Article published Jan 11, 2008

Article Date: Friday, January 11, 2008

Courtesy chess sets are classroom bound: Donor hopes to help at risk children

PORTSMOUTH — In the game of chess, one false move can mean checkmate. In the case of Ted Alex’s son Jeremy, one false move meant his life.

After his 28-year-old son, who struggled with drug addiction, disappeared in the Maine woods nearly four years ago, Ted and his family felt the need to commemorate his son’s life by reaching out to local at risk youth.

In an effort to extend one of Jeremy’s passions, Ted, with members of the Portsmouth Rotary’s Jeremy Alex fund committee, gathered on Thursday at Infinite Imaging in Portsmouth to prepare 187 chess sets and books that will be donated to fourth grade classrooms around the Port City.

“Jeremy loved to play chess,” said Ted, “he also loved snowboarding, gardening and music.”

Starting next week, the chess sets, along with one giant set, will be distributed to each of the four elementary schools around the city, including St. Patricks School, Dondero School, Little Harbor School and New Franklin School.

According to Ted, the fund was established by the Rotary two years ago in Jeremy’s memory and the primary goal was to expose youngsters to different social and cognitive way’s of thinking. The fund has generated nearly $200,000 and has gone toward a number of things, including trips for students to foreign countries, athletic functions, a health expo and several other enrichment based opportunities.

Ted said that it’s important to realize that all children are at risk, and that by providing these types of opportunities, they will make decisions with the idea of potential consequences in mind.

Rotarian and owner of Infinite Imaging, Bill Hurley generously provided the space for preparing the sets and said that the game helped him develop critical thinking skills as a child.

Here is the full story.

“This effort can really make a difference in a children life,” said Hurley.

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