Our History


Building Bridges to Better Health. Better Education. Better Communities.

In December of 2013, the Chessmen Club’s entire membership went through a strategic planning process with an outside facilitator to determine how the organization could effectively address the changing needs of our community. The outcomes from that meeting were to continue our long tradition of providing educational assistance to youth and help through our food program but the Chessmen Club would enhance its mission to serve African-American males and seniors in the community.

To accomplish our enhanced mission, the goal of the Chessmen would be to provide programs and services for all African American youth however there would be special focus on males. As one of the nation’s oldest African American male community organizations, the members felt strongly that the Chessmen Club was uniquely positioned to help black males live better and more productive lives by 1) supporting their career (vocational or military interests), business or entrepreneurial interests, 2) providing college scholarships for youth and 3) addressing the health disparities by educating the community.

The Chessmen Club began in 1958 with a simple mission of providing support to African-American youth and seniors living in the North Shore community. With the financial support of the Chicagoland community, local corporations and our membership, the Chessmen Club returns to the community 95% of the funds raised through its various services

Since 1958, The Chessmen Club accomplished the following:

  • Providing over $500,000 in scholarships to youth attending college or university.
  • Distributing over 10,000 food baskets feeding over 50,000 people, both seniors and those less fortunate, during the holiday season.
  • In 2014, we hosted three community health forums (300+ attendees) with a focus on breast and prostate cancer, diabetes and other health preventable diseases.

Help us Build Bridges to Better Health, Better Education, and Better Communities.

The Chessmen Club of the North Shore, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization.  For IRS purposes, all gifts are tax-deductible.