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The Chessmen Club of the North Shore’s 57th Annual Community Service Recognition and Benefit Gala will honor longtime resident and volunteer Gerri Sizemore. Marcus Campbell and Ahmadou Drame of Evanston Township High School will also be recognized for their work on the Black Male Summit. This year the Gala will take place on March 21 at the Hilton Orrington Evanston Hotel (1710 Orrington Avenue, Evanston).

This annual event honors those who have made extraordinary contributions to Evanston’s Black Community,” said Adrian Brewington, Chessmen president. “It’s also a way for our members and friends to come together, have fun and raise money to support our charitable mission of serving our youth and elderly.”

Gerri Sizemore is a lifelong activist and volunteer. In 1962, she became the first African American to be hired as a checker in the North Shore. She subsequently became a trainer for newly employed checkers. Ms. Sizemore worked for the U.S. Postal Service for over 36 years and received numerous awards. Ms. Sizemore has diligently worked to improve the lives of children, young adults and seniors through volunteer service. She is an active member of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church and volunteers weekly in a soup kitchen. Ms. Sizemore is also active with the Evanston North Shore branch of the NAACP, Evanston Youth Job Center, Foster Senior Citizen Club, Snell Post, V.F.W. #7186 Ladies Auxiliary, Warren “Billy” Cherry Foundation, Levy Senior Center Foundation Board and the Forrest E. Powell Foundation. Her accomplishments have resulted in numerous awards including the Family Focus Evanston “Those who Make a Difference Award”, Evanston Outstanding Volunteers of the Year Award, Vision Keeper Award and Evanston Youth Job Center Volunteer Award.

The Chessmen Club was founded in 1958 and is an all-volunteer run, non-profit organization that returns 95% of all funds raised back into the community. To date, the Chessmen Club of the North Shore has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships to local students of color, allowing them to continue their academic and career pursuits. The Club also provides food for the hungry in the community through a food basket program and supports other community youth activities, such as the Fellowship of Afro-American Men youth basketball league (FAAM).

For more information on the Chessmen, visit their website at www.chessmenclub.com .