60th Anniversary Community Service Awards Dinner & Benefit

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Hilton Orrington Hotel, Evanston

5:30pm Cocktails/6:30pm Dinner & Program

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Early-bird rates end March 1!

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


Anniversary Goal - $1M Scholarship Fund  

In honor of their 60th year, the Club has set a goal of creating a $1 Million fund to ensure the stability of the scholarship program for years to come.  Two years ago, the Chessmen were able to extend their one-year scholarships into renewable four-year awards and are now working to ensure continued growth for the program.  Money raised at the annual gala supports the scholarship fund, the hunger fund and other community outreach initiatives. 

Donate now.

Community Service Award Winners - Ann Balusek & Tim Rhoze

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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.

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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.   

View photos of our 2017 Gala

Photos by Genie Lemieux - Evanston Photographic Studios.  See their website.