Celebrity Donation Presented to Rutherford Public Safety Board to Kick Off Chess Program for At-Risk Youth

Mar 29, 2023 at 10:04 pm by WGNS News

(Murfreesboro, TN)  Marcus Lemonis, star of CNBC's hit show “The Profit”, donated $5,000 to the Chess program for at-risk youth in Rutherford County. That check, along with additional donations totaling $5,300, was presented to the Rutherford County Public Safety Committee meeting earlier this week.

Property Assessor Rob Mitchell launched the Chess/Critical Thinking and Life Skills Program in Rutherford County that is focused on helping at-risk children in the Juvenile Justice Center. For the purpose of raising these funds, Mitchell has issued challenges for charity chess matches between elected officials from Hamilton, Knox, Shelby and Davidson Counties in hopes of raising money for similar programs throughout the state.


“I’ve enjoyed playing chess since I was a teenager. I never understood how much it helped me with my critical thinking skills until I became an adult. I’m grateful for the game of chess—and based on numerous studies and common sense—I know this program will help young people in Rutherford County just like it helped me.” —Rob Mitchell, Rutherford County Property Assessor. ­­

Rutherford County challenged Hamilton County for the first set of chess charity matches to benefit critical thinking and life skills education programs in their local communities. The pairings for the matches will be elected office participants from Rutherford County versus elected office participants from Hamilton County. The donation pledge for entry will be $100. The winner of the matches will take the losers’ pledges to donate to their local critical thinking and life skills program of their choice.

Rob Mitchell added, “What an honor it is to receive this very generous gift from Marcus Lemonis! His support is encouraging and gives us confidence that we’re on the right track. He’s a business and entrepreneurial legend that understands the importance of critical thinking.”

Chess enrichment curriculum is a growing sensation, with programs in states such as Alabama and New Hampshire that utilize the game of chess in their education efforts. These programs are also used in other countries. UK studies from chess programs in youth have shown a link to higher IQ scores, increased problem-solving skills, memory improvement, and creative thinking.

Reach out to your local elected office and encourage them to participate in these efforts to create a chess program to help at-risk children. See previous news story on Chess in Schools HERE.


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