Youth Service Program Award Winner

Published by: Gary Merritt On: 05/30/2018 Under: Youth (379 Hits)    

Chess Tournament/Scholarship Bishop Foley Council 2660 Dearborn

When Dominic Raona approached Bishop Foley Knights of Columbus Council 2660 seeking financial support to buy 25 new chest sets for the growing chest club, at Devine Child Elementary School, he had no idea how both the program and he himself would grow with the Knights. 

The first couple of years Dominic was involved with the chess club, students attended several State Chess Tournaments.  These tournaments were often costly, requiring students to purchase memberships in State and National Chess Clubs to participate.  Seeking a better way for his students to participate in true tournament competition, Dominic again turned to the Bishop Foley Knights of Columbus for support in starting a new tournament.  With the Knights of Columbus providing seed money and with participation from three neighboring Catholic Schools, the first Catholic Schools Tournament was held in 2008 and deemed a success.   But that wasn’t good enough for Dominic or the Knights.

With hard work and determination the Catholic Schools Chess Tournament continued to grow.   In 2014 all seventy five Catholic Elementary Schools in the Archdiocese of Detroit were invited to participate.   The same year, recognizing the overwhelming success of this program, Bishop Foley Council decided to repurpose the net gains from the tournament creating a scholarship fund.  Each year two students are awarded a $500.00 scholarship for their Catholic Education.

This program has been a great way to promote the game of chess, Catholic Education and Bishop Foley Knights of Columbus Council.  The tournament is in its tenth year and continues to grow with recent participation of One Hundred Fifty-Four (154) Players. 

Chess Tourney program

The Catholic Schools Chess tournament surely has grown with the Knights of Columbus.  And Dominic Raona, he’s grown with the Knights too.  When Dominic first approached the Knights for their support, he was not a member.  Today Dominic Raona is not only a member; he’s the Proud Grand Knight of Bishop Foley Knights of Columbus Council 2660.   Yes, brother Knights and Ladies, “Every program is truly is a Membership opportunity”.