobo Efekoro real life chess hero (Brooklyn Castle) who came to Norfolk on Will Smith’s dime to mentor our kids.

Howard Everton Norva Plastics for always believing and helping.

William Ferrell NSU organizer and volunteer.

Norfolk Police Officer Jonathan Hernandez NPD multiple-venue chess mentor.

Mike Hoffpauir US Chess Federation for long-term organizational support.

Marcus Jones City Manger of Norfolk for leading a charge to get families support for chess.

Maurice Jones Dep. Dir. HUD the FIRST public figure ever to come and learn chess from our students (at the risk of his public image). Creating a landmark chess scholarship.

Rodney Jordan NPS Board for connecting many dots.

Dr. Alexey Root of UT Dallas, TX for long-term educational support and research assistance.

Al Kolis Lionel Collectors Club of America for nationally galvanizing support for the Train of Thought Center project.

Dr. Page Laws Honors College NSU being a visionary helping create Virginia’s 1st all-girl chess championship.

Norman Mass director of NPL for his faith in bringing chess into all our libraries

Governor Bob McDonnell for creating Chess in Education Day

Dr. Camellia Okpodu NSU constant support.

Rivers Taylor, NPS Lake Taylor H.S. opening the door to the first high school chess program & pairing Norfolk Police with kids as mentors.

Thomas Osha of ODU who brought chess and the business/technology communities together.

Sara Peoples-Perry Campostella Elementary Principal for outstanding support of chess programming and her students.

Tench Phillips the NARO Expanded Cinema risk-taker who brought film Brooklyn Castle to Norfolk.

Grandmaster Susan Polgar of Webster University MO who has been with us every step of the way from Day 1 in too many ways to count.

Lana Pressley Villa Height Civic League for being everywhere at once for children’s sake.

Gerald Ronning most reliable mentor.

Karen Rudd Norfolk Arts Commission for seeing the art of the game.

Ernest Schlich & Joan Schlich Tidewater Chess long-term mentors.

Glass Artist Avery Shaffer, glass chess set creator.

Will & Jada Smith for reaching across a nation to give our community by standing in more than one gap, making things possible for our children and community, through both financial donation and moral support over the past two years.

Dr. Jon Solomon who drives from Maryland to Norfolk, VA once a month to bring chess equipment he buys at yard sales.

Adrienne Trinka Fresh Air Fund, NYC for bringing recognition to the game and connecting our kids with NYC by replicating our program in FAF camps.

Warren Stewart NPS Board and NICE advisor.

Terry Whibley City Council for consistent support and belief in our efforts at every level over many years.

Special sponsor recognitions for constant/long-term support include: Armis Games of FLA, Baker’s Crust, Chess4Less of ENGLAND & FLA, Chrysler Museum, DK Books (NYC), Farm Fresh (Ghent), Yorgos Bageldashery, Harris Teeter, Norfolk Southern Railway Corp., Sheraton Downtown Waterside Hotel management, Julep.com

CONTACT: Lisa Suhay, executive director, Norfolk Initiative for Chess Excellence (NICE) Cell (757) 339-1811 | email Lsuhays2@cox.net Website www.NiceChess.net
Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar
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