60th logo.jpg

Join us in celebrating our diamond anniversary!

In 1958, The Chessmen Club of the North Shore, Inc. began with a simple mission to provide support to youth and seniors in the community.  Today, the Club has provided over $500,000 in scholarships, fed over 50,000 people and took health education to hundreds of local residents.  This year’s Annual Community Service Awards Dinner & Benefit will celebrate the Club’s diamond anniversary as well as honor community service award winners Ann Balusek and Tim Rhoze

Read more news about the Gala here. 

“We are so proud to be celebrating our 60th year. Our Club has been blessed by the support of so many who agree with our mission. Now more than ever, we feel a commitment to building strong leaders in the Black community.”

George Dotson
Chessmen Club President 2017-2018

Thank you to those who attended the Gala!  

Photos by Evanston Photographic Studios/Genie Lemieux

Community Service Award Winners - Ann Balusek & Tim Rhoze

Ann B crop.jpg

As a thoughtful leader and philanthropist, Ann Balusek has made an invaluable impact on Evanston and the Black community.   Through her family’s Mammel Foundation – which funds the Evanston Community Foundation’s Root2Fruit Grant -- Ann has given over $1.5 million to local organizations.  She has been engaged in the work of the YWCA Evanston/North Shore and the Evanston Art Center where she was the founding donor who inspired the Evanston Women's History Project. Ann is also involved in the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society in Chicago and is Co-Chair of the President's Circle at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Tim Rhoze.jpg

Tim Rhoze is an actor, producer, writer and director who has brought African American-inspired storytelling to life here in Evanston.  He has been the Producing Artistic Director of the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre since 2010 and has directed over twenty productions, and wrote and directed the FJT world premieres of Why Not Me? A Sammy Davis Jr. Story, and Maya’s Last Poem.  He has performed in numerous productions at the Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens and Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and on Broadway. His voice can be heard on numerous national voice-over campaigns including McDonald's, Budweiser and Ford Motor Company and he has been seen in TV shows including The Practice, Becker, Friends and Grey’s Anatomy.  Tim has developed and facilitates an array of ongoing theatre programs in Evanston including the FJT Teen Drama Club, Prime-Time Players, YSTEP (Youth & Senior Theatre Ensemble Project), Tater Tot Theatre Company, and the FJT Summertime Season of plays and concerts.   

Congratulations to our student honorees, Jaydlyn Rogers and Hakeem Quadri!



Jaydlyn Rogers is an exemplary senior at Evanston Township High School. She has an extensive background in education and community service. Rogers cultivated her program, Help a Brother, Help a Sister to support kindergarten through Fifth-grade African American students in academic areas where they need the most help. She organizes high school and college students to volunteer as mentors and co-teachers. Her work is focused and committed to the growth of African American students in the African Centered Curriculum, an Evanston program specific to Oakton Elementary School that caters to a predominantly Black student population. elp a Brother, Help a Sister has had over twenty volunteers that love making a difference by helping younger students strive for success.

In addition to her outstanding efforts to further the community, Jaydlyn Rogers is a student leader for the McGaw YMCA Achievers program which provides an essential safety net for high school students at risk of not completing high school or continuing on to higher education. Rogers will be the first in her family to graduate from college and continue on with her education. She will be attending DePaul University in the Fall of 2018 and will double major in African American Studies and English then enroll in the combined degree program her junior year giving her the ability to earn her Master's degree in Secondary Education. Rogers also plans on growing her program into a nonprofit organization providing college readiness, life-skill classes, and summer camps for students of color. She wants to be a high school English teacher and earn her doctoral degree at Northwestern University in African American Studies and open her own school in the city of Chicago.


Hakeem Quadri is a scholarly senior at Evanston Township High School. Through his four years at ETHS, he has made it his duty to become an active member of the community by giving back. The importance of community service is very special to him. Quadri has done countless activities within his community such as coaching and reffing at the McGaw YMCA as well as making sack lunches for the homeless with his peers. Quadri recently extended his service globally to Canada De Los Palmas, Dominican Republic in a low income community where the average household makes up to five cents a day. During his stay, Quadri took the lead in creating a basketball court for the young children, built a latrine for the families who have to walk over a mile just to use the bathroom, and rebuilt community center for the community members.

In addition to his efforts to advance the environment, Hakeem Quadri is involved with many different clubs and organizations at Evanston Township High School. Quadri is apart of AVID, a four year college readiness program, Evanston Scholars, a college access program for academically ambitious, underserved Evanston High School Students and McGaw YMCA Achievers which provide essential tools for college. Quadri also serves as president of Boule Sigma Pi Phi mentorship program, an after school program that helps lead young African American men to succeed in high school and eventually become a Boule scholar. Outside of the many clubs, he is also apart of the Varsity men's volleyball team where he is seen as a leader. He will be a first generation student in college and plans to attend Marquette University or Western Michigan University where he will double major in Engineering and Business Marketing.